So after many hours on 3 trains I arrive in Ljubljana, and take a taxi to the hostel I stayed at before, even though I still had my bus card with money on it I was too tired to deal with that. Although after being royally ripped off by the taxi driver I wish I had! So I settle into my room, it’s about noon now and I head over to my favorite little restaurant for their lunch special. I feel so proud knowing where I am going and all the little spots I remembered from my previous trip. Later that night I return to the restaurant again for dinner and met a lovely local guy who later sat and had dinner with me. We ended up getting together the next afternoon for drinks at this pretty swanky bar that sits atop one of the highest buildings in the city, providing great panoramic views. With a small break in between we ended up hanging out till the wee hours at places that were all new to me. I seriously considered staying an extra night but alas, Venice was waiting!
Early the next morning I make my way to the bus station, and wait for my bus to Venice. I am super excited at this point and finally the bus, or minivan rather, arrives to take us to Venice. I was a little surprised by the size as I normally have been on large coach buses and this is like something a soccer mom would drive, had we not been asking so many questions I would have totally missed my ride. I end up chatting almost the entire way (about 3 or so hours) with a couple from California and finally we are there, well sorta! We are dropped off in front of the Mestre station I go to the hostel drop my things off and catch up on some rest before taking a 10 minute train ride into the watery city. I get off the train an hop on a water bus, meanwhile I am texting back and forth with some friends that just arrived from Miami and are waiting for me in San Marco’s square.
On the way there I am totally blown away, I know this sounds obvious, but this place really is a real life city that has water instead of streets. I mean it really is far more beautiful and unique than I could have gathered from photos, or maybe it’s just the fact of seeing it in real life that makes it so breath taking. Whatever the reason I was in total awe of the place. I finally meet up with my friends and we sit at a little restaurant to eat and catch up and I am so happy after all these months to see a familiar face. So after eating we begin walking around and taking pictures when suddenly, I turn a corner and see this guy walking in my direction and realize that it’s my cousin from Florida!! Okay I was stunned I stop him and he is equally shocked as neither of us had any idea the other was in Europe much less Venice! He thought I had made it to Asia already to teach English per my original plan. We exchange hugs and introductions and of course cameras are flashing.
We then went our separate ways and my friends and I continue to tour the city visiting a stringed instrument museum and trying to sneak into what turned out to be a lecture on Swiss architecture, well let me explain. We passed a building and on the balcony there were young people having drinks and socializing with some music in the background (I think), so we wanted to find a way to join in and found out at the entrance, we had just missed the speech (bummer lol), and they were out of drinks!! The only real crime I’d say, so we continue on! After a couple wrong turns, in the maze that Venice can easily become, we finally found ourselves back in San Marco, where the night air was being adorned by the musical notes of multiple bands, while crowds gathered in front of the basilica.
The next day I returned to the watery city strolling and doing a tad bit of shopping. I really wish I had spent more time in Venice I foolishly listened to the “you only need one day in Venice” advice, which I would like to state, is absolutely inaccurate. You need only one day in Venice if you only plan to go to San Marco, but there are so many other areas, this is a real city after all, with thousands and thousands of residents. It took just over half an hour on the water bus to make it from where I was to their train station and I passed so many other places in between that I had no time to stop and explore. Again, I would have stayed longer, but Milan was waiting for me!
P.S. It was sooo hard to choose photos for this post because Venice provided so may great shots. So you are really gonna have to check out the album for this one on the Facebook page.