We’ve Got Nothing But Time

4 Nov

I’ll begin this post by starting off with a quick side note in my defense. I had been planning a trip to Venice with Amy and a trip to Bologona with Sarah for some time now, but due to our busy schedules (really their busy schedules, they are just about traveling every weekend) there was not enough time left in our study abroad program to dedicate one full weekend to Venice and one full weekend to Bologna, so we decided to combine our trips and do a day in each place. With the hectic week of midterms we didn’t have much time to plan our trip, then came the week of Spring Break and Sarah and Amy were off to Ireland and England and Suddenly I was left alone to plan and book our trip, the one request I received was to be mindful of the money (a given considering I too am a college student)!

Now in my defense I have never once been in charge of planning and booking a trip (ALONE) while here in Italy (unless you count Como and if you read my last post you know what a disaster that was)! In addition to my inexperience and my inability to consult with someone, I would say that Venice is an especially difficult place for a first time travel planner, seeing as finding a reasonable place to stay for the night in the city is a near impossible task!

I logged on to Hostel World (the best website ever for finding inexpensive places to stay) the only trouble was the selection of hostels, bed and breakfasts, and inexpensive hotels didn’t seem to match our criteria at all. Most of the places I found that seemed to look beautiful, had high rating, positive reviews, and met our budget constraints all happened to be outside of Venice in neighboring towns, which meant we would have to deal with obstacles concerning paying for bus tickets, we wouldn’t have the ability to go back to our room and regroup when we felt tired, and we’d be forced to drag our bags around the next morning when we headed into the city to do a little more exploring before heading for Bologna. The Places I found in Venice were all either too expensive or required that we take a 7 euro water taxi to get to them (no thanks)! By some miracle of fate I then spotted a hostel in Venice City Center, reasonably prices, and a short walk to the train station (perfect), of course breakfast wasn’t included ( a usual requirement of mine) but I was willing to overlook this considering I really wasn’t in a position to be choosy!

With our hostel booked I could now book the train tickets (in my opinion it’s better to book early because the longer you wait the more expensive they get)!

I booked the least expensive ticket for Amy and I from Florence to Venice leaving at 10:00 and arriving by 12:30 in Venice.

Unfortunatley because the train from Venice to Bologna is regional tickets don’t go on sale until seven days before, so I figured we could book that together as we got closer to the trip.

I was able however to book our trip home from Bologna to Florence, I bought three tickets for Amy, Sarah (who would be meeting us in Bologna) and I. I decided to buy tickets leaving Bologna at 8:00 p.m. figuring that Amy and I would be able to have a leisurely morning in Venice, do some last minute sight seeing, and then meet Sarah mid afternoon for a late lunch early dinner.

So we had a sound plan in place, but as you should realize now when it comes to me nothing goes as planned!

After a long train ride filled with yelling children that had an abundance of energy and felt the need to run up and down the train, Amy and I finally arrived in Venice anxious to drop off our heavy backpacks at the hostel, grab a quick lunch, and start exploring.

Now it only occurred to me the night before (11:00 p.m.) that I should have perhaps printed out directions to our hostel however I had been a bit preoccupied the day before and had completely forgotten about this! The day before our trip I had woken up with a huge red spot  on my temple near my eyebrow (actually it looked more like a nasty burn) after visiting the pharmacy (where I hoped to get an antibiotic cream) I was directed to a doctor who took one look and directed me to a dermatologist, Of course the day this this decided to appear happens to be All Saints Day (a National Italian Holiday) meaning that practically everything is closed and most people take the day off of work. I frantically called the dermatologist hoping he would be in the office for the day (he was not) however, he did inform me he could make a house call at 11:00 p.m. I thought this was a bit odd and I had been hoping to go to bed decently early the night before our trip but desperate I agreed! After a few question and a through inspection of my face he informed me I had a staph infection ( great)! During this time I had received a few emails confirming our trip to the hostel and sending us direction (too preoccupied to look at them myself I forwarded everything to Amy)!

One of the many problems we had with the directions was that we didn’t know from where the direction started, the first line informed us to find a specific piazza and to ask an Italian. We did this but no one seemed to know what we were talking about, finally we decided to go with the next step in the directions find the supermarket, Coop, surley the Venetian residents would know where the supermarket was! We asked an older man who pointed his fingers in two directions but directed us straight on, so we followed. Finally after walking throughout the crowded streets lined with shops, and fragrant bakeries we found the supermarket, the only problem was that the next set of directions informing us to find a tunnel on the right hand side, didn’t make any sense as there wasn’t a tunnel in sight! It was then that we realized the man must have been telling us that there were two supermarkets and of course we choose the wrong one. We headed back in the opposite direction and decided to hit up the tourist info center in hopes of getting clear directions. While Amy talked with the man at information services I tried to call the hostel and was alarmed to find the number seemed to be out of service. Amy later appeared and informed me that we need to head straight on for 10 minutes “and then what” I declared “that’s all he said”. It was the that I began to realize how vague all the directions in Venice were. We continued to walk for another thirty minutes when we both became restless, hungar, restless, and the need to sit down got the best of us and we quickly grew irritated. Finally an hour later after continuing to ask people every few feet for direction (fearful we would veer off the correct path) we finally found the piazza. There on the right we found the tunnel ( a bit creepy) which would lead to the hostel!

After walking through the tunnel we finally came to the hostel, which was actually was a house which belonged to an older italian woman and her loud barking dog. The woman who reminded me of a stereotypical older italian woman that you would find in a movie, rented out three rooms on the second floor.

All rooms were private however all three rooms shared on bathroom (which made things interesting)!

Relieved, that we had a place to stay Amy and I headed out for a quick bite to eat before we made our way through the shop lined streets. Before heading to Venice there were a few things I had been warned about, first the food isn’t anything great, the city is expensive, it’s easy to get lost, but Venice is gorgeous and one can’t very well go to Italy without seeing the city. Venice didn’t proceed it’s reputation, although beautiful I was very sad to discover that first there weren’t many restaurants and the restaurants that the city did have didn’t seem to offer the same quality of food that I had been accustom to receiving in other places.

After a quick lunch at a bar we decided to do a bit of shopping, however after just a few hours we began to once again become restless, the stores all seemed to sell the same things Venetian glass and detailed masks for Carnivale, and although we enjoyed walking through the side streets and looking at the breathtaking canals, one canal began to look like the next and we were anxious for something new to explore.

We decided to go back to our room to rest, but first we stopped for a quick snack of roasted chestnuts, which were surprisingly starchy, soft, but not overly flavorful!

By 6:00 p.m. we were exhausted, our day of travel and issues with getting lost had only made the day seem longer, we decided to grab a quick bite to eat, although the meal wasn’t terrible the ambiance wasn’t too great. We were forced to sit outside under a non functioning heat lamp due to a crowded inside dining area, we shivered in the 50 degree weather consoling ourselves by knowing that the next days meal in Bologna, the culinary capital of Italy would be much better.

In Venice we got tickets for the regional train headed to Bologna, the only problem was that ticket prices were surpisingly much higher than expected, the only decently priced tickets left Venice at 10:50 and reached Bologna at 12:40, of course we had hoped to have more of a leisurely morning for time to walk around, pick up breakfast and pack up, but we couldn’t fathom paying more, so by 9:00, we were on our way out, picked up a quick breakfast and made our way to the train station. Sarah and my roommate Kate (who decided to also come to Bologna) also had a similar problem, however unfortunately for them the least expensive price by about 15 euros left Florence at 7:30, meaning that they were in for an even longer day!

I wondered just what we would do in Bologna for seven hours, the only thing I actually knew about Bologna was that they were known for their food, so the only thing I had really planned on was having lunch there ( of course I anticipated that we would be going later so I didn’t think we’d have quite as much time to occupy ourselves with)!

luckily once we got off the train Sarah and Kate who had already been roaming Bologna for over two hours were there to greet us, they had found a great restaurant for us to go to and immediately brought us there. The menu looked delicious and extensive, I debated what to get I had heard that the tortellini was a specialty of the city, but all the dishes contained cheese, butter, or cream (not ideal when your lactose intolerant) so I made a split delicious and ordered a pizza and some pizza it was. It came with spinach tomato sauce, and a fried egg, and it was delicious and in the shape of a heart. Of course at first although I found the heart nice I thought they did it for everyone, but Sarah who throughly investigated everyone elses pizzas told me I was the only one with a heart shaped pizza ( of course I have to admit I felt a bit special)!

So with lunch done at 3:30 we now wondered what we should do for the next four and a half hours, we tried going to the train station and changing our tickets but we were told it was impossible to do so. We roamed the streets a bit and walked through the open markets and poked in stores, however we all agreed that shopping isn’t so much fun when you don’t have money and are carrying around heavy backpacks which can always be a bit dangerous especially when displays are involved ( I speak from experience)!

We stopped in a bar for tea which was playing High School Musical which was dubbed in italy, we watched that for a bit until that too became dull. We decided maybe we should start looking for a place for dinner, we figured an early dinner would be an ideal way to occupy at least an hour of our time. The only problem was that no one was hungry (still full from lunch) and all the restaurants were closed, they seemed to all be open around 8:00, the time we would be leaving. We tried listening to music, people watching, playing soccer with a button, and even holding up a sign that said free hugs, but like children we easily became bored with everything, we were all exhausted and desperate to go home. Eventually we ended up going to the train station and waiting around in silence for the remaining hour and a half. Sarah and I did try to go the bathroom but managed to become lost (which took up a good twenty minutes of our time). Finally it was 8:00 p.m. and we were on the train headed to Florence. Amy and Sarah fell right to sleep and I also began to nod off, but I soon willed my self to stay awake  after all it was the least I could do after getting us into this mess, all I needed was to  sleep right through the Florence stop only to awake in another city, after the day we had I decided there was defintley no time for getting lost again……………….

 

Advertisements

12 Responses to “We’ve Got Nothing But Time”

  1. Franco November 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Wow, that was some trip, but think of all the experience you gained by traveling. Each adventure full of errors will make your next trip easier. By the way, that’s some pizza they made you. Yummy !!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Homepage - November 4, 2012

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More Infos here: lacucinadikait.com/2012/11/04/weve-got-nothing-but-time/ […]…

  2. acne treatment for pregnant women - November 23, 2012

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: lacucinadikait.com/2012/11/04/weve-got-nothing-but-time/ […]…

  3. majesticplaces.org - November 25, 2012

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Informations on that Topic: lacucinadikait.com/2012/11/04/weve-got-nothing-but-time/ […]…

  4. scarfs.gr - November 25, 2012

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More Infos here: lacucinadikait.com/2012/11/04/weve-got-nothing-but-time/ […]…

  5. Care of a kombucha - November 27, 2012

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More Infos here: lacucinadikait.com/2012/11/04/weve-got-nothing-but-time/ […]…

  6. recipes of preparation a kombucha - November 27, 2012

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Informations on that Topic: lacucinadikait.com/2012/11/04/weve-got-nothing-but-time/ […]…

  7. relojes de pared - November 27, 2012

    … [Trackback]…

    […] There you will find 91074 more Infos: lacucinadikait.com/2012/11/04/weve-got-nothing-but-time/ […]…

  8. jill-e bags - November 28, 2012

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More here: lacucinadikait.com/2012/11/04/weve-got-nothing-but-time/ […]…

  9. call us for more - November 29, 2012

    … [Trackback]…

    […] There you will find 36285 more Infos: lacucinadikait.com/2012/11/04/weve-got-nothing-but-time/ […]…

  10. Web Site - November 30, 2012

    … [Trackback]…

    […] There you will find 78231 more Infos: lacucinadikait.com/2012/11/04/weve-got-nothing-but-time/ […]…

  11. avotakka - February 8, 2013

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: lacucinadikait.com/2012/11/04/weve-got-nothing-but-time/ […]…

I'd love to know your thoughts....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: