I lost myself to Venice.

Waking up in Florence, after two hours sleep, I forced myself up & back into last night's clothes, in order to catch my bus to Venice.  I can't lie, I was harbouring an odour; a concoction of cigarettes, alcohol & my unwashed skin.  Things were not improved by last night's makeup still plastered precariously on my face.

Arriving excessively early for the bus, I sat & chatted to a young German girl, who was on her way to Milan.  We caught the bus to Bologna together & then parted ways.  I never even asked her name.  That's the strange thing about traveling, you meet so many people.  Some go on to be acquaintances you keep an eye on through social media, others lifelong friends & some, you never even know their name.  Such is this life.

Arriving in Venice after a five hour snooze, I wheeled my bag into the tourist office & bought myself a Rolling Venice Card.  This card is essential & if like me, you are twenty nine & under, it comes with a reduction.  For seventy two hours unlimited travel on all public transport, it costs €20 & an extra €4 for a booklet, which equally offers you reductions on everything from shopping to galleries & museums.  Without this, it is €7 each time you want to take the vaporetto!

Off I went to the nearest vaporetto stop, validating my card on the machine outside, before hopping on the number two & arriving on the island of Giudecca, by way of the Zitelle stop.  Checking in at the Generator Hostel, I was pleasantly surprised by how awesome it is!  For only €15 a night, this place is incredible & makes me wonder why all hostels aren't this way!  There's a free photo booth, a mish mash of vintage furniture & giant button-back leather sofas all downstairs, surrounding a cocktail & coffee bar.  The elevators are touch screen, there's exposed brick at every turn & the bedrooms, although lacking some essential lighting in places, are clean, modern & come with an en suite.  Having hostels in Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hamburg & Dublin, I would say, if you're off on your travels, choose the Generator!

It was already late in the afternoon by the time I arrived & so, after dropping my things off in my room, I decided to go for a stroll around Giudecca, to investigate the island.  The weather was at times rather drizzly, but for most of it, there was some sun & so, I managed to take a few snaps.  Everything in Venice wants to be photographed.  From the laundry drying on lines between buildings, to the gondolas floating impatiently at the dockside.  Everything screams at you, demanding attention.  Although, I am convinced that I need a new camera, as I swear, all of my photos seem to come out blurry!  It's probably just my lack of photography skills in fairness, but I'll blame the camera in any case. 

Having my fill of the tiny island, I decided to take myself across on the vaporetto to San Marco, still using line two.  It was getting dark by this time & cold.  I took the advice of my friend Katie & decided to just get lost.  Strolling down alleyways, taking a left, than a right, over a bridge, round a corner.  So many shops, gleaming with trinkets & surprisingly very few people around.

Time ticked on & heading down yet another tiny road, I overhead someone ask for directions.  The Italian gentleman they were asking, responded, informing them that said vaporetto stop was closed.  Suddenly I panicked.  I didn't think to check what time the buses stopped!  Wide eyed, I started to head back for my stop, only I realised, I really was lost.  It got darker, it began to rain, the cold set in, I became fraught, imagining myself stuck on the wrong side of Venice all night.  Finally finding a stop, I leapt onto the bus as soon as it arrived & felt relief wash over me.

Unfortunately, it soon returned, as I came to realise this was not the right vaporetto.  Heading further & further away from where I wanted to be, I couldn't decided as to whether it would be better to hop off when I could, or stay on in the hope it would come back round.  Feeling sick that I'd miss the last bus, I finally asked one of the staff on board, who told me to stay on, as the boat would go full circle & I could get off where I started & then get on the right one.

Over an hour later, I finally made it back to Giudecca & back to the Generator.  Still feeling the sway of the boat, as I sat on my top bunk.  Maybe getting lost in Venice wasn't such a great idea after all.   Pulling my phone from my bag, I saw I had a message, from Beard, he was coming to see me in Venice the next day.  Could it be, things were on the upturn?

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