Venice

Venice is a place of dreams.

This is true in a broad sense, of course; the place is completely surreal. Everything about it is hazy and magical, vivid and strange. It’s a city built on water, a city sinking amidst its own paved alleyways and winding canals.

But more specifically, it’s a place of my dreams too, a place I have wanted to visit since reading The Thief Lord in fourth grade. I have longed to wander between the walls at dusk, be surrounded by gondolas by day. It was one of the places on this trip that I was most looking forward to. And it didn’t disappoint.

Sure, there were tourists everywhere. We had to avoid main roads at some points simply because pedestrian traffic was so freaking frustrating. But around the late afternoon, everyone disappeared. And we had the quiet eeriness and beauty to ourselves. Sure, there wasn’t much to do once we had “been there, done that.” But it was perfect for the brief period of time that we did get to stay there.

And plus, our hotel was on the beach.

Boat taxis, Peggy Guggenheim, an island full of glass workshops, the beginning of our gelato crawl… Venice, Italy, ladies and gents.

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This was the view that welcomed us into the city and was the very first thing we saw as we traveled from bus to ferryboat.
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Our hotel was on the REAL Venice beach and we couldn’t have been happier.

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The first of many pretty Venice sunsets ❤

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The Bridge of Sighs. Prisoners walked across it to their trials and deaths. Countless bridges have been modeled after it. And thousands upon thousands of the world’s most annoying tourists visit it each day.
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Tag yourself I’m the bird. Or at least I wish I could have been so I could avoid and/or dive bomb all these people.
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Everywhere we turned looked like this, it was unreal. It was also weirdly hard to navigate because there weren’t many large bridges over main canals.
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First Italian food of the trip! Probably microwaved but definitely hype.

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The Gelato Crawl Begins. (As does our GT OIE Instagram fame.)
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There’s something interesting everywhere, even in the most boring of museums. You just have to wander and look around a little bit. (You might find really hella old windows made out of bottles. Overlooking a fabulous canal. In Venice.)
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You also might find a painting so large that it had to have part of the frame removed in order to be displayed in a museum.

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This opera was much less impressive than the Paris one, and we had the most bored tour guide ever. But it was still pretty cool because apparently the building itself has burned down twice under suspicious circumstances? I dk man sounds like a hit action/adventure crime novel or movie to me.
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Oh hey it me!
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Oh hey it my dinner!

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In between museum visits and concerts, we wandered around the streets to and from, taking everything in.

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There are some Britney Spears lyrics that would fit in really nicely here. Oops.
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Love you Syd ❤

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Isn’t this pink building adorable??
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Bless all of the fruit stands.
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On the second half of our free day and last day in Venice, we went to Murano, an island about thirty minutes away from the city by boat taxi. In reality, it took us over an hour to get there and, once we did, it was a ghost town. But a beautiful ghost town nonetheless.
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We all wanted glass, because essentially this entire island is world renowned (or something) for its glass blowing workshops. It was weirdly hard to find one that was open for the public to watch, and by the time I did, everyone else had grown impatient and taken off. But ya girl got to witness these sweaty old dudes makin some art!

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See? A ghost town. Spooky.
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Afterwards, we did The Thing.
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And it was absolutely amazing.
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It was almost like meditating. It was so quiet and calm down on the lapping water hidden just below the bustling streets we had grown accustomed to. This was the part that felt most like a dream.

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After the gondola ride, we had kind of seen and experienced everything we wanted to in the city itself. So we returned to the island that our hotel was on (by boat taxi, naturally) and hung out on the beach for the remainder of our stay. It was relaxing, fun, and altogether lovely.

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