Well, not just yet. I’m not done with Venice just yet.
Yes, I gained weight. Salamat sa pag-notice ha? LOL. That’s the result of being locked inside my home for three months. Uhmmm, not locked inside. More like trapped inside by choice.
Let me tell you the adventure that I had to go through while in Venice. Haba ng istorya pero nakakatuwa.
I was supposed to meet a couple of friends from Germany dahil birthday ko and I arrived one day earlier than my travel companions from the US because they started their travels earlier than I did. They were coming from Cinque Terre, Italy or what is known as the Five Terraces. Maganda raw dun. I regretted the fact that I didn’t join them there but the reason for that is walang malapit na airport sa Cinque Terre. They drove from Florence so walang problem for them but if I had to meet them, I would have had to travel a while by train.
Long story short, nag decide na ko na sa Venice na lang. I arrived in Venice and stayed at a hotel by the airport. Unang dating ko pa lang, may issue na. I think the cab driver overcharged my fare kasi I was told that it should only take 30 euros from the airport to my hotel, the driver charged me 45 euros. That’s around 66 dollars. Mahal!
I arrived in the afternoon. Nai-kuwento ko na ‘to so I will skip to my journey. It was the next day. After my dinner with my friends from Germany and after getting lost in Mestre, I was to meet with my friends who were arriving at 3:30 p.m. at Piazza Santa Lucia station. I remember Piazza Santa Lucia from the day before! So, sabi ko sa sarili ko, madali lang yan! I would take the bus. The problem is, may luggage ako which is about 50 lbs and another backpack which is 10 lbs. I was carrying a load of 60 pounds total. Walking to the train station may not be a great idea but I wanted to take the train this time. Kasi baka sobrang puno ng bus, mairita sa kin ang mga passengers sa mga dala ko. Pang pasikip lang.
It was a gorgeous sunny day. I got up early so I decided to hang out at the hotel lobby for a bit. I had a bottle of water. It’s a hot day so the pool looked really inviting. I had to check out at noon so no choice but to leave the hotel.
I was afraid a little bit but what the heck, right? I started my trek with 60 lbs of luggage in hand. The GPS said that it’s a 21-minute walk to the train station, another 10 minutes in the train and then a 25-minute walk from Piazza Santa Lucia to Piazza San Marco. I can handle that!
As soon as I left the hotel, I followed the map to the train station. Lekat na yan. Walang nagsabi sa akin na buhol buhol pala mga kalye. And every one I asked for directions barely spoke English.
This is just the first leg, after walking for about 20 minutes already. I couldn’t find the directions to the train station. So I tread along. Sige lang. Lalabas din yan.
To amuse myself, I started taking photos to give me a bit of rest from the heat, and also from the heavy load that I was carrying.
This was a church i passed by on my way to the Mestre Train Station. Parang andali lang no? Di ninyo nararamdaman ang bigat ng dala dala ko at gaano kainit ang panahon. Just saying. 🙂
After 40 minutes of walking, I finally found the station and the next train was about to arrive in 10 minutes. Drenched in sweat, I made my way along the group of American teenagers purchasing their ticket in the corner of the photo above. I had to hurry up otherwise, I may miss the train.
With a few minutes to spare, I was able to buy my ticket, lug my luggage to the platform and the train arrived on time. Carrying my luggage up to the train was a challenge too. One American guy behind me asked if I was okay. I bravely responded, “Yeah!”. Para lang huwag akong mag mukhang tanga.
The train was as crowded if not more crowded than the bus. I should have just taken the bus! It was only a 5-minute walk from my hotel! I was on the train for literally 10 minutes. We then arrived at Santa Lucia Station.
Hello Piazza Santa Lucia!! You see, right across the exit from the train station is another station. A station for water taxis. It’s a public transportation that takes you around Venice. You can go anywhere. I DID NOT KNOW THAT. My option was still according to my GPS – which says that the walk to Piazza San Marco is only 25-minutes.
In the meantime, my friend Bing had already arrived early in the day and he was already sitting at Piazza San Marco in a cafe. The Florian cafe. I was supposed to meet him but I was fighting in my head whether I should wait for my other friends who will be arriving in Santa Lucia at 3:30 p.m. or walk to San Marco. I decided on the latter. BIG MISTAKE!
You won’t see the frustration in my face here but I have been walking and walking for a while now and whenever I took photos, it’s really just to rest and not look like the stupid tourist that I am. Carrying my luggage up and down stairs over the canals.
What better way to relax than to use my selfie stick and take photos of myself!
And more of the canals and myself.
When I saw this sign, I was delighted. I knew I was on the right track but my GPS kept losing signal inside the labyrinth of Venice! I kept getting lost.
Each time a saw this, I cringed. Up and down, up and down.
And more. And when I got lost, I hadto come back and go over them again and again..
I was doing well and not getting frustrated with myself. Okay na sana. It had been two hours now since I started walking. I was still far away from Piazza San Marco. I didn’t know how long I could still take it. Until I saw the famous Rialto bridge. I almost died. Really?! Take my suitcase and backpack up these stairs? Really? I thought I went to Venice, I didn’t know I was in Calvary!
But finally, after all that, I reached Piazza San Marco. The next trick was to find my friend who said he is sitting at Florian cafe. Once in a while, I checked Facebook and saw him posting selfies of himself with coffee and water, having a blast.
I texted him asking him where he was. He told me that he’s sitting at Florian cafe, next to the band. There were four bands playing in the piazza! I asked him to give me a landmark. A sign or a mark that is obvious so I can walk towards him. This was his response, “I’m on the east side of the piazza.”
“Seriously?! East side?! Where the f***k is the east side?!”, I thought to myself. I had to get my compass app out and figure out where east side was. After all the walking, the lost signal and getting lost several times, I just wanted to sit down and have a drink.
Finally, I saw him trying to look around for me. He saw how tired I must have looked, soaking in sweat that he felt bad. He offered me refreshments on his dime and wished me a happy birthday. He said, I could have taken the water taxi for 7 Euros. Arrghh!!! Thanks Bing.
This was just the beginning of my journey in Venice.