Monday, July 15, 2019

Venice 3|6

Hello and welcome back!

This is Venice day 3 and today we went island hopping!

Jasmin found a good deal for us online where we could get tickets to go on a SEVEN HOUR LONG trip to Murano, Burano, and Torcello - 3 big islands located outside the main part of Venice.

The trip started at 9.30 in front of the station where we were first picked up by a small bus boat and brought to Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark's Square) before joining another group of tourists on a bigger boat.
We were given these red stickers so the guides could keep track of us. This was taken inside the small boat.
And this is from the roof of the second and bigger boat!
Adventure: START!
Today was the day I discovered the gravity of Jasmin's seasickness.
The first stop was Murano - the glass blowing island.
The guides told us where to go and what to make sure to see during the 1 hour we spent there. They also led us to a place where we could watch locals blow glass figures. Murano is known for their glass being top tier quality. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Murano became Europe's first elite glass making central and the Murano glass makers created what was considered the finest glass in the world.
We were sat on benches inside a small 'room.'
While the guy on the right explained in English, French, Spanish, and Italian, the guy to the left blew the glass.
His first creation was a small vase with a top that kind of resembled flower petals.
This time he made a swan.
Afterwards the presenter guy did a little speech about the steadiness of the glass while hammering it down on the table, leaving it unscratched.
I liked the cats.
Now we were off to explore on our own and most of our time was spent taking pictures of the sublime view.
Some romantic street lamps we found~
Those lamps get more action than I do hahaha
Venice and all the other islands we went to had water flowing freely in the streets like this. That is one of the things I REALLY appreciate about Venice. It helped us stay hydrated during our entire trip and was especially great for people like us who walk everywhere under the scorching sun.
So far we'd seen a lot of bakeries in Venice and on Murano as well and decided that now was the time to try some of their sweets. We went inside and bought.. a sweet bread ring? A cookie ring? 
Anyways, we bought it and saved it for a little later since Jasmin was feeling too nauseous to eat anything just yet.
The adventures continued~
I found some cool glass beads that looked surprisingly similar to Pandora's trollbeads.
When I was done looked and about to run over to Jasmin, she ordered me to go back and look at them some more. I later found out through her Instagram that she was taking pictures of my booty.
This was the outcome:
Here are the beads btw.
The glass pine tree was the last thing we saw before heading back towards the ship. It didn't take as long to walk back as first expected so we sat down to eat the cookie right we had bought earlier. It tasted like a Danish butter cookie (vaniljekrans) with a bit of spice.
This is the ship that brought us to Murano!

Next stop: Burano!
Look how cool this water road is, splitting in two like that.
We spotted another excavator boat!
As we were sailing from place to place, the guide would tell us to look left and right and tell us about the sights in both English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German. She did a really great job.
Look at the leaning tower!
This was the pretty entrance to a graveyard.
We joked that with all these islands, maybe this was the graveyard island where they sent their dead people. We were joking but.. throughout the history of Venice there actually were a couple of islands where those infected with the plague were sent.
You can visit those islands but that is something I found out too late. It's definitely on my to-do list for when I return to Venice one day.
Jasmin felt a LOT better on this boat since we were sitting outside in the shadow, with the gently sea breeze in our hair and a perfect view of the horizon.
This is Burano - it's famous for the colourful houses!
After sailing around the island, we finally went ashore.
The man you see here was the guide who'd first picked us up in the morning. When we stopped to take the first pictures, he told where to go to get the best shots and to stay near the edge of the island to see the best views. We had 2 hours here before going to the last and final place, Torcello.
All of the little houses were so unique and cute. I found these decorations in the windowsill of one of the first houses we passed.
The guide told us to go to this bridge to get the best shot of the leaning tower.
That must have been one of my favorite spots on the island.

Another fancy house decoration.

As if the pretty, colourful houses weren't enough, we also checked out several narrow passages.
They, too, made for good picture opportunities.
"Wait! Stop there! Step back a little and put your hand on the wall. Now look back at me!" - Jasmin
The light mixed with our sweaty, sunscreen covered legs made us look pretty model-like.

More pretty streets of Burano~
Here we are witnessing the perfect picture-taking squat.
Two can play this game, Jasmin ㅋㅋㅋ
Whereas the colorful houses seemed to be mostly for living, we had now come to an area with a bunch of little shops - many of them selling clothes and embroidery.
Check out this classy jewelry box!
It was time for a break so we sat down on a bench resting in the shadow of a big tree. Although there was a big group of tourists right around the corner, it was incredible tranquil where we were. For a moment we just sat there, listening to the sound of food being prepared and families eating together inside the colorful houses.

