Traditional Venetian phone salutations
Last meal: Turkey and baked vegetables
Drink of choice: Cheap italian white wine, bought by filling up a few bottles from a local convenience store.
Memorable quote: ‘We were waiting for you tomorrow!’ -Toni on the phone when we turned up, essentially on his doorstep.
Song in my head:
The flights to Venice were SO quick – just over 3 hours in the air all up! And the second half (Lyon-Venice) was especially enjoyable as we flew over the Alps for about an hour.
Landing was a bit of a stress, as we kinda realised that neither of us could say anything more than ‘I don’t speak much italian, do you speak english?’ (that was Justin, by the way). He was thrilled though, upon ordering his first coffee in the airport, as it actually tasted like our coffees of old, i.e. 1/3 coffee, 2/3 milk, ALL HOT!
Caught the ferry to Venice. Many tourist moments. Tezmate would be proud.
Alighted at the correct place, then I promptly had a lil tanty (read: BIG tanty) because I realised my phone wasn’t working so it hadn’t sent the message to Jus’ aunty when we landed, and so they didn’t know when we were due, and we didn’t know where they lived, nor any kind of italian vocabulary. Crankcrankcrank (threats of breaking phone in half) until Justin called from his uber l’expense phone (as he says, iPhone saves the day). Turns out they didn’t think we were due until the following day – we hadn’t written the dates in over five emails/three weeks! We are SUCH IDIOTS, but they were lovely about it and happy Toni came along to collect us (we knew it was him when he loudly exclaimed “JUSTICE!” with his arms outstretched from the steps o’ yonder).
Took us to their place nearby (it is SO cool!) where we dumped our stuff in our lil nook and got settled. Coll kindly made us dinner before she and Toni went out with friends. Afterwards, we went for a quick walk to St. Mark’s square (Piazza San Marco – incidentally, the only true piazza in Venice! True fact) which was all illuminated and beautiful. Typical.
The next day, we slept in and headed upstairs for a late breakfast. Went out for a little explore, and found some nice little alleys out to canals (I had my first almost-slipped-into-the-canal experience [I looked like a small child who is iceskating for the first time, and doesn’t realise that there’s a difference between skating and running, and thus is constantly in a state of fear and imbalance]) and accidentally stumbled upon Rialto bridge! (excuse the pun – we merely found ourselves there, and no falling was involved). One highlight: bought an absolute nugget of dark chocolate with hazelnuts throughout. Went back to Coll&Toni’s for a quick late lunch, and rushed back out to see St. Mark’s before the sun went down. Never before have I seen such a concentration of camera lenses.
On Christmas Eve, we woke up at a similar time as the day before, but Jus went up for breakfast while I went for a run(!), which was cut short about 10 minutes in by rain. Decided to walk a different way back, got lost within the alleys/canals/bridges of northern Venice. Found my way eventually (thank you patronising tourist signs) where my presence was immediately required for our super-secret-invasion-of-the-Xmas-Eve-McCann-family-gathering via skype, where we sang a beautiful/hideous/contemporary rendition of Jingle Bells in french/Vive Le Vent.
Afterwards, stayed at home while the rain subsided (read: until we’d eaten ourselves into a state of mobesity), then had a little walk around to nonchalantly enter shops where we had no intention of buying anything. Ended up buying a sketchbook and some fancy pencils (4B! zomg!) because we’re just soooooo creative… As usual, Coll made a delish feast, tonight of fish and assorted yummies.
Christmas morning, AGAIN, major sleepin. Breakfast with Coll&Toni then we went on an authentic gondola ride!! Toni rowed us for most of the way, the weather was beautiful and clear, and no one was around because it was lunch time on Christmas Day! In the afternoon, between a small lunch post-gondola and dinner, we went for a small walk to a nearby café that was open, where we sketched – ooh fARTSY(we are so dumb though – we were sitting across from the hospital and a church, two incredibly beautiful buildings, and yet we chose to draw Again, a mindblowing feast of traditional baked veges and meaty stew for dinner (because the turkey wouldn’t be ready until tomorrow). Went to bed well and truly fat sleepy…
… And slept in late uh-gen. Quick small breakfast then off to walking – we tried to actually explore a lil bit more of Venice, so focussed on the northern side of the main island. Made it back for lunch at about two, then headed off to Burano on a ferry. No, not Murano, the glass one, which looked like London at the turn of the Industrial Revolution. Burano is famous for its lacework and multi-coloured buildings. It delivered.
NO TIME FOR THAT! Turkey for dinner omnomnom, then the next day we were up early (!) to walk Coll to work (on the other side of Venice) because we were leaving today. Saw the early morning sun from St. Mark’s. Stopped off for a coffee and croissant (it had apricot in it – what?!), then slowly made our way back via Rialto. Started rushedly packing when we re-checked our flight details and realised we were due to leave at 14.55, not 4.55. Smart one, that Olivia. Rushrushrush, had a quick goodbye with Toni, then to the port for the next ferry to Marco Polo. Arrived at the airport in good time, bought a ham and cheese sandwich (better than it sounds) then got in line to be transported on one of those super cool really wide buses between the terminal and the plane!
ALSO, i have just realised that Justin FORCED me bring only FOUR pairs of underpants whilst HE, the darn hypocrite, has brought FIVE. Seething.
P.S. I know it’s too late but HAPPY NEW YEAR/BONNE ANNÉE!