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Thursday, December 05, 2019

The Original Venezia - day 02

Reading Time    |    11 min 31 sec

On our second day in Venezia, we've arranged to explore San Marco square to find some iconic sights like St. Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. We woke up a bit late, but we were not in a rush that day. We wanted to enjoy our summer vacation with our laid-back style. 😂

I know it must be weird for some people. Still, every person has a different personality and preference, yet what makes us content is different. That's why we ought to learn to accept the difference, not merely we wish people to understand us, but we need to do the same as well, isn't it?

We were heading straightly for lunch. This restaurant has an honest review from their customer, they've stuck some papers on the wall of their store, so people can read about the customer's experience from there. I only wish the pasta is good, I have learnt from my previous day, do not order a fish unless I am 99,99% sure.

My husband ordered a Spaghetti bolognese, it was excellent. I love how the spaghetti was al-dente, the tomato sauce was exceptional as well, it wasn't too sour, but it still tasted like a real tomato.

I got my self a Spaghetti carbonara, it was so yummy! I was deceived by the small portion of the enormous plate. I couldn't finish all of them because I was too full, the creamy sauce made me full quickly.

After lunch, we explored the remote part of Venice a little bit. Venice is really romantic. We enjoyed our time so much, it wasn't crowded, and we could observe the beautiful canals and alleys calmly. We didn't come across many tourists in this part of Venice, lucky us.

I wore a purple bralette from Liz Lisa and embroidered skirt from Comicou (my fashion brand). If you have been following me for a long time, you should notice that purple is my favourite colour. Even though my fashion style is a bit changing but I still love pastel colour a lot.

When I'm exploring, sneakers are my best friend. They are casual, conventional and stylish. I match them with any kind of clothes, and it looks fantastic. Many people questioned me about my white sneakers, it's Nike Air, and I wear size 6/6.5.

When you travelled to Venice, don't expect anything, or you'll be disappointed with your imagination. The water here isn't blue or baby blue, but it's a bit greenish. It's not dirty, but I guess that's the natural colour of Venice lagoon that we must appreciate and preserve.

We were determined to walk to San Marco even though it'd be packed. We wanted to explore Venice and walked through all the narrow passage. There are many rare sights and some cute scene on our journey that you can only see in Venice. I can't share all my pictures here of course because it'll be too heavy for all of you, but I'll share some of the best.

Above, is the picture I had taken when I was walking to San Marco square, we spent approximately 30 minutes to reach the area. We have gone through many canals and countless bridges. I love gazing at the traditional houses and let my mind wanders.

On our way to the square, we stopped by some gondola stations to find the gondolier. If you see a gondola stop, but there's no gondolier there; apparently, the gondolier is bringing some tourists on his gondola. You can wait for him/her there or perhaps you should keep walking, you'll find another stop shortly.

My husband wanted to make me happy, so he kept reminding me about the gondola ride. Whenever there's a gondola stop, he'd ask me if I wish to ride the gondola. "Sayang, do you want to ride the gondola now?", asked him. 

Weirdly, I always have a strong feeling for something, so I told him intuitively, "Not now, not yet".

We didn't use any map if you'd like to know, we didn't try to find where is the gondola stop either. We looked at the sign to keep us moving. That moment, I just had this urge to take the tiny long lane on our left, "Sayang, do you know what's on there? I'm so curious". Then he turned his head to the left, "Let's just follow your intuition, I think there's a big canal there".

We quickly walked through that very narrow alley, and I could see from far away that there was something extensive there. Like it was calling me? We were both fascinated with what we've seen, it was a part of the Grand Canal! It looks extraordinarily charming and of course, Venetian. When I close my eyes now and try to recall that day, it feels like a real adventure because we didn't use a google map at all, how curious!

I walked near the dock, and two gondoliers were standing there, waiting for any occupant. My husband asked me which one we should choose, he remembered that I mentioned 'I prefer the red shirt gondolier over the blue one'. What a coincidence, the left one was wearing a (dark blue) shirt, with a round hat, and the right one was wearing a red shirt.

