Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Toussaints #4 Venice

Venice: Where we slept in a box, played on a playground, and took way too many pictures of water

Venice was a place I had wanted to visit ever since I had seen a show about it on the travel channel when I was little. I remember hearing that it was slowly drowning and at that moment I resolved to see it before it disappeared, thinking it would happen in my lifetime. 

My first impression of Venice: it was stunning, but also very very touristy.

Masks. Masks everywhere! 
We arrived in the city as the sun was setting. We wandered around a little, struggled to find our bus, then finally managed to get to our "camping." Let me explain. Housing in Venice is expensive, and the cheapest thing we could find with relatively good ratings was one of the many campsites about 40 minutes away. We stayed at Camping Serenissima which was by far the strangest housing I have ever stayed in. 

We slept in a shipping box. A tiny shipping box with two beds, one outlet, and no wifi. The "kitchen" was a half-functioning outdoor...thing. There was a fridge and a stove top with some questionable pots and pans and dirty silverware next to a picnic table. Chelsea and I looked at each other and started laughing and immediately congratulated ourselves for changing our stay in Venice from two days two nights to two days one night. I have a feeling it would have stopped being funny very quickly, but for one night, let's just say it was "quaint."

Day number two: we had to get up early because, as we were informed upon our arrival, the Venice marathon was that weekend and they would be shutting down the street we were on. To catch one of the last buses we had to be up at 5:30 am. We almost missed that one, actually, since that same night we had to turn our clocks back an hour (and math is hard).

We ended up spending the first half of the day with a girl from New Zealand and a girl from Germany whom we had met the night before. Chelsea pointed out that it sounded like the start of a bad joke: "an Aussie, a Yank, a Kiwi, and a Kraut go to Venice..."

We wandered for a while, took too many photos, ate breakfast. At one point we found a playground and played for something like an hour, it was great. After that we somehow ended up on this secluded dock out in some corner of the city where there were no tourists, which seemed to be a rarity in Venice. It was lovely. 

The girls had to leave to catch their covoiturage early afternoon, Chelsea and I spent the rest of the day walking around, eating gelato, having another of our many exhaustion-induced ridiculous conversations about who knows what.

Venice was a beautiful place but, frankly, after about five hours we were bored. Pretty place, definitly worth a visit, but not for more than a day. In all honesty it's a lot of the same thing; you walk around and in a few hours you've seen everything. Besides wandering around there's not much to do unless you fork over half a fortune for a gondola ride, or I suppose if you have more time you can take a water taxi to some of the surrounding islands.

 We had 3 hours to kill (I hate to say it that way) before our covoiturage to Florence. We ended up finding a quiet little area at the end of the street where the small canal opened up to the bay and  we watched the sunset. Well...I watched it, Chelsea found a corner and slept for a bit. I think it was a good way to end the day, staring out into the water. Calm, quiet except for waves lapping at the side of the street, a girl reading a book while smoking a cigarette in front of us as boats passed by.

In my mind I think of Venice as the one night stand of cities: it's beautiful, but a couple of days and you have enough. I'm definitely glad I got to see it though.

Okay I'm shutting up now, time for pretty pictures:

We got here early, when we came back a few hours later this bridge was PACKED with tourists...
...See what I mean?

I love Magritte :)

Us being big kids

Our hidden corner of Venice 

This is how we ended our day

And this is how Chelsea ended her day, haha

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