Planned trips are fun, you spend your days counting down until T-Day (travel day) and you spend your nights staying up late researching all the different sights you could see, you do a little body wiggle and a sound similar to “eeeee” when somebody asks you about your upcoming trip and you don’t get a wink of sleep the night before you jet off on your adventure!
Unplanned trips….are even funner!
The thrill! The spontaneity! The adrenaline rush of not knowing where you’re going to wake up in the morning, having absolutely NOTHING booked and really just, well, wingin’ it!
Welcome to our unplanned Italian Road trip! At first, RJ n I didn’t even know if we were going to be able to do Venice, I knew I had to be in Florence in two days from Paris and that we would only maybe have an evening in Venice at most, but I mean, how could we not?! It’s VENICE!
So we decided to randomly get on the first night- bus from Paris heading to Venice! We made a few stops along the way and as we got closer into Italy, we got better bus wifi and I was able to source some accommodation options. Finally we reached a docking area and we were the last ones on the bus, I couldn’t see any signs and it didn’t look like the pictures I’d seen of Venice so I asked the bus driver, excuse me is this Venice? He started talking really fast in Italian and I figured he would’ve said a simple yes if it was so I just nodded, smiled and settled back into my seat. Then another attendant came up shaking his hands at us saying “last stop, last stop” aha, well, I guess this is us then?
I took my time so I could use the bus wifi to quickly google map directions to our hotel and we bought tickets for this barge that could take us into the main hub – Venice! From there I followed the google directions to our hotel but unfortunately convinced RJ it was a stop earlier than it actually was and we walked the last mile, dragging our luggage on the not-so-even gravel road (our poor wheels) til we finally made it to the hotel! Woops, sorry RJ! The concierge kind’ve looked at me really confused when I told him we didn’t have a reservation but luckily they did have a room available! Yay! Ours for the night! We ditched our luggage, changed out of our bus clothes and went off to cram in as much of Venice in one night as we could!
My first thought: It’s bloooooody FREEEEEZING!!! Like way more than London and Scotland were a few weeks ago…and this was Italy! There was blue skies, there was sunshine, there was no warmth whatsoever. I immediately got reminded of a story my mother told me when she was working in Italy at about my age and the family she was staying with looked at her with absolute jaws-to-the-floor as she leaped and bounded towards the door in her short shorts and tank top at the first sign of sunshine only to rush back in shivering, confused and greeted with the same dropped jaws from la familia! Don’t worry mum, I get it, it’s very deceiving!
My second thought: Isn’t this where Gelato is born? I understand this is a very contradicting thought to the first one about it being freezing and all, but you know….ice cream. Nuff said.
My third thought: And Pizza! Hey, that’s warm!
So the first thing we did was find the nearest restaurant and warm up with some Pizza, Pasta and authentic Italian Vino! It was soooooo good! I don’t think you could’ve wiped the smiles or bread crumbs off our faces if you tried!! Afterwards we went to a nearby coffee shop to get a warm cuppa to walk around with until RJ saw a bottle of Jameson on the shelf, this was my first introduction to coffee shops simultaneously selling alcohol. Lol! So we took a shot instead to warm up, naturally. Then we bought tickets for the barge that we came in on, only to realize we needed to go the opposite way, so we crawled back under the turnstiles and bought tickets for the water taxi.
To go where? Noooo idea! We were just going to go! We hopped off at one spot and just decided to walk around through random streets, almost every second shop was a Gelato shop so of course I bought my first ever Italian gelato! It was soooooooo amazing!! I was in heaven, a very cold, but delicious heaven!Then we continued on, getting happily lost wandering down alleyways, cobbled streets and wrong turns, we walked past windows decorated with pasta and more mask shops then possibly Gelato shops! Maybe to disguise yourself when you go back to the same Gelato store for tasters?
Somehow we ended up in the Piazza San Marco! I was bombarded immediately with gentlemen trying to sell roses and of course RJ obliged, sortve hard not to when they shoved it in my hand and then demanded money but eh, I’ll still take it! Then it started to rain and everyone else began to clear out so we had the middle of the Piazza all to ourselves! And then we also cleared out, haha! With the rain and what was left of the sun setting we decided to head back to our hotel, after all, we had to be up early to adventure on somehow to Florencia!
To be continued…