Continued from Rome day 4.
I know it says Venice Day 1 Part 1, but I’ve got just a few pictures left from Rome first. Dinner bought at the local grocery store.
Checked out of my hotel in the morning and started walking towards the train terminal to catch a train to Venice.
I love these old school boards that have letters that flap to change the texts. You can see it at work here. The noise that they make is so nostalgic. Also note that many of the trains are late. At all the other train stations that I’ve ever been to, I don’t remember seeing this many late trains.
Lucky me, my train shows up right on time and it’s actually a nice modern high speed train. All the other trains in the station looked like the other train on the left. Italy definitely has some of the crappiest trains that I’ve seen in Europe.
When I found my seat, there was already a guy sitting there….I figured he had the aisle seat and was just sitting at the window seat, which was mine. Oh well, I didn’t want to make him move so I decided to just sit in the aisle seat. A few minutes later, another guy came by and asked if I had tickets for my seat because I was in his seat. OK….I asked the guy who was in my window seat if he had the aisle seat, but he said that he had the window. Wait, if he’s got the window, and I’ve got the window? We pulled out our tickets to compared and sure enough, both seats were the same. People around us started saying that it’s not unheard of for the Italian trains to accidentally double book the seats. Crap! Then I looked more closely and saw the error. He had booked his ticket for October instead of September! He was a month early for his train. Doh! Poor guy had to get off the train in shame and now can’t get to his destination on time.
During the 4 hour ride, I had many different seat mates since they would get off at different stations and someone else would take his/her spot. Through talking to them, I found out that the train worker’s union were actually on strike today. They had announced the strike just literally last night and had caused many of the local trains to be cancelled. Many people showed up to the train stations today only to find out that their train had been cancelled out of the blue. My train was jam packed the entire ride because so many riders of the slower/cheaper local trains had to buy tickets last minute at the terminal to move onto my faster train. I dodged a bullet in that my train was not cancelled. I would have been pissed and hugely inconvenienced if my train had been cancelled.
Here she is, Venice in all of her glory!!! No, I did not insert an incorrect photo. Venice is so very touristy and commercialized that almost every single interior street is filled from start to finish with shops selling apparel. If I were to describe Venice in one sentence, I would say that it’s a huge shopping mall with some water in and around it.
Got to buy a ferry ticket to get to my hotel. 33 Euros for a 3 day pass. Steep. I was instantly surrounded by voices with American accents. I feel like Venice is filled with a lot more Americans than Rome.
Taken after I literally got off the ferry. I believe I am supposed to go under that building and make a couple of turns to get to the hotel. I will meet 5 friends here who were supposed to fly in from the US at around the same time that my train gets in. The friends are EF and AB, my good friends from Austin, AB’s brother and a couple of his friends.
I came out of the tunnel in the previous picture and then I hear people yelling out my name!! Look, my friends are here already and they ran into me by randomly wandering through the streets of Venice. What a great start to Venice! I took the above photo literally the moment they saw me. Great surprise for all of us.
After checking into my room, we all went out in search of lunch.
After lunch, we decided to just wander through the small irregular maze like streets of Venice and hit up a few sights.
Many small narrow streets here in Venice. Autos are not allowed on Venice. And really, the streets are not drivable anyway. There are no bikes or mopeds either because of all the pedestrians, bridges and steps. All the transportation around here is done by foot or boat traffic.
While hanging out on top of the tower taking in the amazing view, out of no where, this sound of ringing engulfs us. Oh yeah, the bells most definitely do still work very well. What a cool experience to hear the bells while being so close.
I love taking in cities from a vantage point. Definitely one of my favorite things to do as a traveler.
Back on the ground in St. Mark’s Square. Lots of pigeons here. I had a strong urge to run through the flock of pigeons and make them all take flight. That would make an awesome photo, but many people might be mad when the pigeons start pooping after initial flight.
Why is it Scarlett Johansson and not some Italian actress on this ad? Well, this place is totally filled to the top with Americans so there are no Italians here to actually see this ad. Walking through Venice is like walking through an American mall. You hear English all around you.
It was a very small bar inside and frankly, didn’t seem anything special other than its historic significance. Giuseppe Cipriani started Harry’s Bar and then the whole Cipriani brand of restaurants all over the world.
After looking around, you’ll see that everyone is drinking the same pinkish drink here. Everyone drinks a Bellini here because Cipriani invented that mixed drink here. Of course I had to get one, and Harry’s Bar knows that. Ladies and Gentlemen, you are looking at a 19 Euro drink. With tip that translates into a $28 dollar drink. I just bent over, lube free and grabbed my ankles willingly for this damn drink! I’ve never had a Bellini before in my life so I don’t even have anything to compare it to. Despite that, I am sure it tastes almost like every other Bellini that I’ll have in my life.
After Harry’s we wandered through the streets of Venice back to our hotel to allow our rear ends to heal.
How a Venetian dog takes a piss. Yup, just the same as all other dogs around the world. There were many dogs that would walk through the streets of Venice with no owners around. They all had tags on them so they weren’t strays, but I guess since we are on an island, they can’t really go anywhere. I’d be afraid of one of them being stolen by one of the tourists though.
To be continued at Venice Day 1 Part 2.