Saturday, September 5, 2009

Venice-->Nice: An Experience Worth the Wait

Hello everyone who is reading this blog,

I am currently at my hostel in Nice, France! This is so amazing! We arrived here at about 5:45am and so we travelled through the night... it was a very interesting experience. Going from train to train through the night. We stopped in Milan for about 20 minutes, it was beautiful and I hope to go back one day.

I know I have not written in awhile so I feel like I should back track...

Did I tell you all that I went to Venice?? Well I did! It was so amazing to see everything. Not what I expected at all... The canals flow through the entire city just like you see in movies, it is really beautiful. When we stepped out of the train station and saw the water, it took my breath away. There were steps leading all the way down to the water that was glistening under the light of the beautiful antique lamp post. There were people sitting along the edges of the water eating pizza and gelato. Either way you looked the water flowed under bridges. On either side of the canals the buildings met the water, with doors that would slide up or open wide for the boats to float in. They have no cars in Venice! I mean it seems like something obvious, but it was probably one of my favorite things about Venice. Everyone walked everywhere or took the water taxis or the water metro system. And then of course there were the gondolas :-) They were so precious with the little men in their stripped black and white or red and white t-shirts... but I was suprisingly disappointed by them. Every couple I saw riding in the gondolas did not look happy, they all just sat there and I did not see any of the gondola men singing. I dunno maybe that cost extra to make them sing...who knows.
The funny thing that I saw was that, this was the first city I saw a fire hydrant in! I am not saying that there were not fire hydrants in the other cities, just that I did not see any. I just think it is ironic because the city is full of water! It is just so funny how everyone gets around by using the canals. As we were leaving (we took the water metro system to our train so that we could see more of the city) we saw a water ambulance in action, a water fire boat in action, and a water police boat. It was so much fun!! Angela got pictures and Joel took a video, so I will show you all when I come back or as soon as I can.

Oh ok well I need to start from the beginning of Venice, our adventure to finding our bed&breakfast was probably the most interesting I have had...well in Italy at least. So I guess in Venice they do not really have street signs and the numbers on the buildings do not mean anything to the people who live there...also the numbers do not necessarily go in order. So Joel called the hostel several different times to get directions as well as asked people in shops and we were always told to go straight on "Per Rialto". Let's just say we went 'straight' on "Per Rialto" for over an hour...maybe an hour and a half. We arrived from the train in Venice at about 10pm and did not get to "The Best B&B in Venice" until about 11 or 11:30pm. It was the most interesting experience walking around in circles with huge backpacks on our backs through the cobblestone streets with narrow alley ways. I thought is was very nice... but hot. It was a fun way to explore Venice on our first night...some people did not agree so much. Hehe. We ended up finally finding the B&B because the lady from the place we were staying told Christina to find an Italian and give them the phone. I think the lady on the phone was very frustrated with us because we were so lost. So we ended up being lead to the place we were staying by a group of random Venicians that we met on the street. It was the funniest thing! They were very nice and they got us to the Bed and Breakfast in about 10 or 15 minutes.

The next day we explored Venice some more. It was a pretty relaxed day, we walked around simply absorbing the beautiful buildings with their brick and clay foundation covered with green leafy vines. It is exactly what you think of when you think of Italy. And we went to San Marco square where the beginning of Italian job was filmed. Remember when the dad was calling his daughter ( I forgot their names) and telling her, that he got her something nice and that he was in Italy? I walked through there! Where all the pigeons were and beautiful tall buildings with towers and statues, right along the water. 

Venice is known for their Venician glass and it was everywhere! That and the Venician masks. Everyone was selling glass and jewelery and masks. I wanted to buy everything, but it is not cheap and it is not easy to carry in a backpack that is going throgh Europe. Nikki if you are reading this I wanted to let you know that I tried very hard to find you the perfect Venician glass giraffe, but there were very few stores that had them. For some reason there are not a lot of giraffes, if you liked owls or turtles I could have bought you like 20 of those because those were everywhere! However the giraffes I did find were quite pricey or their heads were upside down... but I did take pictures so hopefully that helps. Lol. I am sorry.

I did get a chance to watch them make the Venician glass figures, it was really cool. It is blown glass and they make it in the fire. They are so talented and the lady who was making them was doing it all so fast. I wish I was that talented with fire... well that's ok. We had gelato and pizza in Venice, both were amazing. I do not think the lady at the gelateria liked us very much because she did not give us very big scoops, but all the Italians had gelato overflowing out of their cup. It was still good though and it was cheap, so it was worth it. The food was suprisingly very cheap in Venice, the cheapest in Italy actually. The people in Venice were just precious, there were so many small children running around just loving life and the Italians are just so hospitable.

Ok so now Nice...
We have only been here a few hours, but already it is just beautiful.We watched the sunrise above a green hill overlooking all the beautiful buildings as we sat above the sandy, pebbly beach. In the distance you could see lighthouses on one side and a community of houses on the other. It was a public beach and very early in our journey we were welcomed into the French culture... There were very few people at the beach because it was about 7am, but there was one man who was relaxing in the sand while another was fishing on a pile of rocks. When the man on the sand was all done relaxing, he just changed out of his speedo into clothes...just right there on the beach. I missed the nude man in the distance, but the others in our group were taken aback by the openess of the French. However this was just a small taste of what we saw just after the sun rose and the day began. A group of three lovely girls went down to the beach to swim or relax on the beach... so we thought. As we people watched, we realized that they were not there to swim but instead they may have been models of some sort... nude models... They stripped all their clothes off and posed on the beach, right out in the open view of everyone walking by, as a fully clothed girl took pictures. They were quite aways in the distance, but we could tell they were fully nude. The crazy thing was that people walked by on the street above and did not even seem dazed by the two naked girls on the public beach. It was definently an eye opener to a different culture. Yup.

Well that is that for now :-) Oh we had croissants this morning that were utterly amazing, from a small little bakery as we walked to the beach. We saw three girls buy four long baguettes and eat them while walking through the streets. It looked like so much fun! So now that is something I want to do. I want to buy a big baguette and walk through the streets of France eating just that and nothing else! I am so excited. We will be in Nice and the surrounding small towns for about three days then we are off to Switzerland.

Thanks again for reading my blog! I love you all so much and I cannot wait to share more stories and pictures soon.

Love always, Danni

1 comment:

  1. I think the way you get 'extra' gelato is when you flirt with the one giving it to you. lol