After a bite, we were ready to do some last exploring while heading back towards where we had come ashore.
And took some more pictures. The sun was so strong that we couldn't see anything and ended up having to just snap a bunch and escape the horde of other tourists.

On our way back, we came to a small plaza with a gigantic flag. I have no interesting story about this place. I just really like oversized things.

Okay so when we'd first come to Burano, back when the guide had told us where to go and what to see, I'd made a quick comment in passing about the house that 'looks like a lego house' over there.
We made it back earlier than expected and decided to go sit in the shadow somewhere and wait-- right after having taken a picture of the 'lego house,' which was actually an entrance to a sweet old man's house.

What started out as me wanting a picture of this colorful wall turned into Jasmin going: "Hey, it'd be pretty cool if we could take a picture of US inside each of the entrances."
And THAT is what led us to construct a selfie station.

We put down all of our stuff and placed the camera on top. While I posed inside the 'doors,' Jasmin adjusted the camera. Let's enjoy the view of Jasmin's butt for a moment.
You may call us geniuses for this. Call in today and you could get your own selfie-station by 귀여미팀™!
Here are some of the pictures Jasmin took of me while adjusting it.
Am model now. Pls hire me.
And here are the ones we took together using the timer function!
I think they turned out really nice~
A few tourists saw us taking pictures and continued walking as if it were nothing. But this old Italian couple stopped to watch us and had a chuckle when they saw Jasmin set off the timer and frantically run to her spot while I enthusiastically cheered for her in the background.

The old lady approached us and first signaled taking a picture of us. I thought she wanted to help snap a picture of us with our phones but instead she used her own camera to take a picture - and THEN she signaled for us to hand her the phone so she could take one with that too. I'm imagining that sweet old lady showing this picture of two random tourists to her grandkids and telling them this story.
She did a good job, though. Grazie, random Italian lady.

Next and last island was Torcello~
We were slightly confused when we were about to get on the boat since they had upgraded it to an even nicer one while we'd been exploring.
Somehow this place felt a lot hotter than anywhere else we went. This might sound a bit strange but it was as if the sun had kind of bleached everything into this dusty green/yellow colour.
We had one hour on Torcello as well because there wasn't as much to see here and without being too sure, I think this was also the smallest of the islands we went to. We were told to walk along the canal, which would eventually lead to a big church. So we did. And let me tell you, it was too hot. There was absolutely no wind at all. Not even a tiny hint of a breeze. What was probably a 10-15 minute walk from one end of the island to the other suddenly felt very tiring.
Jasmin, who went to Africa earlier this year, remarked how similar it felt to this place. I, on the other hand, kept thinking of the Jungle Adventure pack for Sims 4 and the 'stress-house' I've been working on.

Yess! Civilization!
Speaking of, we were told that there were only about 10 inhabitants on the island.
When we'd arrived, the guides made it very clear that it was important to be back at the designated time.
Could you picture yourself living on an island with so few people? Neither of us could so we joked that the 10 people were actually not Italians but some unfortunate tourists who hadn't made it back to the boat in time.
Look at the tourists to the left with their matching outfits ㅋㅋㅋ
What you see is was pretty much all we saw + a lot a grapevines. It wasn't too interesting, honestly.
Jasmin, that little sneaky-sneak, caught me taking pictures.
The outcome on Jasmin's Instagram story: CENSORSHIP.
There was probably a good half hour left when we'd finished viewing the church. The rest of the time we spent taking pictures, just waiting to get back out on the sea and the cool ocean breeze.

Watch these creepy sculptures we found.
There was also a bunch of decorative stone ornaments, some of which resembled gravestones. And this super cool throne made of glass tiles. 
Okay wait.
No. I take that back.
This throne was in no way 'cool.' Rather, it was flaming hot and burned our thighs. But alas, it made for a good picture opportunity. Beauty is suffering.

And here are some pictures of the (grave)stones.
Also, for no clear reason: shiny bowls.
And shiny... wooden poles.

Here's the church from another angle.

