We found the bus stop and waited around for a very long time for the bus to come and take us to our campground outside of Venice. There was a very large group going, and we got to talking to a lot of them. We found two guys from University of Michigan and amazingly, one of them knew a girl I went to high school with. He worked for her dad, in fact. It was pretty bizarre.
The campground was nice, but it seemed like most people only socialized with the people they came with. They were all about 5 or 6 years older than us, too. We put our stuff in our 2-person tent and then took the bus back to Venice. Walking around the city was so much fun. The plaza del San Marco was huge and there were about a million pigeons flying around. Becky has a major fear of pigeons, so you can imagine her reaction. I must admit, it was kind of funny seeing her running frantically whenever a bird landed near her.
The Basilica de San Marco was so different than the other churches we've seen so far. It's covered in mosaic tiles and all the columns are made out of different materials than the ones next to it. We also hit a museum which use to house the mayor. Somewhat interesting.
Venice is certainly a unique place. We didn't get to ride a gondala, but we got to see them and watch the people who did have a ton of money to blow ride them. But all the bridges and canals and buildings ... the whole city is spectacular.
We got back to the campground and discovered they were having a toga party. We met a girl named Hollie who was pretty funny.
So now, what I learned from Venice:
-Gondalas are way too expensive.
-Check your bags at the train station so you don't have to take them all the way to the campground and then go back into Venice.
-Campground shuttles are generally late and take a long time to get into the city.
-Camping is a cheap alternative to hostels, but the environment is totally different. You basically need to go with a lot of friends if you want to socialize.
-Check the compass more often than you think you need to.
-Use the Eurail timetable. It's very precise.
-It's a small world after all.
-Venice is very touristy. There isn't a lot of local culture that isn't pre-fabricated for tourists.
-Rent "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset." The lady on the train told us to. It takes place in Vienna.
-Bring your own toilet paper and soap or hand sanitizer to campgrounds.