Saturday, May 1, 2010

Venenzia

After Tiramisu that morning and drinking tea with Giulio drove me to the train station.  I hopped on the train to Venice at 10:35am and the when the ticket man came around he said that it was a 50 euro fine for not having my euro rail pass signed and 18 euros instead of 10 for not getting the reservation at the station, but he said everything was crazy because of the volcano that he wouldn't charge me.  Well, he only charged me 10 euros for the reservation.

Tom, the guy I was supposed to stay with in venice apparently a total creep.  Giulio told me around 50 out of his 500 couch surfers that he has hosted that have stayed with Tom said its a horrible experience with him because is surch a perv.  He is said to hang all over girls and he won't stop even if you say no. Therefore, I took the safe advice in my gut and I didn't meet up with him.  I actually didn't mean to, but I missed the train station stop I was supposed to get off at. I was to stop at Mestre Station before the actually city of Venice, but I ended up going all the way to the little island. Because I didn't have a phone, I couldn't tell Tom that I missed the stop. I went to an internet café, and I found an ugly email from him, but I responded and said I was sorry, but my plans changed. I decided just to spend the day in Venice alone!
I bought a new backpack for 15 euros because my sad little backpack was about to die.  After i crossed this bridge I asked a gondolier if I could take his picture.  He said it was much better if I was in the picture with him and he asked someone in Italian to take it for me.  I asked Victorio how much the gondola ride would cost and he said if I came back at 6:30 he would give me a ride for free. I was ecstatic! I was trying to find a coffee shop to sit down, have some coffee, read my map, and transfer everything from my old backpack to my new one, but it was too hard to fine one that would let me sit down without ordering food let alone alone just coffee.  I finally found a place where I could read my map and drink a cappuccino for a whopping 3.95 euros. So expensive.  All over Venice there are stage looking platforms in stacks, but really they are an alternative sidewalk when the water rises and floods the streets.

I sat down on one of them and put everything into my new Italian bag. When I was finished I ran into these two men, Stephen, 55, and Jeff, 43.  I could tell they were American so I asked where they were from. I actually said, "Where y'all from," emphasizing the Texan accent.  "North Carolina."  They were on a business trip.  They asked if I'd like to join them walking to Piazza Marcus with them, and I gladly accepted.

I told them about my backpack and as I was putting it in the trash can, they said someone might want it, so I went to set it on one of the platforms and Jeff decided he needed it for his souvenirs. It was perfect! Jess was entertaining as he looked into every single window of each store and bought several random souvenirs for his family.  I was able to get some good talking time in with Stephen though.  He told e his daughter who just graduated from Ole Miss and is now living in New York is a Pi Phi as well! On the way, Jeff bought me an espresso shot and bought us all Persian chocolates... they had hazelnut and I thought I was going to die they were so delicious.

In the Piazza, we sat down beside a live band, and they ordered a special drink kind of like sparking champagne for all of us. It was called Spritz.

They each had two and I just kept it at a polite one glass. The tapas, or small bite size snacks, provided included croutons with olive oil and garlic, two kinds of chips, and another bit size snack.  The bill totaled up to 70 euros!!!  I about peed my pants, but I still asked how much I owed.  Stephen said not to worry about it, that it was on him.

Jeff came up with the idea that Victorio might let them come a long for the free ride, but Jeff actually kept insisting that I be smart about taking a free right and really just wanted to make sure I was going to be safe.   We walked all the way back up the Guglie Bridge for 40 minutes and found Victorio.  I was able to ride in a gondola!!! Something I never thought I'd get to do! And even more, I rode for free with two friends!!! The day was spectacular!

2 comments:

Mom said...

Awwww.... your backpack buddy bit it :-( If only it could talk - the stories it would share! This sounded like a great day!

robin. said...

LOVE your pictures of venice! They make me incredibly jealous, and spritz's are the best drink there!