Quiet waters of a roadless city
Venice Travel Blog› entry 17 of 26 › view all entries
I had a bit of a hurry-on now. I've mentioned before that the Eurorail pass is a mixed blessing as it allows you the freedom of travelling where ever you may wish to blow, but the time limit of the ticket makes you wish to get as many journeys squeezed into the cost of the thing as you possibly can. Well, that's how it felt for me anyway.
I was coming to the end of my Eurorail passes life and now I was skimming from city to city as I whisked down the centre of Europe.
I had wanted to catch up with my German friends from Karlsruhe, whom I'd met in Switzerland 10 months earlier, but when I got to their city I couldn't get hold of them so the next day I cut out to Italy and spent the night in Milan.
There was a fair happening around the corner from the hostel so a bunch of us walked down the road and had a blast about on the dodgems. It was all the fun of the fair!!
Next day I was back in a train heading to Venice.
Venice is a remarkable city without a doubt. No roads of course as the transport system is designed around the canals and boats. Modern times have caught up with the place and where once it was silent as the boats were propelled about by the sweat of the brow, the need for speed now means that taxi boats are engine driven and these of course mean noise -no more so than a car though I'm sure.
I had read that one of the best experiences, or the best way to experience, Venice is to get lost as you walk around it.
Now I have always prided myself as having a pretty good sense of direction but I must say my first afternoon was spent exactly as it should have been, trying to find my way about the twisting alleys as they followed canals and buildings in a very confusing fashion.
I wasn't in a hurry at all and I knew where I had to go to find a bed for the night. My intended hostel was a taxi ride across the water from the main center of Venice and as taxis regularly chugged past me I wasn't at all concerned I'd be lost in this maze of a place forever.
I found all sorts of landmarks worth finding. I wasn't anywhere near the crowds at this point so I snapped photos at my leisure and kept following my nose until things started to become familiar.
The hostel was crowded with school children but I was shown to my dorm and there I met several lads who'd also just arrived.
A group were from England; there were a couple of brothers from the States; and an Aussie. They were all a little younger than I but we were pretty happy to be all here together and hit the track in search of some dinner.
Pizza was the call and we found a superb little restaurant that whipped up enough to satisfy us all. We stayed there enjoying a few ales and getting to know each other by sharing our stories before it was time to head back to the hostel.
Now I am a reasonably polite sort of a bloke, and very thoughtful when it comes to the needs of others.
When we arrived at the hostel we found that the door was locked and we had to ring for the manager. It wasn't late, not even 10 o'clock yet and when we were admitted by the grumpy keyholder we found the place silent and dark.
A couple of the guys still had a few mouthfuls of beer in their bottles so we were told to finish them up and get to bed -quietly!
I thought it was a reasonable request and we all headed up to our dorm.
I kept the boys noise down to an appropriate whisper but it seems our host didn't think it was appropriate enough. He followed us all about the hostel as we went from bathroom, to bedroom, telling us to keep quiet, get to bed, hurry up and finally that he was going to throw us all out onto the street again.
Finally I reassured the man that once we had completed our ablutions we would all retire, but it was in fact HIM that was making the most noise. I seemed able to placate him and he stomped off downstairs and we didn't see him again until breakfast.
We all hung together for the day. The guys had a few ideas about what they wanted to see and as I'd already done a bit of exploring I was able to keep us heading in the right direction -for the most part anyway.