Elissa and I reunited in the city of love to begin the first part of our adventure through Italy. It very much was an adventure the first night - she came in an hour after me and by the time we got ourselves sorted the last shuttle bus had left and we had no choice but to get a taxi to the local train station and then train in. Was a flat rate of 15 euros to the train station in the cab and a few euros for the train ticket itself. Shuttle wouldve only cost 7 euros. It all ran smoothly, got the waterbus from the train station and worked out the directions we had to the hostel. It was just super creepy wandering around Venice at night through the narrow alleyways. by the time we arrived at the hostel (Venice Gold), it was just after 1am and nobody was opening the door. The owner was not impressed with us and was a real dickhead about the whole thing. Oh yeah, coz I wanted to be wandering the alleys of Venice this late at night! Hated us for the rest of our stay. The hostel itself was clean and in a good location, but the atmosphere with such a dickhead present wasn't particularly pleasant.
Venice was beautiful! But definitely lacks in the activities department. Being on a budget, we don't want to waste our money going to copious amounts of small museumschurches we wont appreciate. It was also full of American families. I could see myself appreciating this place more on a family holiday or as a generic couple. Theres no doubt its a romantic place. But for two backpackers, it was a bit boring. But it was still a lovely way to start Italy and I liked the slow pace I've been craving. Couldn't have stayed for much longer though.
We spent our first day wandering around the city taking loads of photos. Checked out the major sites like Piazza San Marco, the Basilica Di San Marco (a chapel), and took the vaporetto (like a water bus) along the Grand Canal. Also wandered around the Rialto bridge area and it's surrounding markets, and had a spritz (red wine, soda water and something else with an olive) at a free standing bar. The next day, Thursday, we went for a run in the morning and then spent a few hours at the Lido, the beach. Predictably full of big Americans or European men in speedos. The late afternoon was spent on the trek to Florence via train.
The only thing I felt we missed out on in Venice was the gondola ride - but it's and 80 euro flat rate for a short trip and there's only 2 of us to share that. Just means I have an excuse to go back! Considering I've been living amongst canals for the past 5 months, I suppose the canals weren't as exciting/impressive to me anyway as a result.
As Elissa summed up well upon our leaving, "See ya Venice, you were too expensive".