Friday, July 12, 2019

Venice 2|6

It is time for the second post about our trip to Venice!

It was a pretty active day so buckle up because we took a LOT of pictures.

The morning started out pretty slow, however. I hadn't slept too well because of the new environment and we took our sweet time getting ready before heading out.
My straightener also died after I'd done only half of my hair so I had to come up with an emergency plan to not have my bangs go wild in the humidity.

I present to you: my hair split down the middle and kept in place with 5 bobby pins. Also, my outfit of the day (this is mainly a reminder to myself about what to wear next time I go to a hot place).

Rest in peace, dear straightener. You have done well.

Jasmin made us toast for breakfast and while she was busy doing that, I tried taking pictures of the apartment to show my family.
Here we have the bedroom. It looks like someone had a wrestling match and I wouldn't be surprised if it had been me and the sheet during the night. Even that thin layer of cloth made it too hot to sleep.
And here Jasmin is striking a post in the hallway. To the right of me was the bathroom and to Jasmin's left was the kitchen.
You can see the kitchen here
And the rest of the kitchen/hallway here. Jasmin thought she could sneak away before I snapped a picture but I caught her!
And here we were making our game plan. The first day Jasmin had been there, our host has excitedly pointed out places to go and drawn it all on a map of the city.

Our first stop was Ponte di Rialto, the oldest of the four bridges crossing Canal Grande. Canal Grande is the biggest canal going through the city.
The bridge was located some distance from where we stayed and with us constantly stopping for pictures, it took a little while to get there.

This picture I took super close to our apartment and the canal here is the Canal Grande. This is the 'main road' and where you'll find the public water buses (vaporettos) and taxi boats.
There are NO cars or the like in Venice so everything you can think of like buses, ambulances, police cars, etc. are in boat versions here. You'll see later.
Rather than following the canal, we walked deeper into the city to see more. There were many people in the streets and it was super hot.
We came across a huge street art of Mona Lisa in the form of a chalk drawing.
Venice was beautiful. It's been a place that I've wanted to visit 'just because' and to say I've been there but I'd never paid attention to the beauty of the city before now.
Everything just fit into the old style and it was super pleasing for the eyes.
The lack of cars is something that still fascinates me. Jasmin and I made way too many lame jokes about boats during our stay here.
A gondolier is relaxing in the shadow.
Eyy that's me!
And here's Jasmin!
Venice had a couple of big candy stores like this and several of them were pirate themed for some reason.

We finally made it to the bridge! Here are some pictures of the view.
We wanted to take pictures with the pretty view as the background but is was so crowded there that it was almost impossible. So, here are pictures of us ft. random peoples' bags.
Jasmin had brought her selfie stick but even with that it was hard to take pictures because there just wasn't space enough for her to stretch out her arm properly. It was actually a bit funny.
Here are the few pictures we snapped before escaping the mass of people. I wasn't ready for the first one ㅋㅋ
Also, notice how wild the hair on the left side of my head is. That's the result of humid weather and no straightener :))

Near the bridge was also a fish market but we steered away from that pretty quickly. None of us are big fans of fish and the smell was pretty noticeable.
We couldn't really find a good place to take a picture of the bridge from farther away so this one will have to do. At least I caught some gondolas.
Rather than the big canal and this bridge, I much preferred the narrow canals in between buildings. Look how peaceful it was.
Without a million other tourists around you, the smaller canals make for good picture taking opportunities.
We also came upon a big, shiny clock with roman numerals.
Another picture of Venice's charming narrow streets.

Not far from the bridge was St. Mark’s Basilica, built in 1092 this is one of Venice's most famous architectural pieces. That was, however, also very hard to snap a good picture of.
See what I mean?
Even the doves there were so used to tourists that I saw a couple of people taking pictures WITH them. If you click the picture, it will enlarge and you can see one sitting on the blonde girl's arm (left).
And here's Jasmin looking cute in front of another impressive building. I first though it was a clock but it seems not.
Jasmin looking cute ft. pointing man.
The building you see here is Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace). We did not go in there. Jasmin had already gone with her Italian friends before I came to Italy and I wasn't too interested in roasting in the sun while waiting in that big line outside.
So we went to the pier, had a look, and turned around. It was refreshing getting that tiny bit of sea breeze.
Jasmin thought this was a good place for another picture but the wind and my hair disagreed.
More picture of pretty Venice~

We suddenly stumbled upon a VIOLIN MUSEUM.
Jasmin has been playing violin for a couple of years now and was interested so we went in to check it out. There was a sign saying not to take pictures but Jasmin, that little sneaky-sneak, did anyways. They came out a bit blurry because of the dim light so I'm not going to post them.

