Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
58Trip End Apr 15, 2008
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We arrived late the first night on a flight from Dubrovnik (there was no way we were going back on the Jadrolinja ferry...still the most miserable mode of travel we've experienced yet). So,excited and a little disoriented, we set off to explore Venice the next morning. The city is a very confusing place. Maps are pretty useless and there is no absolute easy way to get from point A to B. So we spent most of our time wandering the streets and countless bridges
Venice is also incredibly expensive and staying within budget was
difficult. So difficult that the prospect of riding a gondola through
the canals was completely out of the question. A 2 km ride on the Grand
Canal cost 100 euro, which to me is enough money to suck the romance
out of the entire experience. We decided to save our money and spend
it instead on a nice bottle of wine at dinner.
By all counts this is a stunning city and unlike anyplace else. It was packed with tourists, more than any other place so far. This was probably the case because there was an international film festival and the biennial arts festival there as well.
The coolest part of visiting any place is partly seeing what everyone sees when they visit but more than that is seeing the things that are visiting there at the same time as you. These things (the coincidence) make your experience very different than anyone else's or like your own experience would be if you go back another time
The Bienale was pretty amazing, featuring artists and drawing visitors from all over the world. There was nothing traditional about most of the exhibits - the majority were politically-charged installations and photography. It was refreshing to spend the day looking at contemporary, provocative art rather than (another) beautiful cathedral.
We do our best to experience every new place on as many levels as possible. This means that we concede to the necessary evil of being tourists, we wield our camera and go to all of the places, no matter how jam packed, and we wait in lines. Like everyone else we stand amazed and look around and then at each other and say "can you believe that we are here?" The other part for us is to go and get lost. We just walk, when we are thirsty we drink, when we are hungry we find a place to eat. This is the way to experience a place and Venice was the perfect city to do this because even with a map, you are lost. It is perfect and we loved it.