Today is our last day in Mestre, a concrete jungle which reminds me more of Asia with its hot humid weather and numerous Indian immigrants. We just did our grocery shopping at a nearby Indian ‘mama’ store and we managed to replenish our rice, not just any rice but Thai long grain rice!
So I was rather disappointed when we checked into our hotel 2 days back, I couldn’t imagine how Venice would be like, being just a mere 10 minutes bus ride from our hotel. I lowered my expectation to prevent myself from further disappointment.
The 10 minutes bus ride crossed the strait and brought us to Venice bus station which really, reminded me of Johor bus station in Malaysia. SO, here we are, at Venice! the sinking city that intrigued many and probably the dream destination for many lovers. I was still hopeful that it will not turn out to be another myth.
We started walking, crossing our first bridge by foot, saw the canal and were greeted by graffiti walls and overflowing trash bins. I was lamenting to myself that graffiti might just be Venetians’ favourite past time, maybe they are simply too artistic and constantly need a channel to express themselves or maybe they are too suppressed and graffiti is way of letting all out. I wasn’t very impressed and found it quite a pity how this medieval city was not spared from such vandalism. These were my first thoughts.
As we walked along, the flaws of the city started fading into background and I was slowly charmed by the uniqueness of this city, even with its not so glamorous side.
From its winding lanes and dark alleys to its ocher coloured facades and delipated walls. I realised that everything added up and contributed to the beauty of the place.We took the water bus, saw many gondolas with their very charming and manly gondoliers. We walked some more, took tons of pictures and chatted with local painters. We chased the famous pigeons at St Mark Square, fed them lots of breadcrumbs and we went back the same place again the next day to do it again.
Malcolm was simply fascinated by this sinking city and his questions were endless. If you asked him what he loved about Venice, he would probably tell you, the water, the pigeons and the ice cream. As for me, I will say that the gondoliers are really hot and so are the gondola rides! Imagine baking under the hot sun for an hour without shade, it is like riding in a rickshaw in Singapore without a shelter overhead during midday, maybe some of you may find that romantic.0