Sometimes life gives you vodka with those lemons we find on the ground. Take advantage of those times but learn to find peace when you don't get the vodka. The reason I got this little tattoo on my finger is to remind myself that I can't take life so seriously all the time. Learn to laugh in difficult scenarios.
After Florence, Italy, my buddy Liam and I made our way up to Venice, Italy, my first water based city I will have ever been to.
When I was in Florence, my next step was to go to Bologna, Italy, where they have some of the best food apparently. I started looking at hostels and the price of transportation to get myself from Florence to Bologna.
The cheapest hostel that I was able to find in Bologna was roughly 25 Euros a night, and I wasn't willing to pay that much per night so I ended up bypassing Bologna on my way to Venice.
Liam had pre-purchased his Euro Pass for the fast train before he had arrived in Europe so all he had to do was pick a destination and hop on a fast track to wherever. I on the other-hand had to figure out if I wanted to take a train or a bus, what the destinations were, the prices, the times, if there was a place I had to switch buses or trains, and trying to figure it out on the way. I ended up taking a train from Florence to Venice.
I get to the train station and instantly have to ask the Italian workers what platform my train was leaving from. I ended up making the train but I didn't know it was more of a commuter train, so it was packed. I had my huge back, backpack, as well as my front backpack.
Luckily I worked my way on the train and snagged a seat and put my big pack on the seat next to me. I was stressing out a little bit because I had barely made the train that the worker told me to get on, that was boarding now. I had to ask the guy next to me if I was on the correct train. He spoke a little English and told me to follow him to the station 15 minutes away where I had to transfer trains with him to Bologna, where I would have to transfer trains again to go to Venice from Bologna. He said to go to platform 13 to get on the train to Venice. It turns out that it wasn't platform 13, but platform 11... I barely made that train after running up and down elevators and through the train station and asking security what platform I had to take. I make the train and ended up arriving in Venice around 9pm.
I get to the hostel in Mestre, a city right outside of Venice. It looked like a nice hotel from the outside, I was very impressed.
Liam was already waiting in the lobby drinking. I shower and check in, turns out the only other person in my 6 bed hostel room was a purple haired German/Brazilian girl named Mariana. We instantly bonded when I told her I was a brewer and beer is life. She was German, she loves beer. She busted out some craft beers and shares them with me over conversation. We quickly became friends and ended up hanging out a lot over the next 3 days.
That night we went to get pizza, which I pretty much ate every other day. I pass out early to go explore the city of Venice the next day.
We head on in to the city after drinking an IPA on the 15 min train ride in to Venice that cost about 1.3 Euros. I was amazed to see water going through the city, and everywhere I went was water from that point on.
We were going to meet up with Mariana's friends she had met a week or so earlier. We meet up with her Indian friend who is basically in love with her and his French friend and decide to walk around town with them. They take us to the main "cool" buildings in Venice and we do they typical tourist thing without spending a gagillion dollars by not buying all of the cool things I wanted.
I noticed that Venice was very performing arts based. There was many stores full of masks and outfits. It is an extreme tourist city with shops everywhere and the prices were matching, very high.
Mariana's friends were part of a college exchange program and were having a final potluck/meeting and we got to go in and listen to some speeches and eat some food from all their respective cultures from all over the world. We ended making a few friends that day.
We all went to go to this church that was in a little square, next to a taproom sort of business, where everyone goes on the steps of the church to drink. We ended up drinking and talking with all of the "kids" on the steps of the church for 2 hours before we had to catch a train back to our hostel so I could put my camera away before going out with them. Liam and I hop on the train with our friend Ale (her real name and is from Costa Rica).
The train was 30-45 minutes late and I was losing my buzz and getting pretty tired. We get off the train and by this time it was about 9:30 PM and we find the cold and wind to walk the 15 min from the train station to our hostel. I ended up going right to my room to pass out. Drinking all day definitely takes a toll on a person.
I wake up the next day and decided to ask our new friend Ale (awesome name) if she wanted to meet up with Liam and I in Venice. She was staying with a host family an hour and a half away from Venice. We meet in Venice at noon and walk around the city again and decide to drink on the steps again!
We ended up going home around 7PM after seeing the same things we had seen the previous day. This was Liam's last day with me and we had a few beers at the hostel before he took an overnight train out to what I thought was Budapest, but ended up stopping in Vienna, where I had also planned to go next. Omens.
He left around 9pm and Mariana and I continued to drink some beers art the hostel until about 11pm when we decided to go pass out. The next morning Mariana had to leave back to Naples so she went to go see her friend for lunch one last time. I stay in the hostel and do some marketing on my phone for many hours while she's out. She comes back with her 21 year old polish guy friend and has to leave. I say goodbye to them, go walk to the supermarket and eat some sandwiches before headng back to the hostel to relax.
I ended up finally watching Guardians of the Galaxy on Netlix, and then a whole season of Rick and Morty. I loved it.
I woke up and told Ale I would go see her in the outskirt city of Venice, called Vittorio Veneto. We walk around this small town at the base of some mountains with only 30,000 people. We snag some gelato (first and last in Italy), as well as a beer at a chain-ish brewery like BJ's. I had to catch a train so I had to leave and on the way back, I had to take a leak so I go in the bushes on the side of a street. When I was taking a piss i went to let out a fart.... It wasn't just a fart hahahah not cool!!! I had to continue walking to catch my bus though! It was a miserable 2 hours back to the hostel to say the least.
I ended up passing out early and got ready to leave to Vienna the next day.
I wake up and head downstairs the following morning with my packs to check out and wait for my bus to Vienna.
Reflecting back, I'm very glad I went to Venice but I think it's a city that can be explored in 1-2 days. Very expensive. Gorgeous and touristy.
I hopped on that 8 hour bus ride to Vienna and said my final goodbyes to Italy, where I had been for the previous 2 weeks. I learned a lot and am so glad I got to experience the gorgeous, monumental, cities in Italy. It's time for a new country and a new adventure now! Austria then Germany baby!