My time in venice was very short, but it packed quite a punch! I flew in around 1:30pm and took a shuttle bus to the train station, which was a five minute walk from my hostel. I went to unload my things and set back out to the city centre as to not waste a half day. I got to the station and i didnt have enough euro to buy a round trip to the centre and back and they didnt accept cards. I was actually 0.01 euro short, and the man was pretty rude and turned me away, and i stomped off. (Looking back now, i could have bought from a machine, but i wasnt sure what to get, or i could have bought just a ticket to get there. I guess i wasnt thinking completely clearly at the time.) I also could not find an atm at the station. I became frustrated and went into the mcdonalds in the station to try and get wifi to assist me on my phone. I was also a little overwhelmed because i didnt have anything set up for venice... I have lists of things for each place but no accommodations etc, which is normal for a lot of people, but not yet for me.
So im at the station sitting a little teary eyed, and i look over and see a dude to my left who i believe will speak english. But i dont ask him anything. He starts to turn around and i see I KNOW HIM. It was ryan from my scotland highland tour! I say, Ryan? He doesnt respond. So i kinda yell Ryan?!!! And he looks at me and we are both dumbstruck for a few seconds. And this guy basically saved my sanity in Venice. I told him my story and ryan actually gave me a fiver so i could get my the train! Then we kept catching up on life since scotland, and we had a beer, then we just decided to keep hanging out for the rest of the day. We did make it to venice that via boat, and ate dinner, which was good cause id become pretty delerious by then. Carnivale just started that day i believe, so we picked up a couple masks seen here:
After walking around for a while we headed back to his hostel, which is basically like lilac resort but a winter version-- no snow but a under-construction pool and hot tubs. We joined the rest of his tour group at the bar and danced like maniacs then went to bed in chilly little shacks.
The next day i took a too expensive cab ride to my hostel to get my shit in order and headed out to the city. It actually took me so long because i went for a bite to eat, then i went back to my hostel cause i thought i left my train tickets there (i didnt, but a chance to take off my too warm clothes), then i tried to get a sim card for my phone, which ive been waiting for all trip ( yay google maps!) but when i put it in, it said sim card locked. Im pretty choked cause i definitely unlocked my phone before i left, and the sim card i used didnt work. Goodbye 40 euros! I never knew ye.
Anyways, i finally got the train to venice, walked out of the station, and my eyes were in heaven. Its crazy to see something so iconic in person! Venice looks so different in the light of day. I didnt have many plans for the city but to look around and try to find the Peggy Guggenheim museum, which is located in her home and garden where she lived for the last 30 years of her life. She amassed so many amazing works! Peggy seemed like a really cool lady as well... They had some pictures of her throughout. Very spunky. A beautiful estate too!
Her custom-made headboard
After the gallery i headed to Piazza San Marco, a very popular area for tourists and an entertaining area. The basilica was half covered in scaffolding for construction so it wasnt the greatest view. Since its Carnivale there were a tonne of people wearing masks and some in full costume (whom im told are paid by the city to walk and take pictures with people) so i took a break there for a while. I was ready to head back to my hostel, but it was still an intense hike back to the train station. At one point someone showered confetti over me (this made me really happy actually, and some fell out of my shirt later that night:) and at another point i helped a family get a stroller over a bridge (probably not the best city for a stroller?) I stopped for a few groceries (bad idea?) and eventually made it back in one piece to my hostel.
I spent the rest of the night planning my next stop in florence, and decided i was going to take a load off and stay until at least saturday before heading to Rome. I shared the common room with four 18 year olds from Czech Republic who were making it their mission to drink a shit tonne. I went for dinner with a couple people from my hostel and these guys were drinking, and when we got back two of them had passed out on the couches, then one of them woke up and they continued chugging bottles of wine. Then the last one woke up after about an hour and kept going. A couple of them were actually kinda funny, but maybe i was just tired. Who knows!
Some were surprised to hear i only had a day and a half in venice, but i feel it was all the time i needed to get the general sense of the city. After walking across another bridge and past another leather shop or mask shop, i had the idea. Venice is a really beautiful city, and im so glad i got to see it! If i'd stayed longer it probably would have been to sit in a cafe for a few hours and luxuriate! I cant say i get uber excited seeing church after church and museum after museum, so i dont feel like im at a loss when i skip some. I like wandering and finding what i find :)
I took off via train at 8:30 am the next morning for Florence. Ciao Venice!