Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Leg 3 - Venezia
Hello guys. I am actually back, so writing this post using my dear vaio. I am quite tired right now but I need to share some things from Venice and the wrap up of my trip.
The train ride from Florence to Venice was smooth because it was quite clear. I was able to find the train track by myself. When I had to go from Rome to Florence, I wasn't able to do that because Florence wasn't listed on the board since it's a stopover, not a final destination. So I had to ask someone but from Florence to Venice, it was clear. We passed Bologna, Padova, and Venice's other station, Mestre, along the way. I arrived safely, found the hotel easily too. The room made me feel better after the dingy one that I had in Florence. So my hotel was very near to the train station but that also means that it was somewhat like in a different island. So to get to the center of Venice, I had to walk a lot and cross many bridges.
I got a map from the hotel but it didn't help but I like Venice because there are signs everywhere and how silly this may sound I like it because there are many tourists. So everywhere you will see people following the arrows or opening up maps and that made me feel better and don't feel so stupid :P So I just followed the arrows but since I am so challenged with directions, I still got lost! So like last Monday morning when I had to go to Basilica San Marco, I still got lost even though I successfully went there alone the previous evening! I was getting panicky because I booked a time slot to get in and I was running late. So when I was already quite late, I decided to ask this very nice girl named Cristina. Man, my Italian is really not so good. It's amazing she could understand me and I could respond to her. She works nearby so we walked together there. Stupid me just rushed off without seeing which shop she works for. Anyway, so I went to the gate for people who booked, explained to the Signore who was in charge that I'd booked but was a bit late and I was sorry, all in Italian. He kindly said it's okay and funnily asked me if I am Italian :D which we established that I am not but I can speak the language. So he gave me direction on where to put my bag and then I could go in. There were seriously so many people wanting to go inside the Basilica. Prayed inside there and got a bit teary eyed because it was so called my last day in Italy and I couldn't believe that I actually did it. It's pretty amazing that God really gets me through this. I was very very touched.
After which, I refused to pay 1.50 euro to use the public toilet that I chose to go to Museo Correr. Although I had to pay so much more but at least I got to see something, perhaps I was more excited when I saw the toilet :P I really didn't plan to visit any museum there and if I had known I would have chosen Palazzo Ducale instead or if I had planned well, I would have gotten the ticket that allows me to go to all the museums instead of buying the tickets separately!!! I did go to Palazzo Ducale in the end to fill my last few hours in Venice. This museum is more interesting because we got to see the prison. Kinda freaky but I thought it was cool nonetheless. The prison was somewhat like in a dungeon and surprisingly it was cool down there instead of the hot rooms upstairs. Too bad that the Bridge of Sighs was under renovation. So I couldn't really see it or step on it.
Anyways, after the Correr Museum, I was supposed to go for a half day tour to Murano, Torcello, and Burano. I did read online that this tour wasn't so good because you are like being pushed to buy stuff and it's so true. However I met this Scottish girl, Sarah Jane, who was traveling alone as well. After the short day tour, we had dinner together. That's actually the first time I had dinner with someone of all my time in Italy. God kinda really sends people along your way :)
The next day was my last day in Venice, in Italy. Spent it by visiting Palazzo Ducale then went to be a bit of paparazza (since I am a girl) and took pictures of the kids having fun with the birds at Piazza San Marco. I don't like the birds by the way. I thought they were so not clean and I really prayed that none of them will poop on me. After which, I made my way back to the hotel. Took the vaporetto (water taxi) to Piazzale Rome (since I had a luggage with me) and took the bus to Marco Polo airport. The airport is quite nice.
Arrived in Amsterdam safely and I really have to add this bit. Went through the immigration where there were these 2 officers who were having quite a slow period. Not many people passed through and I was the last one having to go through the counter. The person who handled my passport exclaimed, "you're from Singapore!". To which his colleague (whom I thought was more handsome :P) said, "ni hao?". To which I said "I don't speak Chinese" in my best Chinese pronunciation :P which got everybody quiet and perhaps stunned. So I had to say in English, "I don't speak Chinese" :D The first officer said, "you live in Singapore and you don't speak Chinese?". "Yes", I said and the more handsome officer said, "English is the best!". Aye aye to that. Overall, it was very little human interaction but they made me grin nonetheless and I was really smiling from the inside, no matter how silly this whole thing sounds :P
Alright, back to real life tomorrow kids. You guys take care okay. I try to sort the pictures soon.
:) eKa @ 9:16:00 PM •