And then we went on our merry way home. It took approximately an hour. This upgraded boat didn't have anywhere to sit in the shadow upstairs so we were stuck inside, sticking out heads out the window.
I don't know what in the world happened but for some reason there seemed to be a huge traffic jam.. on the water.. and we probably spent 30-40 minutes staring out at this Balenciage sign while waiting to get off the boat. Because there were boats constantly moving around us, there were also constantly waves just tilting us from side to side while our boat stayed in place. Even I, who am not seasick, started feeling a bit weird so I can't even imagine how Jasmin felt.

Instead of the main station where we'd been picked up in the morning, the tour ended at Piazza San Marco, from where we had a 25-minute walk home.
That was a bit tiring.

But we made it home, took off our restraining clothes, and threw ourselves on the bed.
Dinner that night was mozerella toast prepared by yours truly.
Jasmin caught me in a really goofy moment of stabbing the food and this is my 'oh no, I've been found out'-face. Please notice my impeccable fashion sense also.
Am also a chef now. Pls hire me.

Remember the place from yesterday with the unicorn ice cream?
We went there for dessert but they were out of unicorn ice cream! nOOOoooOoo ㅠㅠ
Jasmin picked cheesecake and salt caramel and everything was fine.
But when I made the highly mature choice of kinder chocolate and smurf flavor, the ice cream vendor chuckled(!)
That was the second time an Italian judged my food choices!!
Having already escaped the prison that is clothes once, it took a lot of willpower to put something back on. Instead of the pretty island hopping clothes, we donned our comfortable fruit shirts.

We took our ice cream with us and sat down on the other side of Ponte degli Scalzi (Scalzi Bridge) near the water, letting it splash onto our feet.

Also: me unable to wink
The stones were still hot from having been in direct sunlight all day. It was super nice.
Before going home, we walked back to the 'pier,' where we'd been sitting the first night, because I wanted some pictures of the clear night sky.

After such a long day, it was getting harder to stay awake but the night was young and we'd planned to hang out with Marco and Alessandro once again.
We were saving up some energy by lying flat on the bed and complaining about the heat when I kicked off the sheet and only put a section back on. Thinking the same, we looked at each other. Jasmin's mouth was quicker than mine.
"Toga!!" she yelled.
And soon we found ourselves on the floor, wrapping up in the sheets we used to sleep with. Our spontaneous toga party had begun!

Jasmin's first wrap was beautiful. Look how majestic she was!
Like the good fake girlfriend that she is, she wrapped me as well.
Look at that figure! Dayum.
Yes. With Jasmin wrapping me, the metamorphosis was completed.
The random strand of hair gracing my eyebrow hinted at my true self.
I had become the Roman goddess of unibrows.
I'm like a girl scout trying to get people to buy my cookies and Jasmin looks like she's about to drop her new album.
Look how ridiculously overdramatic Jasmin made us look in her Instagram story. I love it!

At 11pm we went out to hang out with the Italians again - this time at a bar Jasmin had gone to when she'd first come. (The girl won't eat alone but she can go to bars by herself?!) The name of the place is Time Social Bar and I can highly recommend going. The staff is super nice!
The boys were late so we grabbed the opportunity to take more fake couple photos. Here we are showing off our couple rings.
When Jasmin had first gone, they were revamping their menu, making an whole new menu card as well. The bartender (the guy in the picture below) excitedly greeted Jasmin and proudly told her this.
We ordered their piña colada and a glass of white wine. The wine was alright but the colada tasted straight up like rum and a bit of whipped cream. The pineapple was almost non-existent ㅠㅠ
I'm a person who prefers fancy drinks where the alcohol flavor is less obvious so this really wasn't for me. I knew that southern Europe add a LOT more alcohol to their drinks than we do but wow.
+++ points for the aesthetics, though. The table behind us ordered a drink that was served in a tiny beach chair. It was adorable.
The boys showed up but by that time all the tables around us were full and there was no space for 4 people inside so we ended up awkwardly drinking in girl-team and boy-team before going to an Irish pub afterwards. We shared a drink there called Blue Eyes and that one was surprisingly good!

Before I end my post, I want to tell you about something adorable that happened to us while we were still drinking separately.
Jasmin and I were sitting outside at a tiny table and around us were other tourists minding their own business when two kids, a maybe 12-year-old girl and a slightly younger boy, and a woman came up and started speaking to all of us.
The woman told us that her kids had something they wanted to show us and then she broke into this sort of slow beatboxing while waving her arm up and down to signal a beat to which the little girl started rapping in English. Soon it was the boy's turn but he only uttered a few sentences before getting too shy.
The mom laughed and thanked us and then all 3 of them ran away. Such a pure moment and such a good memory.

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