Venezia, a city built on a lagoon. Sounds dreamy, no?…..well, go during the last weekend of Carnivale, and that turquoise water, romantic gondola-filled dream turns into a chaotic, claustrophobic nightmare. But let’s start at the beginning.
Being my peppy 6 AM self (HA), I stood up, brushed myself off, and limped my way to the bus (well, ok, several four-letter words may have been grumbled before the standing happened, but I repeat – it was not even 6 am.). Nothing a 3 hour bus ride with a cold water bottle on it couldn’t fix. On the way, we stopped at a gas station – why they thought bringing 300 sleepy, hungry teenagers to one gas station was a good idea, I do not understand. Nevertheless, after lots of elbowing, I managed to suck down a cappuccino (which was very worth it – totally delicious) and hop back on the bus.
We went straight to Tronchetto, which is a man-made island/harbor where you park to board the boat to take you to Venice. It was very chilly, but bright and sunny, and the boat ride over was quite pretty.
Sorry about the picture quality, it was really bright out and my camera does not like taking pictures on moving vessels.
I know these pictures are random and a bit fuzzy, but I wanted to at least show you how the water comes right up to all the buildings. It’s really pretty cool to see.
You see that house right in the middle – it’s yellow, but hard to tell because of the brightness. THAT is Elton John’s villa that he visits every year during Carnivale. So I was only some yards away from the man himself. Emily, I thought of you the whole time! Amusingly, this is about the time that the entire boat started whipping out their cameras in a frenzy. Never mind the centuries-old church next to it, Elton John could be in there. Oy. I found the church slightly more impressive. Sue me.
After about 20 minutes, we stepped into Venice. Now, yes, it is an absolutely beautiful city…
But during Carnivale…
…looks can be deceiving.
Never in my life have I been around so many people. And I’ve been to India. It was awful. Truly, my personal version of hell. The tour guide was pretty awful, and we ditched it about halfway through in search of food and quit. No such luck. Lunch only made it worse – overpriced, crowded, loud and far less than mediocre.
The one nice thing about the day was buying my mask: