SanMarco

i rushed out of the airport fueled with brimming happiness, dashing past a hundred unknown pretty faces just to take a deep breath of fresh air contained in this new country i was set to conquer. The first person i came inches close with, was a handsome man with the most original big brown eyes. He was just another bus driver, but he made me wonder where do you find such a fine bus driver, if not in Italy. Greeting me with the warmest smile, the public bus immediately felt like it could be a home. Big Guy, an Italian himself, trailed behind jokingly saying “Bloody Italians, must flirt with every girl they meet” with probably some truth behind it.

IMG_0415

The joy in my heart was too full to contain. i could barely absorb anything but to do everything with my hungry eyes, busy recording my very first few moments in this so desired country. Big Guy finally settled next to me. Our suitcases as lucky as we were. To my surprise, Venice before its jetty was hauntingly rundown. Crazy graffitis, old roads lined with unkept trees. We filled the entire bus journey doing comparisons about the different countries we’ve been. That was when the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” began to make full sense for the first time. Why compare? Every country is beautiful the way it is. That is why we visit different countries.

The sooner you learn how to appreciate differences, the more you gain out of your journey.

IMG_0438

We got off the bus into the rain, as we desperately ran around like mad fowls trying to look for shelter at the nearby jetty. Before we could even start to think if it was gonna be a nightmare trip caused by bad weather, a ferry came bubbling along steadily announcing “Nexe Stoppe” (Next Stop) followed by a romantic name of our next station. We got tickets for two that took us a long way for two days.

p.s. In all my Italy posts you will see my expenditures (per person) to give you a better idea on how much euros you might need to bring in future.

Cost: 33 €

IMG_0412IMG_0424IMG_0422

The beautiful ride along Grand Canal was indeed a sight hard to behold. Old buildings flashing past my eyes like big blocks of books which i have no access to were decorated from top to toe with delicate carving details on their roofs, to every stroke of worn out paint at their base; washed by waves of a thousand years for that added value and personality. Each of them still stand strong, boasting their antique elegance like a true Italian.

IMG_0435IMG_0430IMG_0441IMG_0443

{tree garden on water}

About the weather, well. The grey skies was indeed a betrayal for a first timer in Venice like me, but you know you are granted with Eternal Traveler Syndrome when it could cure a mild Seasonal Affective Disorder. A wild rain hardly sways my passion when it comes to discovering new places. In other words, anyone in my shoes could have wished for better weather, but wishing won’t change anything. Instead, acknowledging the fact that many has ‘Venice’ on their wish list yet not knowing when their chance would come, allowed me to be truly grateful for the very chance i had.

IMG_0429IMG_0466IMG_0471IMG_0462IMG_0453

{when i saw these tables clothed bright red under the bridge, i think i knew exactly what Big Guy was thinking. would you be able to give a wild guess what we thought?}

i only had two Must Do-s in my itinerary for that day:

IMG_0463

  1. Admire the gondolas.
  2. Enjoy a glass of happy hour Prosecco.

Speaking of #1, i noticed a few interesting ways one could maneuver a gondola.

a) Through impossible looking narrow ‘streets’ while not damaging anything, while still looking nonchalant.

Gondola

b) By kicking walls

IMG_0495

c) Do Text and . . . Row?

IMG_0497

As a passenger, do you think you would’ve been able to pass through this double parked lane:

IMG_0470

Or dodge this? :

IMG_0491

Cost: 0 €

At the end of our boat tour, our journey on land had pretty much started immediately. Stopping by secret narrow alleys that mazed around the city, Big Guy and i went crazy reaching our phones out high and low with hope to receive a better 3G reception so that we could ‘Google Map’ our way to the hotel.

Though the bitter wind continued to blow mercilessly and a jillion drizzles chilled us to the bones, i’d love to believe that we had fun getting lost – because i did. My loyal black jacket had a hood and though it didn’t help much, i was thankful for its existence. As for Big Guy, he was only wearing a shirt. i tried my best not to imagine how it would feel like to be him at that moment.

IMG_0480

Cost: 145 € / night

A quick check-in quickly led us back out on the streets. This time, we WANTED to get lost. In our quest of searching for good food, we stopped at almost each store selling the most adorable things you can fantasize. It was almost like shopping in a circus! Venetian masks, glass bookmarks, original leather goods, and of course i bought one of each. :razz:

Shopping: 21 €

IMG_0499IMG_0477IMG_0522

If anyone were to ask me where i had the best worst Italian food in Italy, my answer would definitely be Venice. According to Big Guy, most of the Italians have moved out of ancient Venice, leaving it a concentrated tourist area. Which explains to me why most good and authentic restaurants are stationed before the jetty where the Iocals reside. i always had the impression that food would taste great no matter where i land in Italy. Today i know it is same with admitting that not all nasi lemak tastes good in Malaysia.

IMG_0540

Panini: 4 €

So i had a cold tuna sandwich, my first meal of the day; which i didn’t finish. But at least, i managed to tick off item #2 on my list: Happy Hour Prosecco! (accompanied by dinner which was frozen ‘handmade pasta’). :roll:

ProseccoIMG_0543

Cost: 23.40 €

Nonetheless, a warm tummy definitely lifted our moods and allowed us to have more fun getting lost between walls along the romantic Venetian alleys and into a persistent rainy night. To imagine Casanova, Marco Polo, you-name-it, walking along these streets just like i did was such an incredible, nostalgic feeling. Big Guy bought a umbrella from an indian boy who sold it for 6 euros (RM25), which lasted us for less than one minute. The moment we turned our heads to find him, he was gone – like a ghost no where to be seen.

IMG_0545IMG_0547

Cost (espresso + gelato): 7 €

We celebrated the night as we winded down with cups of great espresso and gelato like we never had them before in our lives. Ran back drenched and laughed at old fashioned hair dryers. Influenced each other back and forth to trust / drink or not to drink Italy’s tap water. Bought bottled water. Read and slept with some hope that after all, it would be a sunnier day tomorrow.

Budget (per person)
Transportation: 33 €
Stay: 145 €
Panini: 4 €
Dinner: 23.40 €
Espresso + Gelato: 7 €
Total: 212.40 215 €


 

2 comments on “Venice: City On Water

  1. Ivan

    If you are still in venice, go to Osteria ai 40 Ladroni. Order the venetian mix platter and pasta with blank ink squid, its tucked a little away from the commercial spot. Have a good one.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *