I could go on for days about how gorgeous Venetian masks are, and the Masquerade wedding that I am planning for myself (NO ONE STEAL MY IDEA..), but I reckon I should also share some information about visiting the city itself!
Upon arrival to Marco Polo airport in Venice...everything still seemed normal. I think I was secretly hoping that the entire airport was floating off of some sort of dock, like the rest of Venice. Haha but alas this is quite impractical and was not the case. Once we started walking toward the water taxis...and even more so once we'd boarded and made our way to the island of Venice, things seemed a bit surreal. There is water EVERYWHERE. In the distance I could make out the skyline of some buildings, but other than that. Water. Water water water. We could have been in the middle of the Atlantic ocean for all I knew. Good thing the water taxi ride was an hour long, I really needed some time for this abstract idea to settle into my head.
We finally docked and made our way toward the apartment. It was definitely chilly the entire time we were in Venice, a chill that rivaled that which we had felt in London. Undoubtedly, if we had gone to Venice at a later time in the year with warmer weather, I would have fallen in love with more than just the masks! Anyway, we had a nice route to traverse on the way to our apartment, a few bridges to cross, many restaurants and shops to pass. Our apartment itself was just...the EPITOME of cute. Adorable. mono, as they say here in Spain. I mean, wood-paneled beams on the ceiling, the cutest little kitchen and living room area, view from the windows overlooking some canals, just awesome. We were living in our own little cottage on some little island in the middle of the Adriatic Sea.
Back to real Venice. We purchased a city museum pass which granted us access to over 20 different museums around the city. The first location where we took advantage of this pass was the National Library (I think...) It was very pretty and we got our first taste of genuine Murano glass. So pretty! Sometimes garish, but always prettyyyyyyy.
We stopped at a local place to load up on carbs for lunch before continuing on in our explorations. I have to say, the food in Venice was the most enlightening of the three places we traveled. Not to say that it was necessarily the best food, but it was just so darn FULFILLING. So much genuine pizza (not the sauceless kind we got here in Spain...) so much hearty, oozing-with-flavor pasta. I made the solemn vow to not eat a meal in Italy unless it was comprised primarily of carbohydrates. Despite my struggles (LOL not), I'm proud to say I prevailed and achieved my goal.
That night we experienced Venice "night-life"...although it's about as lively as a retirement home afterhours. Haha okay that's probably a bit harsh, but really, there was only one plaza dedicated to night life, it seemed, and within this plaza I saw the youngest population of people since I'd arrive to Venice. This is something that struck me about Venice: the demographic of the tourists. Yes, I expected it to mostly be couples since Venice is known for its picturesque romantic atmosphere. I guess I didn't realize that along with the "mostly couples" demographic comes the "mostly older people" aspect to it. You aren't gonna see teenage or young twenty-something couples take a spur of the moment trip to Venice! Well, at least I didn't see any. So along with this demographic it makes sense that the young party scene is all but non-existent. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that Venice is the first European city I've been to that is this way!
|Intricate Murano Glass Sculpture|
I had a couple of hours before my own flight left, so I decided to dive back into the maze of Venice to find me a good ol' artisan-crafted mask! This was my first time venturing into the Venice abyss on my own. I am quite fortunate to have come out alive and in one piece...Dear LORD is it confusing.
|My Mask :D|
Anyway, as the story usually goes, I got lost on my way to this store and also on my way back to the apartment. The extra 20 minutes I gave myself to get back to the apartment, pick up my suitcase, and head to my boat was not nearly enough time. I sprinted to the apartment, tidied up as much as I could, sprinted back to the docks with my rolling suitcase making an unfortunately large amount of noise, ignoring the Italians who were definitely laughing me...only to arrive at the dock 3 min before my goal time!!...and see my boat to the airport sailing away. I was CERTAIN this was a mistake, this had to be the boat from the hour before, and it was just really delayed. As it turns out I read the times wrong (dangit Europe and your 24 hour time schedule! Although I really have no excuse for not being used to it by now...). I was trying to catch a boat around 7pm (19:00), but the time I had looked at and was trying to make was 17:06 (5:06pm). The boat I saw pull away had left at 18:59. The point of the story: I had to wait another hour for a boat to take me to the airport. Hmm, first excessive waiting for the bus in London, and now this. I totally brought this one upon myself, though. Luckily, I arrived to the airport and was able to get through check-in, security, and to my gate within 15 minutes. I had a fairly enjoyable flight back to Barcelona, where I then had to spend the night on a hard wooden bench before my flight to Santiago at 8am.
I cannot explain the relief I felt when I finally got back to my bed in Ourense. I had an aweeeeeeesome time traveling with Alex Kevin and Jill, I'm super happy that I got to experience all of these cities with them, and I definitely missed them as soon as they disappeared on that little boat over the horizon. I had probably the best New Years of my life, and an awesome birthday as well. I can't wait to see what the remaining 4 months of my time in Europe holds :)