July 30, 2012

Venice – Spoiled with Travel

When you can travel to 3 different countries in 3 weeks, I think you’re spoiled with travel, and sadly, you probably won’t appreciate how amazing that really is… it’s probably a good time to take a break ;p

Day 1

More trips! I was off to Venice with flatmates and Ernie the weekend after Amsterdam. Except this time I got sick the day before flight, and I had tons of work to catch up on, so in the end I only had about 3 hours of sleep ;/ but the flight was cheap (~£80 round trip?) so, what the hell, all worth it! We got a taxi to the airport at around 330 am to Stansted, and it was so busy! People everywhere, shopping eating drinking (for breakfast?), there was barely any empty seats. Flight to Venice was about 2 hours, I felt like crap still and slept on and off during the flight. We had to take a bus into Venice, and it was so freakin hot, which was awesome, but not, because I was sick… worst. We found our hostel next to an underwear shop, seemed to be the only place with other Asians lol.

Started the touristing with a walk towards the Rialto Bridge, we stopped at some bakery and ate a tasty margherita pizza tart thing. We also stopped at a hidden restaurant called Allo something and had declious Italian tapas and wine. The odd thing in Venice (maybe all of Italy?) was that usually you just stand and eat, even if it was at a restaurant, if you sat down anywhere there would be service charge.

Walked around more and ended up at San Marco square. It was massive! And I found the Palazzo! Lol, we went inside some church, and then sat down at some random tourist pub to have some bellini, cause apparebtly it’s where it was invented. After we went up to Palazzo tower or whatever the real name is. Everyone was super tired from lack of sleep so we walked back towards our hostel. I ate Mcdonalds (get it over with on the first day), and then we stopped by a supermarket and bought prosciutto salame and bread for dinner (dinner #2 for me). Went by the canal, enjoyed dinner and the scenery before we called it a day.

Day 2

Our plan was to start the day at the Rialto market. The market wasn’t massive or anything, but I saw many seafood – squids, scallops, and octopus everything, even a giant swordfish head. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies too but no actual food. I was a bit disappointed and hungry, and I stumbled upon this tiny cafe on the side, saw locals eating tiny sandwiches and having spritz. So I did too. Standing on the street, having a drink at 11am while like an Italian.

We went on a boat trip to Burano afterwards, it’s famous for its pretty scenery. It was a tiny quiet town with many pantone color houses, quite lovely. Took some random jumping pictures and then we are off to another island Murano, which is famous for its glassmaking. We saw best glass blowing demo – the master glass blower made a vase and horse within a few minutes, and then he looked angry and left. Few minutes later, while this other guy was explaining more about glass blowing, the horse’s head fell off, and… The guy ended the demo after. #owned. We found another grocery in town and bought lunch there, I had half of chicken and beer for 3.60 euros. Best cheap meal.

We went back to Venice, stopped by another gelato place recommended by Ernie. It was super cheap! 3 scoops price was like 2 scoops everywhere else, and we also ordered this aperol drink, which I think was a variation of spritz. It tasted just as bad, and we had to down it cause we couldn’t sit at the tables cause we had take away. After chugging down gelato and alcohol, we walked along the water trying to get to San Marco – we needed to cross the Grand Canal but there was no bridge to get us across, randomly found some giant church where I almost did some cartwheels, a naked statue with some guy holding a frog, and the Guggenheim. But we still couldnt get across, so we gave up and ended up eating a late dinner at random tourist restaurant. We tried squid ink spaghetti and some other squid ink cuttlefish dish, I was not a fan, but at least I tried.

Day 3

Last day Venice, and we only had about half day. The only thing left to do really was to ride in the gondola. I ate this crazy nutella sticks snack for breakfast, it even came with tea, but it was only adequate. We went down to San Marco to take the gondola, it was 120 euros for 40 min! Damn tourist price, but it’s like… THE Venice thing to do, so we had to do it. Our boat guy was called Victorino (I think that was his name), he took us to see Marco Polo’s and Casanova’s house, then he called Casanova cause I was with 3 girls, he didn’t like to talk about himself but still a cool guy. After I went people watching by water while the girls go to Doge palace. I sat down at a super expensive tourist cafe (11 euros for a beer!), and took people watching up a notch and started to take random photos of people walking by (people watch+)… Then I felt really creepy and stopped lol.

We were lucky enough to catch a delayed train to Verona when leaving Venice. We wanted to chill in first class cabin cause it was quite empty, but we moved all the way to end anyway – if I had no shame I would though. We arrived at Verona in about 1.5 hours and took the bus into town. They had the worst bus ticket system – it was like a super slow self serve vending machine that didnt give change. It took like 5+ min just to buy tickets. When we arrived at our Airbnb place, we met a hilarious host; it was more like a small bed and breakfast hotel, and I was told to sleep on this tiny single bed when there’s a giant double bed next to me, but whatever, it was only for 1 night. We dropped off everything and walked around city – churches, bridges, squares, everything looked so old lol. Went by Juliet balcony, there was a million people taking pics, a million locks by the gate, a million love messages and gums on the wall too. We had dinner at a restaurant recommended by host on the hill, sat on balcony, it was really nice. We had delicious bubbly house wine, ate awesome pasta, while the crazy resto owner walked around chatting and singing to people.

Day 4

Wondered around town to see rest of the stuff, climbed to the top of the hill and saw some nice view of Verona. Ate more gelato for post breakfast dessert, and stopped at some random delicious pizza shop for lunch – they had these deep fried crab cake thing on crab leg for 50 cents, it was soooo good, I should’ve bought 10. We went to castle and took pictures on bridge, and the dumbest thing of the whole trip was, I almost dropped Ernie’s D60, but crisis averted I held on to it. We went to arena afterwards, they got like a mini coliseum where they do opera and stuff, I wanted to be gladiator inside but it was actually filled with seats, still pretty cool though. That was pretty much the end of the trip for me, the girls went into Juliet’s museum as their last thing but I didn’t even bother, then it was off to the airport to fly home.

Stats

  • Number of gelato flavors tried – 17 (Creme de la grom – egg milk biscuit chocolate chips, Peche chocolate amaretto, Apricot, Granite sicilian almond, Raspberry, Tiramisu, Torronita, Hazelnut, Lemon, Mango, Bacio, Mango – way better than the first one, Pompelmo, Salted caramel, Yogurt and apricot, Milk, Honey sesame)
  • Espressos ordered – 4
  • New memorable food – mini Italian sandwiches, deep fried calzone (let’s make it more unhealthy)
  • Most tanned body part – my feet

Would I go back?

Hmm… maybe, but like… these 2 cities seems like somewhere you take your significant others to, so guess maybe one day? Honestly to say, I thought Amsterdam was prettier for a canal city, but Venice definitely has its own charm, since it wasn’t a big city, randomly walking around and getting lost was actually quite nice. Though I’d probably spend half day less in Venice, and not go in the summer, cause it’s like, the MOST TOURISTY city you can visit. Verona was a lot cooler than I expected, probably because I expected nothing from it lol.

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