11 January 2017

48 Hours In Venice

48 Hours In Venice

Location: Venice, Veneto, Italy

Venice had been on my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember. When I was little, one of my Aunties visited and brought back for me a fan and a traditional mask. For years I owned these little trinkets but didn't make any connection, they were just little foreign souvenirs, but when I was older I started to see Venice on pictures and in films and I knew that one day I wanted to visit. When I and my boyfriend started planning the places we wanted to go to on our interrailing trip, we decided Italy would have to be on the map. After visiting the beautiful Vienna in Austria, our next stop was Venice for the weekend, staying on a campsite.

Venice

Friday: Day One
We arrived in Venice sometime on a Friday, it's so hazy looking back - wandering around cities getting lost and jumping on trains as and when you please leaves you pretty disorientated, but I know we arrived on a busy Friday during the day. When we got out of the train station, we purchased huge tasty baguettes and sat on the steps outside trying to take it all in. I remember it was sunny and hot, and right in front of me just a few feet away was the edge of the pavement meeting the edge of the water. Instead of cars, there were an array of boats, and it was completely surreal. Venice was even better than I'd imagined.

The Crooked Houses

After a wander around and a look at the boats whizzing past, we decided we'd better get to our hostel. We were on a backpacker's budget, preferring to spend our money on good food and sight-seeing rather than luxury accommodation, and we'd found a hostel on a campsite just a half hour bus ride away from the city. After finding the city centre bus station, we hopped on our bus hoping for the best, vaguely knowing what stop to get off at. A few other travellers were in the same position, and we got off the road to find that it was actually more like a motorway leading out of the city. We saw a roadside restaurant with some waiters stood outside, so we crossed and asked them how far down the place was. "Keep walking...yes...quite far" one of them took a drag of a cigarette,  "keep going it's...on the right. You'll see it". With a heavy rucksack on my back and the sun beating down, plus the waiters jokingly telling us there were snakes in the grass (still to this day I'm hoping it was a joke) I just wanted to be there as quickly as possible.

A photo posted by Luke Meakin (@meakin367) on

Our little home in Venice

After trudging along for what felt like forever, we'd made it. A charming little static home was our place for the weekend, with picnic benches outside underneath big green trees in the Italian countryside. Alright, so the bathrooms had moths hanging above the showers that were the size of birds, but with clean water and soft soapy suds washing the sweat and dirt of the day away I soon got over it.

Saturday: Day Two
Exploring Venice was a lot of fun, but I'd never anticipated how hectic it would be. The streets are lined with people trying to sell you fake Chanel bags and as it was summer, the little winding streets are jammed with tourists. But the ice cold Gelato, dainty bridges and miss-matched buildings make it a charming and enchanting destination. That day, after the heat we'd experienced, we were relieved that the storm we'd been waiting for finally rolled in. Grey clouds shrouded the city and the rain fell so heavy that everybody scurried like ants through the tiny streets. Me and my boyfriend didn't care. We'd had sweltering heat and plenty of time to sunbathe in Austria and Germany that we were glad to feel the raindrops, and took cover in an adorable cafe using the wifi to upload our pictures, sipping great coffee, eating great cake and listening to an American family talk about their stereotypes of Europe at the table next to us.

Venice
Little Streets of Venice

The evening came with the rain pausing for a few hours, so we had dinner at our campsite - real pasta and pizza cooked by an Italian family, and drank beers whilst my boyfriend taught me card games I hadn't played since I was a kid. One of the things I loved about aimlessly travelling was just being in the moment. Not needing to occupy myself with a phone or a laptop, and enjoying what new surprise the day would bring. That night there was another huge storm, and I took a shower in the evening hearing the banging of the thunder and the rain lashing down on the roof. I lay in bed and saw the lightning flash outside, and it was just a reminder of how alive I truly felt that summer.

Bridge
Gondola

Sunday: Day Three
Sunday was our last day, and we'd already enjoyed the main square, Piazza San Marco and a trip into the stunning St. Mark's Basilica, as well as plenty of food! We made sure we'd eaten as much ice cream as we possibly could (obviously) and the sun had reappeared, so we made sure to see everything else, looking up at the crooked houses and peering inside the shops full of masks, as well as dragging my boyfriend Luke into Lush Cosmetics which is very charmingly situated by a little bridge in the centre. Venice had been a dreamy whirlwind, and if you're ever looking for a quirky and romantic place to visit, this is the destination.

Gondolas Lined Up

Have you been to Venice before? Let me know in the comment section below your favourite memories or just why you're dying to go, and don't forget to follow me on social media to keep up with all my latest adventures.

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