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Where in the world are Karmen & Michael?


ITALY | Tuesday, 20 October 2015 | Views [297]

During our travel month of Croatia we made some really good friends. One of the main reasons we decided to go to Bologna is because of a girl we had met at a backpacker bar named Megi. Currently working torwards her masters in Bologna, Italy, Megi talked us into coming to visit her university city promising that we will love the architecture, culture, and all the foods it had to offer. Not needing much more motivation than that, we booked our last stop in Italy to be here!

The day after the San Gemini festival we were not looking forward to our whole day of traveling to get to Bologna. Although it only was about a 5 hour train ride, sometimes that can feel like forever. Upon our arrival we were craving a beer and some food, but needed to find our Airbnb first. Franchesco's directions were perfect for us to easily locate the apartment that we would call home the next few days. After ditching our backpacks we went out for some good ol pizza and beer because we love pizza and beer. Since we had arrived late evening, we decided to call it an earlier night than usual because we wanted to have a good day of exploring the next day.

Technically Day 1: We woke up early enough and caught a bus to the city Centre. Along the way on our busride, Karmen spotted an outdoor antique market and we had to stop there. It was a really neat market that we enjoyed walking around. There were things from chandeliers to metal signs, old and new jewelry, old lighters and new art. Some presents were purchased for some people here and there and soon we were starving for breakfast (even though it was lunch time; we skipped breakfast). We settled on some cafe sandwiches which were alright but a little dry. Having our energy back, we kept perusing the antique market and the rest of the city centre. 

What was really neat about Bologna is that it has many humongous covered arch ways connecting almost every street in the city. This makes the city manageable and lively even when it is raining (like it was when we were there). Bologna is also known for creating tortellini, Bolognese sauce (which is AMAZING) and it has the oldest university in the world dating back to ~1060 A.D. Pretty neat huh? And if something is old in the United States, it's only like a hundred years old or so usually. 

We spent the rest of the day exploring little shops and gawking at the meat markets with dried salamis in addition to peppers and olives in oil. Mmmm. We ended up splitting two bottles of some cheap red wine before dinner which made dinner even that much more delicious ;). For dinner we went to Il Moro and got some Bolognese pasta which was AWESOME. Really reminded us of pasta back home, because it was very similar to what mama used to make. We were thrilled and very full. We finished a bottle of wine we'd picked up from a nearby store and had to call it a night. With still a city to walk through to get to a bus to get home, we knew we'd need the rest of our energy for the next day.

Our last day in Bologna was another big walking day. Michael was on a mission to sell his guitar, and not finding any pawn shops we decided to just put a sign on it saying it was for sale. We walked around the cloged alleys, the wide tourist promenades, and were having no luck. Oh well, life goes on and we had some hope that one of our friend Megi's friends from school might become interested. We decided to take a trek up one of the two towers in the middle of center, and 95m spiral staircase going UP. What a climb! We had to take a short break at the top, but we were rewarded with some spectacular views of the city on all sides. It was a little cramped going up those stairs with Michael's guitar, but we made it without too much hassle. After getting back down we found a cool store called Flying Tiger with a bunch of small arts & crafts style items, as well as small knick knacks of many varieties. Karmen was thrilled. Michael stood outside trying to drum up buyers for his guitar but didn't have any luck. By this point it was getting late enough that we could start getting ready to meet our friend.

We grabbed a couple beers and sat down in a square next to the University. Michael was playing his guitar a little and we were watching a few fresh graduates run around acting crazy in their leaf crowns (because thats a tradition here.) We even saw a couple in dresses and throwing food around at people. Soon a friendly guy named Marco came and sat with us, not interested in buying Michael's guitar but interested in making a little music. He and Michael passed the guitar back and forth and we sang a bunch of random songs, it was a good time. Too quickly it was time to go meet our friend, but good news, someone was willing to buy the guitar. Hoorah! We met our friend and the guy Lamuel buying the guitar outside a bar. We grabbed a quick beer there, Michael parted with his guitar (he was sad immediately but we can't fly with it), and Lamuel headed back home. Class, etc, etc.

We spent the next hour or so walking around with Megi, she was showing us around where her friends and other people usually hang out at nights. It wasn't crowded this night due to the weather, but we still found a cool craft beer shop and relaxed with a couple beers before calling it a night. We had a big day ahead of us with the flight and Megi was feeling a little under the weather (Hope she's better now!). We hopped on the bus and made our way back to the apartment, anxious to shower and pack our bags in anticipation of the next day. We woke almost ready to go, and before long we were on the bus heading back into town to get to the airport. One long bus ride later we had made it, a good 2 hours before our flight.

Unfortunately for us, 2 hours before is when Ryanair online check-in ends. Our cheap flights to Brussels just got about 3x more expensive :( Super bummer there, but when you have to get on a plane right then, what can you do? We paid the lady, were able to skip the now giant queue because the guy remembered us, hooked us up with quick and free carry ons (Even though our bags were a little heavy over the limit) and we hopped on the plane. Less than two hours later we were in Brussels going the wrong way on a bus. But that's a story for another time.

Until then!


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