My husband thought that I'd pick the red one without a doubt, but he was surprised that I was going to pick the dark blue one. He asked me why, and I told him, "because the hat is cute". He was confused, then I smiled, "it's just my feeling, so let's pick the guy on the left". :)

The gondolier greeted us cheerfully, we didn't expect that because he looks so intense. My husband asked for the price, and we agreed to ride the gondola with him. He told us about his gondola route, but we didn't really understand because we didn't have any route preference. We settled the payment, and I went on the gondola first because he said "always lady first", it was overwhelming.

And our adventure began...

The gondolier volunteered himself to take a picture of us, we didn't need to ask, and the result wasn't bad. 😂 He took a few shots of us and asked us to kiss, lol, then he said romantic! 

My sister said that her gondolier asked for additional payment for giving a talk-guide and singing. Our gondolier, he sang us a funny song and gave us a free guide, he even told us a little bit of history. He would tell us a story if we were going to pass a historical place during our ride. We were so lucky! I didn't anticipate that our gondolier would be so friendly and helpful. My husband said it was one of the most exciting experience he ever had. I believe so too.

Our gondolier is really skilful with his duty, he knows what he does. There was a 'mild traffic jam' by all the gondolas there, but it was an exciting experience for us. It was worth the money and time.

Our friendly gondolier who turned into a serious-mode when he starts rowing.

Throughout our ride, many people were waving their hands at us and taking a picture of us (I don't know why), so I'd just smile shyly and looked down. My friends assumed that maybe they all think that it's refreshing to see two sweet couple enjoying themselves on a gondola in Venice, and laughing with a bright gondolier. When I think about that, hmm, it could be true. 🤔

Our 30 minutes adventure finished so quick, it was truly unforgettable, I'm very grateful to God for his blessing. My husband, he never expected that he'd ride a gondola, but he was very impressed.

The Bridge of Sighs.

After our ride, we continued our trip to the area of San Marco. San Marco is the tourist heart of Venice, home to iconic sights like St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. The area is often thronged with people, and it is true!! It was really full! 

There are many restaurants as well, and they offer multilingual menus for the international crowd. The surrounding streets are filled with casual snack bars, upscale fashion boutiques and shops selling glass art and gift items. I was amazed that Venice's tiny streets are filled with many amusing things to see, they are all so Venetian.

After passed many stores and tried to get out from a group of Chinese tourists, we finally reached the square. The basilica and palace were fascinating. There's a spacious open space in the middle of the plaza, but it was packed with tourists. Nevertheless, I kept my self busy with observing the architecture, painting and other little details there. It's so noteworthy.

We tried to capture some photos with fewer people in the frame, but it seemed impossible. I think this was the best spot we could ever get. 

We didn't go inside because we still desired to explore the other side of the church, and the rest of Venice. The sky started to gather some clouds, so it looks a bit darker. I was worried that it would be raining soon, so I asked my husband to continue our exploration and grab some food on our way back home. Next time perhaps we could explore all the museums here, well, at God's willing.

There're some islands near Venice that we could visit, but we didn't. Many people suggested to me that I must pay a visit to all the islands here like Murano and Burano. It's so near, we even could book the half-day sightseeing tour to three islands near here. We didn't book the ticket because we wanted to make this trip exclusively to explore this city of canals. I know this might be unnatural to some of you, but sometimes I could be a little bit too idealistic. Still, it doesn't matter because my husband agreed to my decision and he enjoyed it.

We could just ride a boat and get down at Murano, but I always believe there will be next time in His time. Some people said, you could be dead tomorrow, yes that's true, but I don't have any regrets. I feel grateful enough for what we have encountered, so there's no sour feeling even though we couldn't get all the right things. For me, it's not about the quantity, but the quality. 

We bumped into these little fur babies, blimey, they made me miss my babies soo much. I can't wait to meet them next month, it's crazy how time flies too fast! I'll be in Indonesia next month! :D

At that moment, a guy approached us and asked if we are Japanese. He found a passport on the road near a church, and it's in Japanese. We told him we are not and apologise because we couldn't help him return the passport to the owner, I really hope he found the passport owner though.

Classic Pepperoni and Cheese

We were passing this store 'Farini' when we headed back to our Airbnb.  All the pizzas looked so good, and they were freshly made. Pizza in Italy is really on a different level, I can't explain how tasty the dough is and how delicious the pizza sauce is, because they're all so good!

