Today's journey to Venice required three bus rides. A bit much for me but I think the excitement curbed most of the nausea I usually get.
The first ride was with National Rail replacement due to engineering works. It is a common occurrence and has become predictable, almost expected.
The next two was a bit strange. The Stansted Express TRAIN service said 'Bus' Platform 10. I wrinkled my nose, wrinkled my forehead and imagined a bus on the tracks. The lady selling tickets was getting annoyed; I think a lot of people had given her an expression of disbelief about a bus being on a platform. Bus lo and behold, there it was (maybe I should have taken a picture, wasn't spectacular). This was the most nauseating ride. I felt like having a vasovagal but it would be disastrous to be sent to hospital... Luckily it was only 40 minutes and quicker than the train itself!
The third was pretty misleading. At Marco Polo airport, I asked the tourist information counter guy who wouldn't look at me (looked at the next guy after me, must be gay) "Heya! How do I get to the city?". "Water bus, to the right", he replied. Imagine my excitement; I thought it was a lovely boat ride. Imagine my disappointment; it was a proper bus but only a 20 minute journey. I did discover later there was an actual water boat some where but double the price too.
When I got to Venice, I hadn't a clue where I was. I hate maps, preferring to 'figure it out' by way of the sun, roughly remembering the city layout, major sights and tourist crowds. Venice had me staring at the map a good 15 minutes before needing someone to point out where we were. I happened to be off the map. Using my instincts it took another 30 minutes trying to get to the hostel before getting there.
The hostel is pretty decent. Clean, spacious, two lounges, free computer and Internet, several showers and uber friendly staff. We're also overlooking the Grand Canal which is awesome except for the worry I have about acqua alta tides flooding us. Uhmm..
Otherwise, sight seeing and photo taking has been at a minimum tonight. Italy is raining cats and dogs with flash floods up in Genoa. This leaves me extremely photo-frustrated like a man gets sexual frustrated, I guess. Hence, the lack of anything exciting to talk about at the end of Day One.
Except maybe for my wellies and souvenir purchases in 3 hours. Big uh-oh! The hostel people were pretty impressed I rocked up with fancy Union Jack wellies, congratulating me, "Well done, well done". And even more impressed when I told them it was less than £10 and from Primark to the point he shouted to his friend to 'come see'. Understandably because some ugly wellies were selling for 18-29 euros outside!
Also, this was a conversation with staff at Stansted:
A: They're all wearing wellies these days.
B: It's Essex fashion, innit?
Scanning round, there were two more girls with wellies! Whoop! and I felt a bit less silly.
Even dinner was mediocre. No fancy restaurant. Venice consists of tiny streets and most look like dodgy back alleys although the guidebook reassures me that dodgy it isn't. It's pleasantly surprising that what looks like a dead end actually leads out to a larger street or even, plaza. The charms of Venice.. But, with a maze and rain I settled for a tart, tiramisu and my large ass cookie from earlier.
Will talk about em souvenirs another day. Who knows how many more I'd accumulate although hopefully my friend will curb it to some extent!! Shiny, shiny murano glass and beads!