Friday, September 4, 2009

It doesn't look like its sinking

When we last left Andrea she was spending her last night in Rome. It was a simple quiet night in to relax and rejuvinate. Emi and I went out for a quick breakfast (it was forced upon me!), then he drove me to the train station, which was awesome because I sure have grown to hate my massive bag! I had to make a quick stop and buy new luggage because a) I was running out of room and b) he knew where to get a good bag! I got one with wheels that go in all 4 directions so i could push or pull it. It has the Italian colours on it too so it doubles as a nice souvenir for me. I have to say, it's pretty awesome. So after a quick goodbye, it was arrivederci Roma, and I was off to Venice. I arrived here mid afternoon, had a quick chat with the staff (all of whom seem to be American), got changed, then went out to dinner and took the water bus to Lido to experience my very first film festival! I had no idea where to go or what to expect when I got there. But I had my ticket in hand and found my way to the Sala Grande for the movie premiere. It was awesome. Just like you see on the entertainment shows: the red carpet, the press, the throngs of screaming fans! I made my way to one part of the stage where a guy with a camera was setting up. Turns out hes based in LA and works for Getty Images. He gets to travel the world and go to all the big festivals. We talked for a bit and I think we were both a bit jealous of each other: I of him because he gets to live the big hollywood lifestyle (all paid for!), while he said he was envious of me to travel the world on my own. The grass is always greener on the other side I guess. After an hour and a half trying to get back to the hostel, I crashed and didnt get up until late this morning. I haven't been feeling quite right the last couple days, so I decided to hit up the local hospital as my first tourist attraction. Nothing to worry about. A quick visit from the doctor and I was done. Compared to other foreign hospital experiences I've had (ask me about Bangkok someday), Venice was pretty dire straits. Really old fashioned wheel chairs, not well equiped for foreign sickies. Then there was the trouble of paying. The cash was closed for the day (it was 2pm) so I had to go to a machine to pay. Of course it was all in Italian, and you know what? I don't understand a single word! So I asked a woman who was walking past if she could help me. She didn't speak any english. But after a fun game of sherrades, it was done and I was able to go out to actually see the city. And what a beautiful city it is! Everything is magical here. The gondolas, the music, the canals! Some one said to me Venice was smelly...not true! Interesting things to note about Venice: there are no cars and no real roads. Only alleyways and bridges that bring you from one square to the next. This whole city reminds me so much of the film Labyrinth (if you haven't seen it, you MUST! Its a classic and one of my favourites!) So after wandering around San Marco square and seeing the Palace and boating along the canal, I started doing what I do best: shop! I have a long list of people to buy souvenirs for and Venice has some of the best souvenirs I've ever seen! Apparently, they're quite known for their hand blown glass and their Carnavale maks (ever seen Eyes Wide Shut? A really awful film, but the masks in the movie were made by a guy in Venice). I made sure to get lots of both! I finally made my way back to the hostel carrying at least 6 bags and arranged all my stuff to make sure it fits...success! Tonights plan is to partake in the communal hostel pasta dinner and then they all go out to party. Apparently last night they didnt get home until 4am. I dont think they'll be re-doing that tonight, but I expect to have a fun night, none the less! Must remember to be some what responsible to catch my train to Interlaken, Switzerland tomorrow!

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