Venezia

I was anxious.  We had heard so much about Venice.  That it was dirty, smelly and very commercialized and touristy.  But also that its very romantic.  How can a dirty smelly crowded city be romantic?   T had been here before – twice even.  And soon we were there…  Well.. my verdict:  Venice is for lovers…

It was VERY clean, esp for a city THIS old, this small, this crowded.   It  was not smelly, and even though it was so crowded and “touristy” – it was a lovely kind of touristy.  Because I could feel every tourist around us, being completely AWED.  Feeling amazed.  I could hear them all around me literally gasping as they took in the first sight of this little town.  I felt with them.  How incredible and unbelievable and surreal it felt – to be in Venice.

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the first sight arriving by boat from the mainland.
for some reason, I felt like I was in the Borgia series!

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as we approached our hotel, I felt so spoilt.  T booked a hotel right next to a lovely wooden bridge.
it was called
Hotel Galleria.  the best part was how VENETIAN the hotel was!
It was so small, narrow, tiny, but decorated oh so beautifully!
and all the furniture in our room was slanted (cos the floor was slanted!)
We had to share a bathroom – but this is the cleanest shared bathroom ever.  Very tiny but very clean.
Staying in this ornately decorated teeny tiny boutique hotel just by the canal gave a teeny
tiny feel of what it might have been, back then.

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mosaic of a gazillion little tiles

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I finally recognized this building from the replicas in The Venetian in Macau!

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Gondolas galore!

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Venice is for lovers.

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all the little quaint winding lanes – they were so old.  but still so CLEAN.

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this
street for some reason reminded me of the side of New Market in Calcutta

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I was so excited I couldn’t sleep and woke up at 5.30.
So we caught the sun-rise from the wooden bridge outside our hotel 

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I cannot begin to express just how surreal being in Venice was.  It was a dream come true.  Only, I had never dared dream I’d visit Venice.    I remember studying Merchant of Venice when I was 14, and everything was an imagination in my head.  Imagination of a town and era long gone.  But it really felt like time had stood still, in real life.  Sure there were tourist shops everywhere, but the city was so well preserved.  We walked so much the entire day, hand in hand, exploring, wandering, taking it all in.  It was like we were transported to another time, another place.   Truly romantic, calm, quaint.  All they say about Venice is beautifully true and then so much more than I ever imagined.  But the best part was, to be able to share it and explore with my best friend, my love.

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