Following my decision to stay with my sister for a couple of months to help me pay down my debt faster, I have spent the past few days unpacking and settling in her place. Please forgive me for not being around much. Things are slowly getting back to normal and I will soon have more time left for blogging, something that I really miss. In the meantime, I thought I would write another blog post about my recent travels (you know how much I love travelling and I hope you enjoy reading my travel stories).
VENICE (February 2013)
Back in January, my friend N from Moscow (I met her in Sicily in September last year) asked me if I was up for a trip to Italy. Well, one thing you should know about me – I am always up for a trip to Italy! Having discussed some options, we both agreed to meet in Venice. I have been to Venice before but I wanted to go again, and this was the perfect opportunity. We booked our flights and accommodation that very same day. The best part – our trip to Venice was during the Venice Carnival!
Two weeks later, I was boarding my flight to Venice and I could not be more excited. I was only going for 48 hours. I landed in Treviso, and after a swift bus transfer and a boat trip along the Grand Canal, I was finally where I needed to be. N was waiting for me on the pier, and it was so great to see her after all this time!
The next morning we went to explore the main “island” of Venice. Our hotel was next to Piazza San Marco, a very convenient but an extremely busy location. On Friday morning it was full of tourists taking pictures of Basilica di San Marco and Palazzo Ducale.
You can easily walk the main “island” of Venice in one day. Its narrow streets are truly charming. There are lots of shops selling everything from Venetian glass to old books & records, high end fashion and fresh produce.
My favourite part of Venice is Dorsoduro, the centre of academic and artistic life in Venice. We spent the second day of our trip walking along its narrow streets. With numerous museums and walkaways, it is less touristy and easier to enjoy. This is where local students live and study. You will find lots of coffee shops and charming restaurants in this part of Venice, and it is considerably cheaper than the main “island”.
This is where we met D, a solo traveller from Moscow, who asked us for directions to her hotel. D is a human rights lawyer who is my age (mind blowing!) and is such a sweet girl. D was invited by her local friend to attend one of the many parties taking place in Venice during the Carnival. Guess who joined her? We did, and we had such an amazing time! Since I don’t have many photos from the party itself, I will show some photos that we took on the streets of Venice. Carnevale di Venezia is a truly magical occasion which attracts crowds of visitors every year. Whether you are attending a party or simply walking the streets of Venice during this time, you are you are bound to have an increadible time! Just look at those costumes! Aren’t they beautiful?
Surprisingly, Venice is not as expensive as the rest of Italy. At least, I did not think it was expensive! There are so many lovely restaurants serving traditional Italian cuisine that have reasonably priced menus.
It was such a wonderful trip! 48 hours flew by like a couple of hours! Not nearly enough! It was heartbreaking to say goodbye to N and D and leave Venice. D and I went on a trip together in April (something that I will write about later) and N is coming to visit me in London this month! We are thinking about going to the Venice Carnival again in February next year, but we’ll see! I’d say this was my favourite trip that I have taken so far this year. Not only I got to visit Venice again and meet with N, I also met another great friend D! This is another reason why I love travelling so much: you are bound to meet some amazing people along the way and create some beautiful memories together!
Oh, and I love the film The Tourist. Simply because it’s set in Venice. And the fact that Johnny Depp is in it, doesn’t hurt either!