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VENICE, Italy — University of Iowa men’s basketball sophomore Jordan Bohannon took the time on the team’s final day overseas to write to Hawkeyenation about the experiences he and his teammates had the last two days touring the beautiful city of Venice.
The past couple of days we’ve had a chance to turn this “business trip” into a little vacation. We finished our last game in Vicenza, Italy, on Monday night and headed over to our final destination at the city of Venice. Since you are only able to travel in the city by water, we stopped our bus at the loading dock and moved all of our luggage onto a boat to get to our hotel. Now, that meant we had to say bye to our wonderful bus driver Anthony. Anthony, if you are reading this, we thank you for getting us around Europe safely (and for translating what I was saying to the two beautiful girls I met at the end of our last game). As we entered the boat to our hotel, we knew it was the start of our small vacation at one of the prettiest places in the world.
We arrived to our five-star hotel “Hilton Molino Stucky Venice Hotel”, late that Monday night. The next morning, we had the opportunity had a walking tour around Venice. The mainland of Venice is across the water from our hotel. It was about a 10-15 minute ride to the other side. It was quite the view to see all of the boats around the water and the amazing architecture of the buildings that we had the ability to see as the boat moved along. As we arrived to the other side, our walking tour began. The team and I saw many of the famous buildings in Venice (Basilica di San Marco) and the outrageous amount of shopping all around the town.
After the tour was over, we had the option to go to the beach or head around town more and explore. Baer, Brady, Dom, Charlie, RT, Jack, Coach Maxwell, and the homie Thomas Deatsch decided to head to the beach. Thomas decided to self name the beach “Deatsch Beach” when we arrived. At the beach, we all invested in renting a boat that had a slide on it. We pedaled way out in the sea and jumped off the boat and slid down the slide. While we were way out there in the Adriatic Sea we see this person half swimming, half walking towards us with one hand in the air. As he approached our boat, we noticed it was Coach Maxwell with his phone wanting to take a picture of us. It was a pretty funny sight to see and we’re glad he got to capture a wonderful moment. There is much more I could write about us at the beach, but I would just go on and on… @BigWeitz (our communications contact) might kill me for writing so much, but oh well.
Our very last day in Europe, brought us back to the mainland for another tour of the city. However, this one was by a gondala. Gondalas are those giant bananas you see when you look at pictures of Venice in case you don’t know what I’m talking about. It was amazing to go through all the tiny canals around the city and experience Venice by water. We truly saw how beautiful this place is. After the ride, we had the rest of the day to eat something and do a little bit of shopping. Some of the teammates and I stopped to eat at this delicious restaurant downtown while walking around. I had tortellini with ham and beef, which might have been the best meal I’ve ever had. We finished up with lunch and decided to head back to the hotel and get off our feet for a little bit. A few hours passed and the teammates and I headed to our farewell dinner with an amazing view of the Adriatic Sea called “Trattoria AI Cacciatori.”
As I am writing this, I am eating dinner with some of my best friends next to the water thinking about the unbelievable experiences we have had throughout this trip. The team and I had an opportunity to see some of the most beautiful places in the world and play against some great competition to get us prepared for the upcoming season. From leaning off the edge of Mt. Pilatus to swimming in the Adriatic Sea, this trip is something we will remember and cherish for the rest of our lives. We are forever grateful for the places basketball has taken us. As much as we would love to stay, you know what they say, “There’s no place like Iowa City.” Wish us a safe trip back home.