So it’s already the second and last day here in Venice, and unfortunately I was too tried to talk about yesterday. It’s a short trip to begin with, with not many days. Still the first day was a complete and full day.
The flight here was long but not unbearable with a stopover in Vienna. From Vienna to Venice took a propeller plane which was cool and reminded me briefly of the propeller plane from Casablanca to Tangiers when I went to Morocco. Everything was easy and I quickly got to the public water taxi (Alilaguna) – waited a bit – and to San Marco square. Finding the hostel was a cinch. The weather is cold, but not cooler than I expected and the clothes I brought were enough. The “hotel” which was more like a hostel was small but sufficient, nothing special, small bed and TV; but the best part is its location right next to San Marco square.
Undocking to the ho(s)tel
So I unpacked and off I went without resting much. Went all over from San Marco’s square to Peggy Guggenheim’s Museum, L’Academia Gallery and back to the Realto bridge. It was a late start to the day so it got dark quick but managed to see most of the things I wanted to see from the inside and took some night life pics. Today however will be more of the outside (as long as it’s not too foggy). Yesterday it was so foggy that when we were landing in Venice I couldn’t see a damn thing (not even the runway) until we just about hit the runway…taking pictures was difficult but managed to get a few good ones.
Out and about in Venice
Today I hope the lighting is somewhat better (I’ll be off in a couple of hours or so) and I will be visiting the rest of the island going up north then west then back down, whereas yesterday it was more south then east and back to San Marco. Anyway it should be another long but interesting day.
I did take it easy, and I did take the time to absorb the city by not walking too fast and eating at the right places (also managed to get all the souvenirs I needed) . I took the time to see things through at the galleries, the only problem couldn’t use the banks to take out Euros, but I had enough so hopefully this will help me budget and I won’t have to withdraw any cash.
I was struck with not only the impressive canals in the city and the old art and architecture, but how this city is like one big giant art gallery with lots of modern art, bakeries, pottery art, calligraphy art, wood work art, you name it. It’s all about art and fashion and food, you don’t see any manufacturing it’s all lace, and art related businesses and handicrafts, everywhere you look. And the glass artwork (murano) is amazing, I wish I could have taken pictures of everything – I certainly wanted to buy everything.
Incredible Venetian works
It’s weird because I think with all of the things I read and heard about Venice I wasn’t surprised with the urban planning and design of the city on water. I was more awestruck by the modern art work emerging from it (you don’t get a sense that it’s stuck in the past), and all the trendsetting designs I could see from between the old arches and arcades of the retrofitted buildings. Yes it could be somewhat confusing to walk around the city, but they do have signs to the major landmarks and it’s relatively easy to follow (plus I had a good map book I bought from the airport which I’m glad I did).
I’ll chill at the hostel for a bit before I head out for another massive picture taking day (in my new camera I might add – what a great way to test it out – IN VENICE!) – and then get ready for tomorrow, hopefully I don’t forget the chocolate I bought from this awesome chocolatier, which I left in the balcony to stay cold in the outside weather and not melt in my hot hostel room. (Asotria Hotel, Venice 7:18 a.m.)**
And so ends my weekend here in Venice, and despite the short amount of time, and the cold weather, I’m glad I came. Today I got to see much more of the city and got a feel for the life here, sans tourists because it’s low season. I highly recommend Venice in low season, despite the cold weather and the flooded walkways. There were still tourists everywhere, but I can’t imagine coming here in summer when there is a mass migration of them.
Love Venice in low season
Today I got to taste Pistachio Gelato (ice cream), I haven’t had ice cream in ages let alone an Italian pistachio flavoured one; in Venice no less. I had a great espresso with a Canolo, and some sweet Cannolis as well as a couple tastes of pizza slices. It was great gastro experience, savoured the moment. Loved the church bell sounds along with a whiff of the home cooking in between the alleyways coming from the houses nearby.
Espresso and Canolo, in Venice, what else can I ask for?
Tempting Venetian goodies
A very unbelievable experience all in all and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My impression was the city is much more romantic than I thought it would be; I would certainly say more so than Paris. It was interesting to see that most tourists where Chinese and Japanese; I know this city has had a long history with the East but it was still surprising to see not only Chinese and Japanese tourists but Asians living here and working speaking fluent Italian, along with (a very small population of) Indians and a few Egyptians…funny how they speak Italian, can’t get over it!
When I was going through my photos as I do at the end of each day I was a bit bummed that the photos (no thanks to lighting or lack there of) don’t do any justice to the actual city and the thrill of being here. This city is one giant art gallery with workmanship of anything…you name it…done in small trade shops and work shops. It sucks I couldn’t take any pictures inside the galleries and churches but I still have some of the images stored in my mind, and some of the work inside; like the fully painted ceiling in the St. Sebastian church was awesome.
I leave here with amazing memories, I came cynical thinking I kind of already saw what there is to see here in books and TV. But I never thought it would have such a lasting impact on me… it definitely did, and it more than lived up to it’s reputation. Not so much for what I thought it would, the architecture, canals, and buildings, which were nice; but more so the atmosphere, art culture, lifestyle, and the overall vibe of being here. (Asotria Hotel, Venice 8:40 p.m.)**
So just when I thought this trip would end flawlessly, I think I forgot for a second that I am who I am. Which means unexpected things happen to me. I woke up in the middle of the night “today” to the pittar patter of rain, actually it was more like a downpour. Now I heard the city floods easily and that people wear waist high boots to walk across walkways…seeing how this is my last day and there are about 4 more hours left to go till I catch the ferry to the airport, this means 4 more hours of rain for this city to flood even more. All I need to do is go to San Marco square to catch the ferry to the mainland and then to the airport, if that becomes too flooded then it’s panic time.
San Marco starting to be extra wet
Luckily…from what I remember it is on higher land level than other parts of this city so there is potential of no flooding. But there is one small bridge to pass in order to get there, and who know how bad this rain is…it’ll be another day/night of close calls….AGAIN!
I guess I’ll lay in bed for the next few hours a little more anxious and worried than just before I woke up! Plus I found a mosquito in my room just now and wasn’t fast enough to kill it, happy times.
Still snapping Venice to the early dawn (as I head out)
I am starting to think I really need to take a break from traveling! Moment of doubt passed, whew. (Asotria Hotel, Venice 3:10 a.m.)
Do you guys think Venice is overrated or over hyped (I certainly didn’t)?