I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Great Circular Venetian Shanks' Pony Challenge

I'm flattered to have been the recipient of compliments about my blog on this trip, in particular from Lloyd. He is a man whose words are quite literally worth a lot more money than mine, being worth money at all, so this is not credit I can take on the chin. Moreover this is not someone living vicariously through my descriptions of booze fuelled rampages, but he's been here every step of the way too.

Yesterday he promoted my piece about our evening in Venice on Facebook, and also posted his own entry about how to do a morning there on the cheap. Since we splintered into multiple groups and I ventured off by myself, and I'm a fearsome plagiarist, here's my version in the same format.

- wake up in Domus Civica, a residence acting as a very cheap hostel during the off season when students aren't living there. €30 a room a night

- be shouted at by your skipper to shower, after he himself had had two in the space of half hour

- leave at 9am and go walking, with "just go anywhere, you can't fail to find nice stuff" ringing in your ears

- have the first things which jog your consciousness be a Union Jack, some graffiti of a spunking cock, and some OFFICIAL ULTRAS footy hooligan graffiti

- reach into your pocket for some shekels and pull out some mystery currency it takes a long second or so to recognise. it was a twenty quid note.

- buy a diet coke after 3km or so, from a shop so small it can barely fit 4 people inside, the other 3 of which are scratching scratch cards or playing fruit machines, and which appears to be a knife and crossbow merchant that just happens to have a drinks fridge. an extravagant €2.50

- cross numerous canals and bridges, spotting hundreds of gondolas but only one with an accordion playing singer

- reach St Mark's square, experiencing all the fuss and seeing what it's about

- be blocked in a tiny alley by hordes of people going in the opposite direction, none of whom will let you pass, until a monk detects your exasperation (but clearly not your irreligious nature) and nods you through

- give a €20 donation to a lass with a moderately official looking clipboard, who claims to be a 4-years clean smack addict raising money for a charity to help other people like her. have no real reason to suspect she wasn't legitimate, but wherever your money goes it will be appreciated one way or another

- take some guy's photo over possibly the least picturesque bridge you see. realise "least picturesque bridge in Venice" is like saying "worst pint of Guinness in Dublin"

- find the Realto bridge

- be amused by the shop window bagpuss, moving a second after a kid says "that cat looks so realistic"

- be exhausted by 9.5km on foot, non-stop, with a bag, in 25°c temperatures with lots of steps on the way

- finally and only get a map out when your navigation sense tells you you might be lost. Do this after 9k and about 5 minutes from the hostel, having done the circuit you wanted

- crow loudly of your achievement in such a geographically ludicrous city

- grab a shower at the hostel and be rewarded with a pint that doesn't touch the sides, bought from the whip

Total cost: €52.50

Venice is bloody amazing.

No comments: