February 20, 2014

The magic in Venice

"Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased," Polo said. "Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it, or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little.” 
-Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

I think I may have been channeling Calvino's Marco Polo this week. I usually jump to blog and relive my memories through the words I type. However, with Venice, I think I just wanted to hold onto it alone for a little while longer, letting it live only in my memory.

There are some places that when you arrive, you find are nothing like you expected (Rome for example). Other places, however, are everything you could have ever dreamt and then some. Venice is one of these places. Walking out of the Santa Lucia Train Station, you are released right on the Grand Canal, a sight that cannot be anticipated.

As we ventured in search of our Bed & Breakfast it became quickly clear that Venice is a place of sheer impossibility. The structure of the city, with its narrow streets and endless canals, sits with a precarious nature that leaves you questioning how the bridge you're transversing could even begin to be in the realm of stability. 

I doubt that there was a single moment during our weekend in Venice that we actually knew exactly where we were going. As self-nominated map keeper, I attempted to orientate us dozens of times, each time without success. Still as we wandered aimlessly, we were never frustrated over our lack of direction. The city is both blissful and strange to walk through. Tiny walkways squeeze you in, giving you little choice but to continue forward.

Upon wandering into a square with more than a little room to breathe, we decided it was time to stop for lunch. The choice to eat outside was obvious, with the sun beaming and a blue sky above, eating indoors would have been a crime. 

It's joyful to enjoy a meal surrounded by the smiling faces of friends, especially ones so new and yet already so dear, like my travel companions: Rosa, Catherine, Allison, and Bre. 

After lunch, since my map had become completely irrelevant, we precariously followed signs through the city for the Ponte di Rialto. These signs eventually got us to our destination and would be our continual savior throughout the weekend.

Remember when I mentioned Venice is even more than you could imagine? For some odd reason, though I'd seen the image of the Grand Canal a million times, I never actually believed it was as picture-perfect as it truly is. I was under the clear assumption that thorough photoshop was involved to create something so stunning. 

I promise, for this image no photoshop was used. The water actually sparkled like that in the midday sun, almost hurting my eyes, but so glamourous I could never look away. 

In case you've yet to realize, I love Venice. There is no piece of me that disdains this odd sinking city. I could get lost in Venice forever without complaint. 

Eventually wandering to the other side of the city we found the bay, and by effect, we found Gondolas. 

Though our Gondolier was sure about our safety, I would be fibbing if I didn't mention the tilt and sway of the Gondola that made my heart plummet with the thought of plunging into the dark canals. Despite being a strong swimmer and even harboring a desire to scuba-dive to the bottom of the canals, I could only imagine Vampire-Space-Fish lurking in the murky water (and if you don't get this reference, I am giving you a direct order to go dive into the world of Doctor Who immediately, you can thank me later). 

Saying goodbye to our Gondola all to soon, we headed out to get ourselves lost...in the bottom of a cone of gelato. 

It is undoubtable that Venice is always magical, but as the sun disappeared from the sky, the twinkle lights strung for Carnevale definitely enhanced the effect.

Our stroll led to dinner and our dinner led to a celebratory Birthday glass of Bellini for Catherine, Bellini then led to a One Direction dance session, which in time led to a very good night's sleep.

By the time we woke up, we were bright eyed and bushy tailed for more endless wandering through Venezia

A good level of enthusiasm was definitely necessary for our Carnevale mask-rocking throughout the day. 

There is so much to just see in Venice that we, fortunately, didn't even need an itinerary to move through our day. 

By the time the sun fell low in the sky it lit up the ever persistent clouds like vision. We spent nearly an hour gazing out over the canal from the Ponte di Rialto, just soaking up the view as the sun disappeared completely and trying to immortalize it in our minds.

The night, and our magical time in Venice, ended on a perfect note, of my favorite kind, dessert. A meringue caffĂ© with chocolate ice cream. It was undescribably divine, and I may or may not have licked the dish. 

Yours, Kenna

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