I fell in love!!!
Don't worry mom and dad, it's not with a boy. I fell in love with Venice! Probably love at first sight. I've never seen anything like it!
I loved how the second i got off the train i felt like i rewound the clock a couple hundred years and stepped into a different time where backpackers weren't supposed to exist. The water was a strange cloudy colour probably from the boats and the algae. The buildings all looked totally different from one another and weren't all necessarily well kept. Some had paint chipped off and bricks showing under the cement that time has worn away.
I know that to some the small picture i just painted doesn't sound like anything spectacular but with the sun shining it was probably the most charming first impression that any place so far has given me.
Virginia and I hopped onto a boat bus to get to our hostel and were pretty much silent the entire ride. That doesn't happen very often! The whole feeling was so strange... I felt like there were more locals than tourists (yes!) and that i was one of the only people floating down the river with my jaw dropped. I completely forgot to even take pictures. I just watched all the buildings that came straight out of the water as the boat cruised past while other boats with taxi drivers and garbage men drove in the other direction. Bizarre that this is just some peoples reality and everyday life.
After we checked into our hostel we decided to go get lost. We've heard from everyone that it's almost impossible not to get lost in Venice because the roads are so narrow and confusing. We walked around the area and found out that almost every 5 shops is a gelato shop or a mask shop. The masks are incredible! I guess that Carnival started in Venice and that's why all the masquerade masks are such a big deal. Virginia studies theatre at home and has her own collection of masks so she was totally in her element. We didn't actually end up getting lost but we found some neat little areas to explore.
At night our hostel holds a dinner that you can pay 5 euros for and they give you pasta, pizza, and dessert. Everyone sits in the dining room at one long table like a big family. The owner actually lives at the hostel and helps the girls who work for him cook.
While on the topic of the hostel... it's for sure one of the strangest places I've ever stayed! We got here and had to ring on a doorbell outside. Normally if we have to do that the door will buzz and we'll be allowed in but nothing happened so i rang the doorbell again. Eventually a girl was yelling "Ciao, Hello! Do you have a reservation?" from the balcony above the door. Then she said she'd unlock the door and that we have to go to the first floor. We walked up and there was a massive empty room with a table at one end with a little notebook computer and a couple chairs. We had to sit down and she recorded our information with a pen and paper then showed us to our room. Basically the whole hostel is one floor with big rooms and bunk beds in each room. I think the owner has one of the rooms to himself. All the doors are left open and there's no lockers or anything. There's about 3 washrooms that everyone has to share... 1 for the boys, 1 for the girls, and 1 that i'm pretty sure is unisex. The girl brought us to our room but said that she just had to add a few more beds. I guess they just set up more bunk beds in each room depending on how many people are staying that night.
We were only able to book one night online because we couldn't find anywhere in Venice for Saturday night - not even hotels. So, when we got here we asked the girl if there was anything available for Sat and she said she'd let us know later. She still didn't know by last night before we went to bed and said she'd let us know in the morning. The hostel has a lock out between 10am and 1pm everyday so that the staff can clean and before 10 she said she didn't know for sure but that it shouldn't be a problem. I told her that it was really important that she let us know because if there wasn't room available we didn't have any back-ups since there was no availability anywhere. We had to leave the hostel so they could clean and by the time we came back at 4 in the afternoon after exploring all day she informed us that we had nowhere to stay! She also informed us that she moved our bags and things into a closet because she had to change the beds since new people were coming and needed our beds.
I sort of lost it. Maybe sliiiightly freaked out on her. I feel kind of bad now and i really don't think she likes me but i was having just a little bit of anxiety about sleeping on the streets. I grabbed my computer and frantically started to search for accommodations. When that wasn't successful i started to look up the next trains out of here and if i could book a hostel is another city. I was thinking that i might just have to leave for Zurich a couple days early. Mid-anxiety attack, Virginia was being all sweet and nice to the lady and she said she would just put together another bunk bed and make an 8 person room a 10 person room. Thank goodness that Virginia is so nice because i was not being the most pleasant person to deal with. She agreed to let us stay and my fears of being homeless oversees for a night are now all gone.
After my amazing day of wandering the streets of Venice with the biggest smile on my face i almost started to resent it. I'm so thankful that it was a short lived moment of distress because that would have been such a shame. Now all is right in my life and i'm just hoping that the same thing doesn't happen again tomorrow because i don't think i can handle it.
On a good note Virginia has been looking for work at a hostel and this place offered her a job! It's been difficult since she doesn't have a working visa but i guess this place is sketchy enough to not care.
She has vowed to make it the best hostel ever and up the organization level by a million. Good girl!
Tomorrow the plan is to head to Verona! I'm hoping to find an english copy of Romeo and Juliet and bring it back with me. I'm very excited!
I end here because it's dinner time with the hostel family! mmm