June 10

Sunday, June 10, 2007
I didn’t sleep all that well last night because I was too cold all night! I forget that my body tends to go into hibernation mode at night and that tends to lead to freezing! I didn’t think it could get that cold in Venice, especially because by the time we woke up this morning it was already a good 20º.
We both had showers – really impressive and hot showers, actually – except that the entire cubicle is the shower, so finding a place to put the dry clothes is kind of a challenge. I’ll have to work on developing a strategy for tomorrow.
We found the on-site supermarket for breakfast. I bought yougart and fruit for breakfast and we ate while we were waiting in line for the bus that leaves at 9am to Venice. We found out from someone else waiting in line that we don’t actually have to wait in line, but it didn’t matter because there was lots of room on the bus when we finally got on.
It was insanely hot in Venice today. And there were masks – lots and lots and lots of beautiful masks. I didn’t realize when I decided to come here that my souvenir was going to cost the same amount as my hotel!! It is obvious that I’m going to have to buy a mask, but I really don’t know how I am going to make a decision. They are all so beautiful and no mask is the same…my favourite masks are (of course) the most expensive – starting at about 200 Euros…so I think I am going to have to decide on one that I like by price elimination, say starting at under 40 Euros!! I couldn’t stop from going into all the mask stress – they were everywhere…thankfully Elisa was as obsessed as I was, so it wasn’t frustrating to be going into the stores all the time!
And we walked a lot! Mostly because it was challenging to continuously follow the map!! All the bridges and all the water definitely put a kink in my super navigation skills!! We pretty much just wandered around for the first couple of hours just attempting to take everything in. Every street is different and all the bridges have fantastic views. It is all so breath taking and beautiful and mind boggling at the same time. A lot of pictures!! And Elisa is even worse for pictures than I am!!
At one point I saw two ladies trying to negotiate a gondola price. I eventually went up to them and asked if we could go with them…they were super nice and we ended up walking all the way to Ponte di Rialto (which is the famous bridge there) where we negotiated 17.5 Euros per person for the ½ hour ride!! The gondola ride was pretty cool…I don’t really know what I was expecting it to be, but it was fun. It was crazy picture time – and I took a lot. The ride wasn’t as smooth as I thought it’d be, there are a lot more motor boats (taxies and buses) all over the place. But our “driver” had the striped shirt and hat and all that…yep, it was pretty cool!!
After that was done (it was really fast!!) we were in the middle of the action so we benefited from that! There is a huge market with masks and other Venice stuff galore on one side of the bridge, so we had a good look at everything. It was overwhelming. I really don’t know how I’ll go about choosing a mask! I bought an ice cream in the market (Italian gelato, of course!) and we went and found a quite, shady spot next to the canal to sit…(It was a lot harder to find a quite spot than you’d think! Especially one in the shade.)
This random American sat down beside us and we chatted for a bit. It was his second time in Venice so I thought he could give us some pointers to what we were actually supposed to see. Yah, not really all that helpful. But he did suggest buying a book on Venice – like duh, Allison! I had thought of that in the airport, but had consequently forgotten about that with the excitement of actually being here!
And guess what?! 8.5 Euros later I knew everything I needed to know about Venice! My book even has 4 daily plans made out for ME with explanations of what we are seeing and everything! And each plan has its own individual map too! I so totally love maps. I am happy!!
So for the afternoon we covered the entire peninsula (plan #4 in my book!). It was really, really hot and a lot of walking – but really beautiful!
On the way back to the bus around 4:30 we both stopped to buy a pair of shorts – decided for around camp in this heat it was a good thing!!
And the excitement of my entire day (not even really joking here!) was finding the supermarket!! I had to ask 4 different people in order to find it, but we did and it made me very happy!! I think I may have actually done a little dance to celebrate! We bought some popcorn and pretzels for happy hour at our place and decided to buy breakfast stuff here tomorrow morning and have a little picnic.
We went and sat by the pool when we got back to our place. It is a really nice pool…a decent size, but not 25meters, which is too bad, but it was nice for cooling off. I don’t “sit by the pool” very well, so I went and played volley ball with some Aussies and English for a while before doing a little mini-workout. It was mostly weights because it was still way too hot to do any decent running or biking!! Very nice machines though. I am very impressed with their gym here. It has everything…2 treadmills, 2 bikes, 2 stairmasters, all the different weight machines as well as mats and free weights. It is a lot better than most hotels I’ve been at – never mind the fact that this is Europe and in a Hostel! Yah, very impressed with our 10 Euros a night!!
We ate dinner in one of the 2 restaurants that are on site. We had pizza – it was really good…pizza in Italy, I guess it should be good!!
Night
-Allison

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