Two days into our Lake Bled camping trip, a critical decision was made. Or as Ishita likes to say, she had "a think in the bathroom." Since we had already seen pretty much all of Lake Bled's offerings, why not continue our road trip and take a detour into Venice before driving back to Budapest? After all, Venice was only an hour or two away. I was very much on board with this plan. I had never been to this sinking city of canals, and if not now, when?! (Venice had already eluded me once before when I went to Trieste. We were so close, but we didn't stop by).
In fact, we were all on board to go Venetian. ;) So we packed up our tent and drove into Italy. Since the actual city center of Venice does not permit cars, we dropped off our car at a parking garage and crossed the bridge into the floating city of masks.
One thing Joyce kept waxing on and on about was the best steak she'd ever had in her life when she visited Venice a few years ago during her study abroad at Oxford. So naturally, she tracked it down and we went. I was kind of in a grouchy mood because I didn't want to eat so late at night (this was after 10), but once that platter came out, it was game over. And this coming from someone who had been vegan for the past three months prior for a social experiment. Yeah, I concede – it was divine.
The next morning, we made no waste in exploring the city. After all, we only had that full day left before we had to start the drive back to Budapest. Only one thing caught us off guard: the rain. We even lost Joyce and Megan once during a heavy spell, and we very luckily found them huddled under Joyce's scarf in the Piazza San Marco after a good hour. It was such a relief. We somehow made a contingency plan in case the four of us got separated again.
The waterways and twisting narrow streets were quite charming. I imagine life on the canal must be a very interesting affair – especially opening your door to water. It's a strange concept. But I guess similar to people who live on houseboats?
Just being in Venice was a bit surreal. We hadn't intended to visit, and Slovenia's alpine landscape was such a dramatic change to this Adriatic city. All in the span of a few hours. You gotta love Europe, man.
The rain was a good reason to find a warm place to eat. We tried our best to avoid tourist traps and found a small restaurant that was in a smaller alleyway. I had truffle gnocchi. In our excitement, we also asked for a bottle of Pinot Grigio because Megan had a glass the night before and we all fell in love with the crisp, apple and honeysuckle flavors. To date, this white wine has been my favorite so far. That and Pinot Noir for red. There's something about Pinot...must research.
Continuing our foray into the city.
It was a whirlwind of a trip, but now I can safely say that I visited Venice and experienced just a tiny bit of what this magical city has going for it. Hopefully it doesn't sink anytime too soon, so I can make another trip back.