Friday, April 25, 2014

Venice, Italy

Actual date of this event: 21-23 March

Like I said in my previous post, Luke and I did not have much to do in Venice. Going up the San Giorgio Maggiore Tower and taking a day trip to Burano were the only two things that we had planned. Everything else was just taking in the city.
I have been pondering for weeks now on how to go about writing our experience in Venice. I am still stumped with the best way to explain it. My mind gets jumbled when I think back over our time as I have extremely mixed emotions about it. This is the best I can do for journaling my feelings toward our trip. Note: Not all of these pictures align with the words before/after them. These are just some of my favorite pictures.

I thought it was pretty cool and a good introduction to our visit that the easiest way to get to the island from the airport was by boat.
I did not like that it cost 25pp for a roundtrip ticket to/from the island using the airport waterbus. First sign of how much things cost in Venice.
I liked that we stayed right by Rialto bridge, and although we did not have a view of a canal, we probably spent half of what the norm is for a hotel. Fine. By. Us.

I was not a fan of how many tourists were in the city (yes, I know I added to that number of tourists), and if I wanted to get away from them, it was practically impossible because I was trapped on this island. I'm betting the term tourist trap started in Venice.



I liked that Venice was really really quiet at night, and it was actually pretty dark.


I was not a fan of how one waterbus ride (aka vaporetto) cost €7pp.


However, I liked that one could purchase a vaporetto pass which allowed unlimited use over a certain amount of time.
I was not a fan of the lack of green space (we only saw one area that resembled a park), and that dogs have to go to the bathroom on the cobblestone ground in an alley and have nowhere to play.
I liked that there were wonderful temperatures and beautiful sunshine in March.

I thought the fog on our first day had an eerie vibe, but was totally fitting.





I loved that the sun set at the perfect angle on the grand canal.



I still don't know whether or not the seagull and his buddy were my friends.

I was not a fan of the fact that if I wanted to go for a jog, I would not be able to do so without getting lost in the alleys or dodging tourists or possibly stumbling into a canal.




I loved getting lost in the alleyways.



I loved walking along the canals.



I was not a fan of how ridiculously expensive a gondola ride was, which in my opinion looked like the complete opposite of romantic as gondoliers talked/yelled at other gondoliers while paddling... and a bajillion other gondolas surrounded you.


 {Since the three bridges that cross the Grand Canal are very far apart, a traghetto will take you from one side to the next for very little - during our stay, it was €0.70. It is also a cheap way to ride a gondola.}


I liked that the gondoliers didn't beg you to take a ride (well, most of them anyway).



I did not like that practically every.single.restaurant had a cover charge and trying to avoid the cover charge by eating cicchettis (Italian tapas) either left us with a big bill or still hungry.


I liked that the island did not flood during our visit, although it would have been cool to see the set up for when it is flooded.

I'd be scared to see how crowded the city is in the summertime.


I did laugh and giggle as people let the pigeons land all over them while in the main square.

I absolutely did not like the server at the not cheap restaurant who wore a hoodie with ripped jeans and had dreadlocked hair who told Luke "it is impolite to do 'that' in Venice" without giving any explanation as to what 'that' was... again, while he wore a hoodie with ripped jeans and had dreadlocks and looked like a complete bum in a pretty nice restaurant. So.So.Mad.
I was a huge fan of the old man in the wine shop who spoke no English, but figured it out enough to give me a liter of red wine for €3.50. It's what the locals do - fill up recycled wine bottles for very very cheap!
I did not like that the airport waterbus only picks up every 30 minutes, and if you missed the boat or the boat was too full to pick you up, you could possibly miss your flight. 


I did not like how the Venice airport ran security allowing only one person at a time to start putting their things on the conveyor belt at a time (literally holding the next person back with a gate) which resulted in us taking an hour to go thru security. And it did not help that Italians were cutting in line - I saw four people do this and about went ape-poo!
I loved how we walked away from our trip with a gazillion pictures to potentially hang on our walls.



I loved that we fell asleep in our beds back home feeling like we were still rocking in a boat.
I went to Venice with low expectations because I wanted to be surprised - I never want someone else's experience to affect mine. I most definitely did not love Venice, but I also did not dislike Venice. It really is such a unique place, and I would never tell someone to not go to Venice - unless of course I truly believe they would be miserable. What kept me alive during our 48 hours? The small alleys, the quiet canals at night, and Luke getting us lost after every fourth turn. Oh and that liter of wine :-)

If you have been to Venice, what were your thoughts?
If you haven't been to Venice, which do you feel I portrayed more in this most: that I did or didn't like Venice?

More posts from Venice: San Giorgio Maggiore and Burano

RANDOM FACT:
There are over 400 foot-bridges in Venice.

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