That night there was going to be a performance by some very famous violinists (that I forget the names of) in the building right beside the museum.

The museum was located inside a square and right across it was a nice garden.

I really liked the windows here. They were HUGE.
And the light there made for great pictures!
We're a pretty good team, helping each other pose in the best ways~✧⋆

Moving on~
One of the many cool things about traveling with Jasmine is that she takes a LOT of pictures as well. I often end up having little pictures of myself and an abundance of snaps of the people I'm traveling with but Jasmin makes sure to take a lot of pictures of me as well. This also results in us having little photo-wars where we take pictures of each other taking pictures of the other. Like here.
The yellow building here is the Gallerie dell’Accademia. It's a museum hosting masterpieces such as Leonardo Da Vinci's Virtruvian Man showing the ideal proportions of man.
Look at this super pretty hotel entrance we found!

After walking for a good while, it was finally time for us to have ice cream. We'd planned to have ice cream at least once and ideally twice a day while we were there since Italian ice cream is some of the best in the world!
We found a place but were shoo'd away when we wanted to sit down in the shadow right outside to eat. They'd only let you sit if you ordered actual food. There weren't any customers at that time so it was pretty strange to us. Truth be told, we were a bit salty about it but didn't make a deal out of it.

Oh well. We just squatted down in the shadow somewhere else.
After eating, we continued our adventures. This time, we came by a boat repair garage.
I present you one of the wonders of Venice: excavator boats!

Now it's time for a little story.
It was obviously very hot outside. About 35°C and not much wind. We'd been walking out in the sun non-stop for 3 hours at this point and were heading home for a break from the sun.

As we dragged our sweaty selves past yet another little café/bar thing, I looked at my reflection to make sure that I didn't look as gross as I felt... just to realize that there was someone inside looking right back at me. At that someone was a not-bad looking Italian guy around our age.

And you know how, in scary or embarrassing situations, time seems to slow down?

The entire side of the bar was one big window and those few seconds of him smiling and waving to us and my flustered face staring back in shock felt VERY long.
But my wish to escape quickly turned around when he offered cold drinks inside.
Jasmin just walked right in when he said they had air condition :')

We were sat in an adjoining room with a couple of bigger tables further inside.
This was the perfect opportunity to try the aperol spritz drink (or just spritz as the Italians refer to it as) that our host has recommended.
Continuing our joke about being on a romantic couple vacation, we attempted to take those typical 'drinking fancy drinks with my other half' pictures. While Jasmin has got that cute girlfriend vibe, I look like someone trying to sell you an expensive wine :')
Don't misunderstand. I'm not criticizing myself but rather making fun of the awkwardness that sometimes shows in pictures. We all have our awkward moments.
The waiters were 3 young guys and they were all over us paid a lot of attention to us. It seemed like every time they didn't have new customers, they'd come to our table to 'check if everything was okay', to listen to our Danish conversations, or to ask us about our stay there and plans for the coming days.

I can't remember the name of the third waiter but the two in the picture were named Marco (left) and Alessandro. This was by the way taken after Alessandro saw me fiddling with my now frizzy hair (thanks, humidity) and offered to braid it.
It was pretty entertaining and we ended up staying there for a while. One of the even fanned Jasmin a few times.
They asked if we were free in the evening and if we'd like to go for drinks. AS FRIENDS, of course.
I firmly believe that spending time with the locals is the best way to enjoy new places. It's a great chance to find non-touristy stuff. And, you know, if they turned out to be weird, we could just leave.

When we were about to leave, I stopped to take a picture of the place like I always do. The waiter wanted to be in it so.. here we are.
Jasmin did a cute pose for the picture and he mirrored her. But for our picture, he asked to hold my hand. Observe how Marco looks like a proud parent.

