Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Days 3 and 4... From Venice to Ljubljana
The internet in Venice was so freaking expensive that I decided to post a double post today, I had to pay 2.50 Euros for 20 minutes!! Well, Venice prices. After spending the morning with this really cool German baker in Padua and ooh-ing and aah-ing over all the great Italian food on the market (I won't bore you with that, it's just amaaazing!! Photos to follow!!), I got to Venice without problems, with the regional train. First , I bought myself a map (wise decision, wise decision) and decided on where to go next. I still had an hour before check-in to my hostel. All of a sudden, this American lady comes up to me and says 'are you going to use the vaporetto within 20 minutes? Here, take my ticket!' So just like that, I was in the possession of a 6.50 Euro vaporetto (the ship-bus thingies) ticket. I decided to use it to the fullest and drive down to Piazza San Marco, over the whole Canale Grande (gorgeous!). Piazza San Marco was overcrowded and touristic like usual, but making my way back to the hostel (still with backpack), I discovered some really nice corners and ate my strawberries from the Padua market on a little bridge overlooking a quiet canal. Picturesque! Having gotten rid of my bag, I showered, changed, and explored that area in a little more depth, trying to find the real Venice behind all the shopping districts and souvenir shops. And I think I did, at least partially! I took little side-streets, followed signs to places I didn't know, got explained how the masks were made by an artisan and saw how the Murano-glass was brought into those pretty shapes in another shop, and on the whole went as little as possible to the touristic areas. It was perfect. The next day, I had to take the bus from Venezia Mestre to Villach in Austria, which was a great great trip through the mountains with gorgeous scenery (finding the bus terminal was another issue, why can't they just put up a sign??) and then from Villach, which I explored in 2 hours, onwards to Ljubljana. Slovenia is beautiful, so green, with pastures, lakes, .... It's like a miniature Switzerland, being only half of the size of Switzerland to begin with. And Ljubljana!! It feels like a small cutesy town, when it is really the capital of the country that got out of Yugoslavia best and the quickest and is now a full member of the EU - impressive! With this Argentinian guy that stayed in my hostel room (in the hostel that was formerly a prison! Awesome!), I explored a little the streets along the river and sat down at a little square for palatcinke - basically crepes with Nutella. Yum! Today will be a little more thorough exploration of Ljubljana and maybe a hike on the mountain to the castle =) Woohoo!