First Destination: Venice, Italy.

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We had planned this vacation for more than six months.  Friends from Chicago had gone to a trip last year that took them to Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris.  Their experience was wonderful so I decided to join them this time around.  Although, my vacation days are limited so I decided to join them starting in Venice.  Prior to our meeting in Venice, they went to Rome, Florence, Cinque-Terre and another beautiful place in Italy I cannot dare spell.

Kaya ayun, sa Venice lang ako nag-join.  I was bummed when I found out how beautiful Cinque-Terre is.  I tried to join them there but there was no airport nearby where I could fly into Cinque-Terre to meet them.  Therefore, it was Venice where we all met.

I arrived the day before the troop arrived from Cinque-Terre.  Needless to say, I had to get my own hotel room for the night and planned meet with my friends from Germany.  It was my birthday when I arrived.  My friends from Germany thought it would be unfair for me to spend my birthday alone so they booked a trip to meet me there.  How nice di ba?

My flight arrived around 3:00 p.m. local time, with only a few hours sleep on the plane, pagod pa ko.  But my friends have been in Venice since the day before waiting for my arrival.  Kaya ayun, I had to take a quick shower and dress up to meet them.  Ngarag kung ngarag.  LOL!

After calling my friends, they told me to meet them at Piazza Santa Lucia where they are staying.  Well, kahit na second time ko na sa Venice, I still don’t know how to get to places.  I just took a chance and asked the concierge to direct me to the best way to get to Venice.  Sabi sa kin, it’s best daw to take the bus from around the corner of the hotel to Piazzale Roma.  It will only cost me 1.40 euros.  Not bad.

A lady in the bus directed me in Italian on where I should walk towards Santa Lucia.   I crossed my first canal and this was my view.  The view of the grand canal.  Ganda no?

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I was walking along Piazza Santa Lucia when I heard my name being called.  I look over and it was my friend Mario from Germany!  Whew!  I thought it would take me a whole day to find them in the crowds.  I was so excited.  Kahit pagod na pagod, nawala ang pagod. ko.

Mario and Becky decided to take me for a stroll because it was too early for dinner.  Shempre, pa-picture muna with the Italian gondoliers!

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The first stop was the church of Santa Lucia. Her body still lies in the church uncorrupted.  Alam ninyo, I’m glad to witness things like this lalo pa when it comes to saints and the incorruptibles.  Pero sa totoo lang, this one creeped me out kasi parang mummy yung nasa display.  I still paid my respects though.

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Then our walk began.  I didn’t know that walking in Europe is like the norm.  Bale wala lang sa kanila ang 30-minute walk.  Even an hour walk, okay lang.  Kaya ang papayat nila.  Of course, along the way, may pictorials.

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Of course, my obligatory selfie using my selfie stick.

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After walking for a while, siguro mga 8:00 p.m. na, we decided to head to dinner.  Treat nila for my birthday.  I was really surprised kasi they even brought me gifts.

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Then we start with the drinks.  Of course, Venetian Spritz.  Ito daw ang national drink dito.  I was pretty good.  Para lang siyang sparkling rose wine.  We chose our mixer which is Aperol.

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They told me that I had to try the spaghetti with cuttlefish and ink.  I must tell you that they were right!  It was delicious!  First time kong natikman.  Parang adobong pusit lang on spaghetti.  LOVED IT!

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Mario ordered the spaghetti with clams.

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Pero si Donya Becky, hindi pasasaway.  extra cuttlefish and extra ink daw.  Kaya ayan, nung bumalik yung dish niya parag kulay burak.  LOL.  But again, you must try it

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Both my friends were a regular to this restaurant.  They have been coming to Venice and eating at this small restaurant since who knows when.  Kaya naman ang treatment sa kanila, special.  They were here the night before as well and since they didn’t finish the bottle of wine they ordered, the restaurant kept it for them for another time with Mario’s name on it.  Galing no?  They will store your unused wine until your next meal.

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By the time we got done with our dinner and chit chats, it was almost midnight.    I wasn’t sure how to get back to my hotel but I guess I would take the same bus.  I did – but it was not that easy.  Not being familiar with the location and not knowing how the bus routes go, I got lost.  Narinig ko na lang sabi ng driver, last stop.  And everyone got off the bus.  Ano ngayon gagawin ko?

Naglakad ako.  I had my GPS with me but the signal was choppy.  I was lost for about 30 minutes until I came across an old gentleman.  I asked him for directions.  He asked me for the number of my hotel so he could call them.  He walked me back to my hotel (only about 20 minutes away from where I was) and asked for a bit of cash.  Since I didn’t have small bills with me, I gave him 20 euros.  I was just glad to be able to rest my feet and sleep.

That’s all for now.  I will blog about my friends’ arrival from Cinque-Terre and my journey from Piazza Santa Lucia to Piazza San Marco.

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