Europe 2012 (vi) : Venice

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Off we went from Verona to Venice!
Somewhere along the journey the endless pieces of flat land and open concrete stations gave way to the sea. From the train window I could see the sunlight sparkling all over the blue water. 
From the train terminal we got down some steps and faced a giant canal in front of us. The ground was literally just like train station -> stairs -> landing -> water. It was so strange to see buildings that looked like they were built on water. There were boats cruising on the water and other boats tied up near the land that bobbed up and down. Eventually we got a water taxi, hauled our luggage up it, and set off for our hotel. 
When we arrived at our hotel, the boatman killed the boat engine and pointed us to a glass door to our left. He edged his boat as close as he could to the edge of the ledge, but we still had to jump up, lugging luggage (ha!) and all. I think it was also here that my mom lost her coat. The piece of ground that was our hotel 'porch' was barely one meter square. I just got off a boat on water to the entrance of my hotel. Okay.
A lot of the gondoliers didn't actually have any aura of mystical romance to them that one would expect them to have — probably an impression from overly romanticised films. In fact a lot of them were lolling about on their phones, texting while... rowing (?) and this guy in the photo below was practically running off the walls to prevent his gondola from scraping against the them. Shortly after I snapped this photo of him pushing himself off the walls he turned around to me, smiled and winked and I was like ?????????? 
I think it goes without saying that Venice is gorgeous. It's full of back alleys and new streets to discover, complete with twisting canals coiling around the entire city, and so much history too (Social Studies in practice!) The odd arches that you see at the bottom of buildings were actually like a garage for people's trading boats, for them to trade and "build Venice into a maritime trade centre" hahaha
The Bridge of Sighs — the bridge that linked the prison to the interrogation room. It is where the prisoners of Venice, after convicted, saw their last view of Venice. It's called the Bridge of Sighs because the convicts would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice before heading down into their prison cells. Apparently so, anyway.
This couple was dancing on the dock in the sunlight
The many, many Venetian masks stalls that were scattered all around the city. I remember in one of the shops one saleslady was really friendly and talking to all of the tourists. She asked us where we were from and said, "the real Venetian masks are made of papier mache and have this certification on them. The ones that don't, are probably made in a country very near to you, if you know what I mean."
We had coffee at a cafe by the Grand Canal at sunset and enjoyed the view of gondoliers milling about and pink lamp posts!
This was my profile picture for the LONGEST time
And then we bid farewell to Venice and took our final train to Rome


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