A Travellerspoint blog

Day 1: Lost in Venice

16 April 2016

sunny 20 °C

Venice – Day 1 – 16th April 2016

Several people said the most exciting feeling of travel is the drive to the airport; the last step after the months of planning before the actual adventure begins. Quite true. A relatively normal, uneventful day otherwise, of work and packing, and repacking, and popping a few extra things in the bags, then taking a few more out… wash, rinse, repeat. The nerves mixed with excitement and elation, but played out in a rather calm demeanour, to the point where I could quite happily have stayed home a little longer to finish Pride and Prejudice.

And the next minute, I was on the plane! Not much to report there. The first leg from Perth to Doha, about 11 hours, was overnight and I thankfully slept about 8 of those hours with the help of a red vino and a couple of Kwells. Then a very short transit for the last leg, which almost didn’t happen on account of the incredibly long, vicious, crowd at the security point. My goodness, people are ruthless when you pop in the likelihood of missing a connecting flight. With only a few minutes to spare, I was thankfully not one of those to miss the flight, although I did have to run at [what I consider] full pelt to make it through the kilometre of Doha terminal (very futuristic, mind you, with driverless, silent monorails being tested to cover the expansive maze of gates and shops).

The second leg, Doha to Venice [Venezia!], was quicker than anticipated at 5 hours. And with a 2 hour nap thrown in, several attempts at getting engrossed in a movie and a delightful conversation with an Italian gentleman who was in Singapore to showcase his patisserie and gelato making tools, we were landing at Marco Polo in no time.

Flying in over Venice is incredible, and I’m still amazed at the picturesque, tiny town compressed with building upon building and tiny narrow canals and walkways I could see from the sky. So much smaller than I’d imagined, for some reason.

Venice is the one city on my itinerary where I’ve genuinely worried about the ease of getting to my accommodation from the airport, given the amount of luggage, the rumours of not being able to drag it on the cobblestone, the combination of road/train/water bus, and the knowledge that almost everyone gets lost in this labyrinth of a city. But, assuage your fears my friends, it was incredibly simple! The ATVO shuttle bus from the airport to the train station in Venice, costing €8, was waiting out the front of the airport exit, with tickets easily purchased at machines in the airport baggage collection. Transferring from the bus to the water bus also quite simple, with a quick detour to purchase a 72 hour water bus pass with unlimited access to any transport in that time for €40. Sounds expensive, but a couple of individual trips soon adds up! Last stop of the number 2 vaporetto and I was at the St Mark’s Square stop, and only a 3 minute walk from my hostel (yes, I’m braving the hostel to save some pennies…for wine…).
I can’t get over the reality of being here. Instantly intriguing, with a perfect sunny day showcasing the colour and feel of the place. I spent the entire afternoon getting intentionally lost, wandering purposefully in no real direction, marvelling at the little canals, bridges, people, languages, architecture. One turn takes me into a small square with a few cafes, and a man playing ‘What a Wonderful World’ on a saxophone while kids kick a soccer ball around greets me. A quick macchiato perks me up a little…until the €3 payment! But I have since learnt that if you stand at the bar of the café to drink it, it’s about half the cost compared to sitting at a table. Duly noted.
Dinner was a simple Caprese salad of fresh tomato and buffalo mozzarella drizzled with olive oil and herbs, accompanied by a glass of red…which was kindly refilled for no real reason by the waiter, from a local region. More wandering landed me at a gelato bar under the guise of asking for directions…walking out of there with Bacio (hazelnut) and a somewhat better understanding that I was precisely lost.

Daily summary:
Hours on plane – 16
Glasses of wine consumed – 4
Gelato consumed – 1
Pasta consumed – 0
Pizzas consumed – 0
Hours spent lost in Venice – 3
Euros spent on coffee - €3

First time seeing the canals of Venice – priceless!

Posted by jenniferhall 10:22 Archived in Italy Tagged canals venice flight italy venezia getting_lost casanova naptime caprese_salad

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.