While Abroad

I am currently on my trip studying abroad in Europe heading to the third country already! We first arrived in Venice, Italy, then traveled to Ljubljana, Slovenia, and are now going to Zagreb, Croatia. We will still go to Trento, Italy, Munich, Germany, and Innsbruck, Austria, before returning home to the US, but the places we have been so far and the trip so far has been incredible. When we arrived in Venice, my first thought was so surreal. I felt like it was a dream and there was no way I was actually on this beautiful island in Italy studying abroad with other UA students. Venice is a completely different culture than the other places we have been as well. There are no cars or roads in site, everything including produce, oil, and all other transports come into the city by boat in the canal. The city is beautiful, historic, but fairly calm and quiet. One unique thing was that the canal and water is completely off limits, so it is a $500 fine if you get in the canal or water. The buildings almost look unreal and Saint Marks was absolutely breathtaking. I would say something that has really shocked me so far is the locals here. I was warned they do not always love tourists or Americans in general, but the norms here are far different than home. They do not talk much over meals and are very quite, whereas in America it is the complete opposite. Another thing, that is considered very rude in the United States, is they stare and can seem very judgmental of tourists or any non-locals. Over all the city is beautiful and a lot of people are nice and speak English. People have thick accents, but the language barrier has not really been an issue thus far. Slovenia has been my favorite of the three so far because it was so beautiful and clean. Everyone is very put together and well dressed and the city is more lively than it was in Venice. Overall, I am having an incredible time and cannot wait for the rest of my trip.