Sitting down like that gave us new energy and instead of going home, we walked around some more.

Next on our must-see list was another church, the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
As we were about to enter, Jasmin could walk right past while I was stopped by a young guy in the door, who signaled that my skirt was too short.
Jasmin came back out but I told her to go in and see it for herself. In return, she promised to take pictures and show me the inside of the church later.
This is what it looked like~
While Jasmin was inside, I enjoyed the view outside and watched a few Italiens almost being turned away before covering their indecent shoulders with children's clothes.
When Jasmin came out, we sat down on the stairs and talked.
This bird really wanted to be in our picture so I snapped it as well.
We were having a pretty serious conversation when a man sitting nearby dropped in and asked us what language we were speaking because it sounded funny.
He seemed nice enough and we ended up talking about traveling before parting because Jasmin and I had gotten hungry. And thus, instead of going home for a break like originally planned, we ended up spending the whole day outside.

For dinner we went to this place recommended to us by our host, Trattoria ai Cugnai.

When it was time to pay, we had a bit of a surprise.
Since I've been to Italy many times when I was younger, I was aware that some places might charge you for the service (forks and knives. Some also want you to pay for the bread sticks).
Before going in, we'd made sure that this wouldn't be a problem since there was a sign outside saying NO SERVICE CHARGE.
Well, there might not have been a service charge but there was another one that was a 10-12% charge of the bill. It was a bit unclear what exactly we were paying extra for but it seems like it was for the table? As in, we paid to be sitting at a table there.

Oh well. The food was good.
Now have some more pictures of the narrow streets~
This one turned out really intense and I really like it.
This bridge was just one out of the many many many small ones found around the city but we had another special experience here. As Jasmin had taken this picture, a young couple came to the bridge, saw us, and asked if Jasmin could take a picture of them using their polaroid camera.
As a thank you, they offered to take a picture of us as well. They were so sweet and it's such a heartwarming memory now.

And then the adventures continued!
Now we were actually heading home and on the way, we found a mask shop. Just like the pirate-themed candy shops, there are a lot of mask shops in Venice. However, outside this one was a pretty creepy human-sized doll with a plague mask.
More pictures on random bridges. Have you noticed how few other people there are in these pictures? I heard from the two Danish women I met during my first day in Venice that most tourists go home around 5pm - and that that is the time the locals will come out.
Before reaching home, we stopped by a desparcito supermarket with a security guard (??) and where you had to scan your receipt to get out. That was a first for me.
Here I found bread without crust. My hobby of taking picture of food that I find strange has now spread from Korea to also include Italy.
We were buying stuff to make toast out of in the mornings and had picked up things like mozzarella cheese (I developed a love for mozzarella cheese after the pizza roll we had the night before) and spicy Italian salami. When we approached check-out, we noticed the nutella area and contemplated getting that instead. But I eat my nutella with butter under and butter was nowhere to be found in there. The line was pretty long so while I was holding our spot, Jasmin went on a butter hunt but came back empty handed. As a last-resort, we turned to the Italian man standing in line behind us to ask if he knew where the butter was. As first he didn't understand us until it clicked that were were talking about burro (Italian word for butter). At first I thought he was joking since burro means donkey in Spanish but apparently not.

"Yes! Burro! Do you know where it is?" we asked.
"I don't think it's here. It's summer! You don't eat it now,"
he said as if stating the obvious and then chuckled.

"That Italian man just judged us because of our food choices!" Jasmin said to me half confused, half joking.

In the end, we gave up on the butter and accepted our salami and mozzarella eating future.

We passed by a place with the most delicious looking ice cream and promised each other that we'd buy from here tomorrow.
Look at this magical unicorn ice cream! My friend Maria would have been screamed had she been there!

In the night, we met up with the waiters Marco and Alessandro.
The night was humid and I asked Jasmin to braid my hair before going out. She said that it's the prettiest french braid she'd ever done so I believe it deserves to be highlighted here in my blog post.

They told us to come to a big square around 20 min. away by foot from our place. This area was close to the university and was THE hangout spot for young locals. Score!
The dynamic of our little 4-man group was.. interesting.
Very awkward but very funny afterwards.

That was an eventful day!
Thanks for reading if you made it this far.

I'll make sure to post day 3 soon!

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