After a couple more mishaps at the airport finding flights out of Hungary, we finally bought our direct flights to Venice. We each spent way more than 100 euros for the flight but not enough to regret not taking the train. The airport in Budapest is surprisingly a pleasant place. There’s free internet and many dining places.
At 7:00p.m. we touched down Venice Marco Polo airport. The girls and I said our goodbyes and arranged to have coffee in Rome, our next destination after Venice. We also promised to keep in touch and visit each other’s city.
The moment I stepped off the bus that brought me to Piazzale Roma, the center, I was mesmerized. Venice is so beautiful with the lights, the canal, the boats, the bridges. I felt really lighthearted as if already had 2 glasses of wine. I was smiling despite having to lug my 18kg luggage, 3kg backpack, my handbag up 3 arc bridges. I had to stop a few to admire the beautiful night scene, take photos even only with an iPhone.
When I got to my hostel in Venice, a really nice one with a view of the Grand Canal from the window, I learned that my booking was cancelled. You see, while we were held at Gyékényes, I emailed them if it’s possible to cancel booking and not be charged. But when we’re in the airport, I called to say disregard the email because I arrive the same day after all by plane. But the guy who took the call didn’t inform the guy who runs the hostel. Luckily there’s a space for the night, but none for the next day.
It was a potential disaster but the guy who runs the hostel was great. He was not defensive nor try to force in my face that it was my fault. He was friendly and empathizing and told me to relax for the night, we find something tomorrow.
Isn’t it so much nicer to take bad news when we’re nice, friendly, and civilized? It’s really a nice welcome to Italy.
Venice is really one of the most unique places in the world. It’s built on 117 small islands connected by 409 bridges. Instead of having cars, people have boats. Water taxi and water metro in place of our land version. But the main mode of transport in exploring the city will be your feet.
Venice is a labyrinth town that kind of reminded me of Jerusalem. The free tourist map that I had was not so detailed so I find myself lost a lot of times, but it’s a city to get lost in because every corner is camera worthy.
The old houses have beautiful ornamented windows and doors. There are little bridges over little canals with gondola crossing. You find little cafes in little piazzas; small churches or grotto of the virgin mary; fountain where you refill your bottle; there are passages between 2 buildings that are so narrow you can’t pass through if you had one too many pizza. It’s all very quaint and lovely.
I did get to some of the popular attractions like the Campo San Marco, Palazzo Ducale, Ponte di Rialto, Mercato. I’ve indulged in gelatos, campari, and pizza while watching the tourists in gondolas and other spectacles in the center.
Venice, as beautiful as it is, by the end of the day, I felt like I had enough of it. It’s not really a place for solo traveler. It’s not like some cities where you meet people and go pub-crawling. For one, everything is exorbitant. It’s a giant theme park cum shopping mall. I see it as a place for family or good friends holiday, weekend getaway for lovers, or even honeymoon. It’s where you sit around, sip wine, and watch people. Or go shopping in the many expensive European name brands. I actually thought of my sisters, and then quickly dismissed it because they couldn’t, wouldn’t want to do extensive walking around.
Might as well, I have no room for the night in the hostel, but as I said, the customer service in this one is exceptional. They offered me my own apartment for just 7euros more than what I have to pay for a bed. I would have taken it as I won’t mind staying another night but I also received an invitation to Verona, about 7.5 euros and 1.5 hours away by train.