It looks small in the picture but actually if you see them in real life, they're huge.

We sat down for a short time to eat and rest, tried to feel the ambience of the typical busy cafe in Venice, it was a precious moment.

Ham, Cheese, Courgettes and Sun-dried tomatoes.

After we filled our tummy with yummy pizza, we walked and passed the Rialto Bridge, the insanely popular bridge in here. It was hard to cross the bridge with peace in Summer, I guarantee you. The bridge was full of people, and they were taking a lot of pictures non-stop, everyone was stuck and looked not happy, but they couldn't do anything about it, lol.

We retook a short break, grab a lemon slushy and observed the bridge while enjoying the view. We waited for a small chance so we could move and take a shot from the bridge, then move on quickly. My husband noticed the opportunity, so we promptly proceed to the stairs and capture this picture below for our collection.

I know, a snapshot from this bridge is so beautiful. That's why some people willing to press and secure their spot, stay there for so long so no one can take over. Still, actually, that is a selfish attitude because they should have given a chance to other people. Remember, it's not all about us, other people want to appreciate the scenery as well. So how good is it if after we take some pictures and enjoy the view for a moment, then we leave the spot peacefully to other people. And also, how lovely is it if we could wait for a few minutes and let people enjoy their time without pushing or satirise them.

Everyone want to shot a photograph even just for once, so how wonderful if we could share it with other people and be a little bit thoughtful, perhaps? Don't you think so? Let's make this world a better place by starting it from within ourselves.

My support system during my Venice trip.

My feeling came true, suddenly it was raining, and we need to walk really fast before it gets heavy. Luckily, we were almost near to our flat, this time I opened my google map so we could go home immediately. The more we walk, the fewer the people. Most of the people living near our area are locals, so we got to experience living near the resident and see their routine. It was interesting.

When the sky turned dark, the rain stopped. We went out again to explore the neighbourhood at night. It was fun and inspiring because it wasn't too crowded. We planned to look for dinner but ended up buying a cone of ice cream. They were lovely but not as good as the one in Majer.

We were out for an hour and then went back again to our hotel to rest, pack our stuff and sleep. Our days were over in Venice, but we had so much fun here and many lovely experiences that we would love to share with our children (if we have one) in the future.

A little peek from the window in our room.

One thing to note before I close my story here, please be careful when you arrive at the station. Some wicked locals approached us when we wanted to go inside the station. They have many groups scattered over the front of the central station. They work with three to four people in one group, they still look young btw.

One group tried to scare us and asked for money. I always observe people, so I knew this group was moving suspiciously from far, they slowly came near us. I had prepared my self, so I stood behind my husband and slowly walked behind him, he was aware of them as well, so it was comforting.

We kept moving with caution to reach the main door. The boys tried to scare my husband by lifting their arms up and asked for money, but we didn't stop. My husband was saying no and gave them a 'rejection' gesture. They didn't realise that we almost reached the main door and we went to the station after that. They didn't follow us because I think they're nervous if there are many people.

I think many Asian tourists (couple) were frightened and gave them money, that's why they have courageously appeared near to us and asked for money directly. When we didn't want to give them, they showed a violent gesture to scare us.

I was standing behind my husband, so they couldn't touch me. I put my big luggage in front of me as well in case they tried to reach me. I wore a cross-over body bag which is hard to grab, and I didn't bring a lot of cash. I had some coins, though, but I didn't want to give them. On the other hand, my husband, he didn't bring any cash or any valuable items with him, not even wallet. So if they tried to grab him, they wouldn't obtain anything.

My husband practised kung-fu when he was young, so he didn't feel scared of them. He was ready to protect me if anything is going wrong, but I told him that we would be safe if we remained walking, and so they fled away.

They're just a bunch of careless young boys. Don't be afraid, just be careful and be aware if you see a group moving suspiciously and try to approach you. Always bring the weak one behind the strong one so they can't attack instantly. Try not to appear too fancy when you're travelling alone or in a small group, a misfortune could appear at any time. Don't forget to pray to God to protect you through your journey, and you'll be fine. 

Have a beautiful and safe trip, if you're planning one!


xx, Comi

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