Thursday, November 13, 2014

City of Water

With a dreadful looking forecast Aaron and I decided to make the last minute decision to book a day trip to Venice. Seems like a bad idea, but we lucked out with just a bit of rain but it cleared up beautifully as the day went on! We booked this trip through the same group we’ve been on other trips with, FlorenceForFun, because it included transportation, a glass blowing demonstration, transport by water taxi, as well as a discounted gondola ride.

The bus ride took around 3-4 hours, in which I took my routine nap. It was misting rain when we arrived and took a train from the outskirts into Venice. After the quick ride our large group dispersed into three water taxi’s, which took us to the main tourist area near St. Mark’s square. We missed the main over flow of the canals but there were still areas that were un-walkable. For this reason there are “cat walks” which are makeshift risers that you can walk above the water. Another solution many people use are plastic over the shoe boots (quite the fashion statement).

Keeping dry with plastic boots!
Tourists on the "cat walks" 
Even in the rain, the buildings, boats, and canals captured the beauty of Venice. The streets were packed with crowds of people but once we escaped the main areas it instantly became quiet and empty. We wove through the never-ending alleys and ended up at the glass blowing studio. Welcomed by beautiful glass sculptures and glass sets I could only worry I would knock something over! I’ve seen videos about glass blowing in the past, but nothing compares to seeing the maestro’s work in the flesh. He first created a vase, seamlessly, within seconds and then, my favorite, the horse sculpture. The effortlessness and beauty of the glass blowing was absolutely incredible.
We had a bit of free time afterwards to grab some lunch, and we settled on a menu with a set “tourist” menu, which I picked a vegetable soup, grilled salmon, and French fries. It was a really good deal, because Venice prices are sky high. I had heard about the Bellini cocktail and decided to try it, even though I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Turns out, I love Bellini’s. I am a fan of bubbly drinks and the mix of Prosecco and white peach juice was a perfect match with my dish.

My delicious Bellini - on the go!
Quickly after we had our ride on the Gondola, which was an unreal experience. How can you go to Venice without riding on a Gondola? We circled around the large canal and then glided under bridges and a more quaint area. Some of the Gondoliers would sing or chat, but ours was all business. It was a relaxing end to the day before we had to catch the train and bus home.

Aaron and I on the Gondola :)
I wish we had more time to explore Venice, but I am so happy we decided to go on a whim. Venice has always been in the back of my mind as somewhere I wanted to visit, but I never imagined how beautiful it would really be. 


  1. Your adventure to Venice sounded like a truly amazing time! I have never traveled outside the US and traveling to Italy is a dream. What makes me even more excited to study abroad is knowing that even though you are studying in one country, traveling to other countries on the whim is possible and affordable.

  2. It sounds like you had a great time! Is there anywhere you didnt get to see that you really wanted to?

  3. I've always wanted to go to Venice and after reading about your experience it makes me want to go even more. Even, just being there for a day would be amazing. I love how instead of streets they have canals where there are "water taxis" instead of a car. I can't wait to study abroad, not just for the learning opportunity but for the experience and being able to explore other cultures.

  4. Part of studying abroad is expanding your horizons, exploring new places and learning from each experience. It is so much more than just taking classes in a new country. Opportunities like the one you had doesn't come often and we have to take it as soon as they present to us. Your trip to Venice sounded like you had a wonderful time there!

  5. Its the surprise, unexpected experiences like this that I am most excited about when I study abroad! Days like this definitely add great memories to your trip. Venice looks magical, even in the rain. The glassblowing class sounds really interesting; it's something that I have been meaning to try at some point. This trip sounded really fun, and I hope that I get to have experiences like this in my future study abroad endeavors!

  6. Venice sounds amazing, and its awesome that you were able to take this spontaneous trip and see so much of the city. I think its so cool that once you are in Europe you can basically travel anywhere. I can't wait until I have the opportunity to study abroad