It was a 4 hour train ride from Monterosso to Venice in which I mostly read. The snack cart came by once and I bought a sandwich, but I wish I would have bought more because by the time I arrived in Venice at 6pm I was famished. I had tried to also get a faro salad, but accidentally ordered one with shrimp in it. I hopped off the train and walked a short distance to the water taxis. Venice looked exactly as I had expected it! I’ve been close to the waters edge before, but it’s different with canals because you’re at the same level as the water if that makes any sense. It’s not a slow decent to a beach or a walk out on the the dock, but just sidewalk and then water. I bought an unlimited water taxi card since my hostel is on the island of Guidecca, not the main island. They gave me the student rate for some reason though, so only had to pay 25 Euros.
I ended up ordering a cauliflower dish just because I wanted to be healthy and then sat at a table next to some others. It turned out they were here for a study abroad program. I didn’t necessarily want to crash the college kids party so instead I wandered to a nearby rooftop bar at the Hilton because the 5 days of hiking and solitude had be craving socialization. I got into the rooftop party for free, honestly probably because I was by myself, or maybe they thought I was staying there. I stood at a high top for a while and enjoyed the dj, he was playing the best songs. Eventually I struck up a conversation with another group of girls there who invited me to join them. They were also here for studying abroad (from UK, USA, and NZ) and were a lot of fun so I stuck with them.
The next day I woke up, definitely tired from the night before, but was I glad to see the forecast of rain was wrong. It was beautiful out so I decided to try and pack in as much as I could today (good thing too, because I write this from my hostel as it pours rain on my second day). First, I took the water taxi to Murano. This island is known for their glass creations, and I’m weirdly obsessed with glass blowing. I enjoyed a slow stroll through the town, popping into store after store of different glass creations. There was this one vase that I absolutely fell in love with, but soon discovered that it was 7,000 Euros… Instead, I opted for some glass wine stoppers and dice. I made a pretty big loop of the island, so I next went to the main island. I stopped and had some gnocchi in a quiet restaurant in a square, then just continued to walk, sometimes hitting dead ends and having to turn around.
At one point I took a gondola ride, and while it was relaxing, I truthfully could have gone without it. He told me two tidbits of information about what we were passing, but otherwise it was just a 30 minute boat ride. I kept walking and stumbled into a high fashion area. The fashion area was the most surprising to me today. I hadn’t expected to walk through these small streets and come by all these big name stores. I stopped into a few to browse but didn’t buy anything. There was also a store that sold wax envelope seals with your initials, which I thought was cool, but also know those can be trouble with the post office.
A lot of their museums in Venice are in old churches, so I stopped into one that was free, a museum of music. It was a bunch of old instruments that have been played by famous musicians. I kept going and passed many more stores selling Venetian masks, glass, leather gloves, hats and much more. Eventually walking the maze of the city across to the other side of the island where I took a water taxi home.
On Monday I woke up to rain, so did some things on my computer while having breakfast and waiting for it to stop. Eventually it did and so I went over to the main island again, this time to check out some other areas I hadn’t seen yet. I passed through Piazza San Marco, saw Saint Mark’s Basilica (I liked the statues of the lion with wings because that was my grade school mascot), and Doge’s place. I didn’t go inside any of them because the lines were quite long.
I felt like I didn’t want to explore anymore so instead I went and found a gym and got a good workout in. I switched rooms when I got back and I started talking to this girl from Canada. We were going to go to dinner but ended up meeting some other people in the common area so instead just ordered food from the hostel ( I had horrible nachos and Katie had fries…with 6 packets of mayo). At one point, I got some more cardio in when I had to run someones sunglasses that he left behind when he left for the airport.
We sat and talked for awhile and eventually people kept joining us. It turned into a very eclectic group.. One guy liked to tell very odd jokes which we knew so secretly egged him on. Another woman whom called herself grandma would cheers every now and then and say “Ciao-Main”, and others seemed like they had a bit too much Red Bull. I liked my original group a lot so I was bummed to be leaving the next day as they all planned to go to Burano together
On a side note, the walls were very thing between the large dorms (mine had 15 beds) and I heard the “grandma” in the room next to me finally come up to bed and announce to everyone that she “didn’t want to scare anyone, but she’s changing into her pajamas so wanted to warn everyone”. I laughed to myself and then put my headphones in.