Venice, Italy (9.24 – 9.26.09)

Venice… was strange. Beautiful, yet beautifully odd. Late on Thursday night, I arrived in Venezia Santa Lucia, and quickly had to find the bus station, where a shuttle would be waiting to leave for the Alba D’Oro Camping site promptly at 8:30. Upon arrival at the campsite, I stood in line for a good twenty minutes before it was my turn to check in. They informed me that they had given me an upgrade from a tent to a bungalow. I was relieved to hear this because the website had made it sound as though the bed I had booked was in some sort of bungalow anyway… I would have been completely unprepared to camp in a tent. I don’t have a bed roll or a sleeping bag, so, well… it would have been an experience to say the least. I found myself completely worn out, and unable to stay awake past 9 o’ clock. It would seem that I had really needed the rest, because I didn’t wake up until 9 the next morning.
After waking and dressing, I paid to use the internet… I HATE PAYING TO USE THE INTERNET… even if it was cheaper for me because I have my netbook, I still begrudge having to fork over cash to use a wifi connection. Enough whining. After my hour was up, I went to catch the bus into the center of Venice… and as I do all days, started walking in search of sights. I left the my view of the Canal Grande, and began getting lost, winding through countless small streets, and crossing some number of tiny bridges. This was the theme of the day, as I took in the beauty of the city. The streets are lined with shops selling exquisite Carnevale masks, and impressive Murano glass. I saw countless gorgeous preserved buildings, and churches, the finest of which was the church in San Rocco Square. I walked around for hours, in search of Piazza San Marco, which is the city’s main attraction. However, I got myself hopelessly lost, and unfortunately, was in a strange mood… so after several unsuccessful, yet hardly wasted, hours, I decided to backtrack to return to the bus station so that I might return to the camp site. By six, I was back at the site, and I decided that I was in need of internet and beer, both of which I soon enjoyed. The camp site had a pool, restaurant, bar, and a market… so I went to the store and bought a beer… I would later return for more five minutes before they closed. This sweet nectar repaired my mood and sent me soundly to bed.
Saturday morning came, and after another night of deep sleep, I woke at 9 o’ clock. I showered and packed my things once more, checked out of my room, and used the internet for another hour to ensure that all my plans were in order. I booked a hostel for Munich– Hello Oktoberfest!!! I also booked my hostel for Berlin, and with that, my internet expired, so I sat and waited for the bus to take me back to Venezia Santa Lucia.
Another long day of travel ahead and off to Salzburg I was.

1.downriver

The view down the Grand Canal at the beginning of the day.

2.downstreet

The view down a Venetian street

3.alley

One of countless tiny rivers, with gondolas at the ready

4.gondolas

Gondolas! I would have liked to take a ride in one, but they’re hella expensive, and you know, best enjoyed with company

5.lunch

I ate lunch at this restaurant– it was so cute! The Beatles’ “Love” played in the background the whole time while I ate.

6.church

The church in San Rocco Square

7.masks1

Carnevale masks!

8.masks

And more Carnevale masks! They were all so exquisite… I couldn’t resist! I bought one… it’s not one of the extremely ornate ones. I went for a smaller one that I could fit in my backpack without damaging.

9.upriver

The view up the Grand Canal at the end of the day.

Venice was really nice, and I’d definitely like to go again, prepared with a better map, next time though. Off to Salzburg!

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