10:37 AM, Saturday, June 27th, 2009:
Now that's a bit more like it...
So a 20 minute shuttle ride lead to the Venice everyone knows and bright and early I got there with a day of adventure planned...
...and as the clock struck noon I thought to myself "oh shit, I'm here for 4 days." Venice is completely, absolutely, with barely another function: a tourist city. If you're in Italy, it's worth a visit - but you can see it ALLLLLLL in a day -- and then some. Tourism is its biggest revenue stream and it shows. I believe I heard Italian from people outside of the stores maybe twice. Which kinda brings me to how I travel in general:
My ideal visit to a city would be emersing myself within the local community and just living. I like people. I like stories. I don't like attractions. It's specifically why I avoided Rome because that seemed just like a city of big attractions and I figured Venice would at least have an interesting atmosphere to it. It most certainly did, and I can't express just how unique and beautiful that city is -- but it barely feels like a city. It now seems designed from the ground up for tourists and within a few hours I was ready to go. Of course you have to go on the Gondola... WHICH IS ONE HUNDRED EUROS. I mean for fuck's sake people it's a boat. Which is why you try and team up with other people to share. 6 is maximum, so ideally you find a group of 5...
The smile on my face is because I'm realizing that it must seem like I never spoke to a man the entire month I've been gone. LMAO. The honest-to-goodness truth is that as I was coming up to a gondala I saw a woman and asked how many was in her group (there were 5 - jackpot) and I asked if I could share since I was just one. She said sure - and I look and it's 4 other women. I thought nothing of it until I started doing these shots and realized that from Africa to France to Greece the overall theme is far more titilating than the truth. But, well, cool. Why shouldn't it be. Guys are boring anyway. HA.

The guy that maneuvered that damned Gondola wasn't though. Wow. They just never run into shit. I asked him if he ever hit his head on the bridge and he said that he had and he fell into the water. Why couldn't I have ben in that fuckin' boat. I'd have paid 100 Euro for that shit any day. But I watched so many of these guys kick off walls, balance off other boats and just never run into anything. It's pretty fun to watch. Just be sure you share a Gondola 'cause at the end of the day? It's still a boat.


..and yes there are all the pigeons in front of St. Marc's but again... they're just pigeons. What am I missing here. Pigeons suck at home, why are they cool here? There was a tour guide on the shuttle telling people to make sure they saw them and I saw 2 girls turn to each other and say "Oh yeah, we have to see that". !?!? Are they MAGICAL pigeons? Will they heal you? Or do they shit a lot and try and take your food.

There is apparently a history about the pigeons all coming to this island and that's why people came here too? But what stupid people. Why would you follow pigeons? I hate pigeons. I dunno. See? I'm just anti-attraction man. I want to do shit no one has ever done before and when I'm repeating shit I just get all antsy. Tours? FAHGETTABOUTIT. I'd rather peel my skin off. So I tried to find where no tourists were walking at all, and that was fun.

And I finally found my video. Not the most original thing, as everyone seems to get lost in Venice, but it was awesome to be able to get so much footage with absolutely no one else around. It felt all 80s video and I had that old Billy Joel song in my head that day as well. "Surprises" off The Nylon Curtain if anyone's wondering... and it's a total Lennon rip-off, but I like the little breakdown part I used. Oh and yeah, the steps. Crazy. Like it's cool and pretty the first 30 bridges you go over... and then you're like - fuck. Let's drink some water. That and the 10 pounds I've gained on this "adventure" is starting to catch up with me. For the first time in my life I'm actually looking forward to a workout routine. :-)


I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the graffiti which as Laura warned was shocking. It is. Paris wasn't even this bad. It really is everywhere and no matter how much I agree with the sentiments of this particular piece of "art", it's sad that there isn't a way to combat this. You know how frustrated I am with my own struggles to keep Journey Mountain clean, but when it's cities this old and this beautiful - it's quite a bummer.

As was the end of the day for me...

I still can't get any answers on what happened and it's infuriating to say the least. I'm realizing now that the news story I saw about him in the airport was most likely his death and because I couldn't understand anything, or even see much of the screen, I brushed it off. The lack of info is killin' me. I hope I have good internet access in Rome... oh that.

So as I was on the shuttle right after that picture actually, I started realizing there was no way in hell I could spend 4 days in Venice. So I decided to pull one last mini-hail mary (even though Greece was one too) and do a day trip to Rome, see it on Sunday, then a day-trip back to Venice to catch my plane back to London and then home. I know, I know - the last thing I want to see our tourist attractions, but Rome is a little bigger than Venice and I have to believe it will have a little more interesting atmosphere. And of any attraction, I'd go see the Colisseum. Gladiator was badass. :-)
Alright... few more hours on the train and we're there.