As I heard a voice politely ask my sleeping cabin if we wanted any water, I opened up my eyes and grabbed the larger than life bottle of water as everyone else snoozed away. Well, “you snooze, you lose!” out on hydration…haha. We were alerted that we were approaching Venice within the next 35 minutes-how exciting. I immediately climbed down from my top bunk down to the ground, grabbed my stuff and headed to join my friends in another cabin…or should I say wake them up. Shortly, the train came to a screeching halt and bam we were in Venice, Italy! Time to take on the most picturesque city in the world!
Once we stepped outside the train station, it was evident that it was Carnivale-the holiday festival celebrated days before Fat Tuesday and the beginning of Lent. Everyone was donning colorful, artsy and uber unique masks EVERYWHERE. Face painting had kicked off right from our arrival of 9am and kiosks lined the street overflowing with masks. First stop after snapping some key pictures: FOOD…we were all super hungry. A cute outdoor cafe did the trick with cappuccino, “toast”, some laughs and Backstreet Boys playing in the background. After energizing, it was time to roam the streets and pass by the canals.
Amanda and I had a destination of San Marco Square after being separated from our group of friends. After being hit hard with a headache from my Burn energy drink and feeling not so hot, we both darted into a cute restaurant to buy water bottles and sit down for a bit. Well, we were just going to sit down for a little while but that easily turned into two hours of heart-to-heart conversations. Amanda and I have bonded so quickly and I feel as if I have known her for years. Being amongst the massive crowds with limited space to think or move, I admitted my fear of claustrophobia and how uneasy it made me feel. It is really interesting to think someone else’s fear may be irrational to you but to them it is clear as day. I may not be afraid of heights, doing really daring things or going on an uncharted adventure but I sure am frightened of being stuck in a large crowd of people, drawbridges and birds flying too close for comfort. Combined with my death grip on my belongings to fend off any potential pick pocketers, I was pretty stressed out.
As the day went on, I loosened up a little bit and began to really take in the experience for what it was: marveling at all of the beautiful masks, taking pictures with the most outlandish ones and just simply breathing in the fresh air from the waterfront.
Both Amanda and I eventually found the perfect masks in San Marco Square where I also purchased the most beautiful Italian leather handbag that I have ever laid eyes on. Of course it was turquoise, my favorite color with tan straps and infinite space. I claimed it as the perfect bag for me to carry to school once it starts. After walking for hours, we both agreed it was time to eat. Since we ate around 4pm, we beat both the lunch and dinner crowds and pretty much had the restaurant all to ourselves. I couldn’t be happier to be free of the chaotic mess of people that we had been walking amongst all day. We stayed for about two hours sipping on our beverage of choice, eating our fantastic dishes and chatting up a storm.
Outside it was already beginning to get dark so it was time to head back to the train station via the Water Taxi. The Water Taxi was quite rough to walk onto and Amanda ended up sitting across from me due to the limited seat availability. As the taxi cruised along through the Venetian waterway, my eyes fluttered open and close before we were even halfway to our destination. Exhausted from fighting with my eyes, I closed them for the rest of the way and it felt like a million bucks in doing so.
Before we had to head to the train station, we had around an hour and a half to kill. Jade needed some serious caffeine so we ducked into a ritzy hotel where I ordered Caffee Americano and was brought an Aladdin magic lamp full of cashews. And boy were they good. The sitting room was adorable (and my favorite color) and it was again fantastic to sit in peace and quiet before rejoining the group for the trip back to home…I mean Vienna 😉
And so we left, enjoyed the discowagon one last time, fell asleep and was then awakened for our arrival in Vienna. All of us walked in a haze to the UBahn and took our respective routes home…how was I awake? Find out in my next post 🙂