Sunday, 12 October 2014

Falling in Love with Venice

Ah, Venice...



Venice is the opposite of Rome. It has such a relaxing and mellow atmosphere... really, it made me wonder why I didn't stay an extra few days there instead. The major difference with Venice is that no cars are allowed in the city. People got around by walking or by boats. Tourists, well, they walk or they can take the vaporetto (water bus) or the water taxi (super expensive). On the day we arrived, it was warm and breezy. We took the water taxi to our hotel. The water taxi dropped us off right in front of the hotel but our driver pointed us to the opposite direction and we walked the wrong way for a long time before realizing we were going further and further away from our destination (thank God for Siri). We circled back to where we started, and there it was, Locanda Salieri. After checking in, we climbed three flights of stairs to our tiny room with our luggage. I can't tell you how much of a workout that was, but hey, that's Venice, we're told. We freshened up and decided to explore. Venice is a complete maze, we would have gotten so lost without our phone. We stopped by a local joint for a snack - calamari and fried prawns. I don't have a picture, but it was made fresh, and delicious. We finally made it to the Rialto Bridge as the sun was setting and decided to go on a gondola ride. You don't go all the way to Venice and not ride a gondola, but we had to pay a hefty €90 for the short twenty minutes ride. We walked back to our hotel and grabbed dinner nearby. After some pasta (delicious squid ink pasta, I might add!), fish, and wine, we had ice cream for dessert and called it a night. Although we were exhausted, walking was the best way to explore Venice. It's not really an adventure if you don't get lost a little.


We woke up to rain the next morning. The weather had completely flipped! It was so cold I had to wear my Columbia insulated waterproof jacket. After a quick lunch at a small cafe, we made our way to St. Mark's Basilica. St. Mark's Square had flooded that morning, and we arrived as the water was draining. My dream come true - not a pigeon in sight! We headed over to the Bridge of Sighs for some pictures afterwards. The bridge is located between Doge's Palace and the prisons. The name originates from the “sighs” of the prisoners who passed over it. We spent the rest of the day going in and out of the many gift shops looking at Venetian masks and trinkets. We made it to a metropolitan shopping area, and browsed into the sunset. Later that evening, we met up with the boyfriend's parents for dinner as it was his mom's birthday. We had a nice dinner by the hotel and of course, some wine, spritz and gelato to celebrate.




 Readers, I'm going to tell you a truth.

We are horrible travellers. Half the time, we have no idea what we are looking at, and where we are going. We are high maintenance, and we are terrible at decision-making. We don't make it to half our planned destinations and we simply cannot follow our own itinerary. We are at our best when we do things spontaneously. Like, hey, there's a gondola, wanna go? Sure! Funny enough, we didn't plan on a gondola ride prior to our arrival in Venice, we had forgotten gondolas exist in Venice (that's how bad we are at this, and that's probably how we ended up in one - by not planning! Because if I did plan it, we would have saved it for the next day, and ended up not going or having a bad experience because of the rain). So my point, as we were leaving Venice on the people mover, we moped over the fact that we had missed Doge's Palace. Apparently, it is one of the attraction you should see while in Venice. Little did we know...



We saw it at St. Mark's and during our sail away! Well, we are halfway through our trip. All aboard the Splendour of the Seas! Smooth sailing is on our horizon...

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