Want to hear the story of how Phone Op Christen and I spent the night in jail?
Okay…it’s not quite as scandalous as it sounds, but we did sleep in a hotel that used to be a prison in Lucerne, Switzerland!
For all Contiki hotel tours, they offer one night in a featured hotel, and yes, it was totally creepy and cool at the same time. The windows were covered with bars and the front door looked like it came straight out of a horror film.
The rest of Lucerne, however, was the epitome of a quaint mountainside village.
As soon as we got there, we took gondolas up to Mount Pilatus. There was snow at the top, but thankfully it wasn’t nearly as cold as Austria.
After the long ride back down, we hit up Harry’s Watch Shop for a look at the country’s famous watches and Swiss Army Knives. I picked up a knife myself and stopped in a chocolate shop for some delicious truffles!
From there, we went on a gorgeous cruise of Lake Lucerne. They spoiled us with free drinks and it was a great time to hang with all my tour mates.
After a quick dinner, it was onto a pub crawl. Our tour manager Lee took us to the greatest clubs and we danced the night away.
And how can I forget to tell you about Venice? It almost seemed unreal to me, like I was on a movie set.
We began the morning with a walking tour so we could get our bearings. Then a bunch of us found a tiny pizzeria for lunch. The owner only spoke Italian, so we knew it was legit.
We had a few more hours of free time, so we indulged in a ton of shopping. The jewelry was to die for and I also bought a traditional Venetian mask.
One of my favorite parts about Venice was getting lost in the streets. The main squares can get pretty crowded, but when you can find some quiet alleyways, Venice becomes even more beautiful.
We couldn’t leave Venice without going on a gondola ride. Thanks to Contiki, we got a much cheaper rate. 6 of us piled onto the boat with a couple bottles of Prosecco.
At first, we were disappointed when we found out our gondolier Giovanni wasn’t going to sing to us, so we did what any 20-somethings would do…we sang Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” at the top of our lungs! We even got some other gondolas to join in with us.
After our ride through the canals, Contiki hooked us up with an incredible dinner. Salad, pasta, beef, a decadent dessert, and of course, unlimited wine! The restaurant was right on the water, so there’s no way I would’ve scored a reservation on my own.
I can’t believe I’ll be coming home in just a few short days. Right now, we’re en route to Paris and I can’t wait to see the City of Lights at night. We’ll also be visiting a perfumery, so that will be a great place to find gifts for all my friends. Then, we’ll finish off our amazing journey with a trip to the Moulin Rouge for a can can show.
Okay, I should get going. We’ll be arriving in Paris soon, so I better start planning out some chic outfits. Au revoir!
– Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio