I'm home! What an *amazing* trip. The girls and I had such a great time... but I have to admit- Venice kicked my butt! All the walking around and going up and down bridges (there was a big one in particular near our hostel that we crossed at least 4 times a day.) definitely added up by the fourth day. It was one of those vacations that you need a vacation from once you get home. Not that you ever get to do that. I had to go right back to work today. And now I feel I have sooo much to catch up on! But more about Venice, haha!
Carnevale was awesome. Because we caught the tail end of the celebration, it wasn't nearly as crowded as I heard it can be. We could at least walk around without getting overly friendly with our neighbors. And the costumes! So beautiful!! It seemed those who dressed in the full masquerade attire were seasoned Carnevale veterans, as they were very nice and stopped for tourists to snap pictures. I can't wait to go back another year and dress up myself!
Most of our days were spent wondering the streets, hitting up the usual haunts: San Marco square, Rialto bridge and market, Murano Island and glass factory, Doges Palace, and Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Our nights- well that's when things got really interesting. First we would find a charming little restaurant to eat dinner, drink wine, and share laughs. Then we attempted to make our way back to the hostel. I say attempted because it was not an easy task... the first two nights involved getting very lost (Monday we didn't even have a map, and Tuesday we wondered so far we found cars- and there are no cars in the heart of Venice). It took us an average of two hours to find our way. And once we did make it back to the hostel, we rewarded ourselves with gelato! I think we ate gelato at least twice a day, and I made sure to try different flavors and combinations: chocolate, mint chocolate, cherry, lemon, strawberry, grandma's cake... Mmmmm, gelato...
Sorry, quick foodgasm there, what was I talking about? Oh yes, getting lost. Well, by the third night we wised up and decided to take the water bus. It still takes about an hour using their public transportation, but at least it's an hour sitting and not wondering lost on sore feet. By our forth day, we ran out of things to do. In Venice! What kind of crazy girls ran out of things to do? Like I said, Venice kicked our butts, and since we had seen everything we really wanted to see, we spent the last few hours hanging out on a bridge and waving at strangers. We even got a few winks and kisses blown our way. And even though we were exhausted, we were all very sad to leave the romantic city.
And now I'm home. Back to reality... sorta. I have more trips in the works that I have to finalize plans for, and I'm really excited about those as well. I figure if I only have four months left on this continent, I might as well make the most of it. Next stop, Luxemberg.