Hello! I’m back! It feels good to be home. Well, technically, I’m not yet in Manila but in cyberspace, I am finallyyyy hoooooome! Anyway, the Big Blog Exchange asked us only to blog thrice but containing all the awesome places in Italy in 3 posts is a bit impossible for me. To start with, I feel that each city in Italy has a totally different personality and character. The travelers I’ve met along the way also agree!
Let’s kick this homecoming blog post with one that’s quintessentially Googly Gooeys, shall we? I shall flood you with photos from Googly Land a.k.a. the colorful island of Burano in Venice. See? Even this island has a personality far from what Piazza di San Marco looks like. I practically spent the whole day here. I realized I had to come back the next day to see more of Venice. *Woops!*
While I’m finishing this blog post, I’m typing and editing photos inside the plain en route to Iceland. What? Has it really been a week already since the end of the Big Blog Exchange? I will try not to drown you with words anymore and let the photos speak for themselves. *Yeah right.Okay, wait. Maybe I’ll still end up having side comments here and there because I have a noisy mind. Hehe.*
I love how that striped fabric is stylishly tied on one side. I swear, if I were only a fashion blogger, I would have brought a suitcase of outfits & had my OOTD’s taken here.
This shot was taken on the main island of Venice. That bird has a nonchalant look, don’t you think? It’s like he’s saying, “Oh you know, just another day at the office. Hey Taxi, take me to Manhattan…I mean, Piazza di San Marco!”
If someone let me stay in the colorful houses of Burano for a month, you will just probably find me sitting in one corner, doodling and painting the afternoon away. I brought lots of paints, inks and brushes with me but it’s always a dilemma between drawing the subject and taking lots of photos of it so that I can draw it later. Judging from my recent Instagram feed, you know what happened.
At the end of the day, I was actually looking at my folder and thought, “What!?!?! I actually spent the whole afternoon in Burano—even skipping lunch and I took this much photos?” If only I could flood you endless shots of all the houses.
A lot of people suggested that I pass through Murano (above)—the island of glass-making before I go to Burano. Well, I did…for a few minutes just to get to the next station. *Eep! Sorry.* I just feel that my mom’s fascination for Murano has already been a part of my childhood and I’ve witnessed the glass-blowing process the last time I was here so I just felt that I should go out seek something else.
So while touring Burano, I met a guy named Pakistani guy by the name of Rafiq who is currently working in Luxembourg. We agreed to be photo buddies that day or else we wouldn’t have decent pictures on this island. While making our way back to the main island, we saw this boat. As a speed boat was making its way towards us, we both agreed this looked like a scene from a movie.
That’s me in red with a white cap. I honestly think I look like a walking mushroom. To me, it looks like the Tipsy and Ponggo house. See? This really is Googly Land. Hahahaha. I’m actually amused that people on Instagram were quick to notice & suggest things like, “Why is the blue house smaller than the pink one?” “Try to put a bridge between the pink & blue house and you guys could live there.” I don’t know what’s with me but during my whole stay in Italy, I would always have my photo taken by a pink house of any shade. I’m always quick to dismiss that pink is such a girly girl color and that I am a feminist therefore I have this notion that I shouldn’t be loving pink too much but I can’t help but be attracted to it! *Feminist argument getting weaker by the minute.*
Okay fine. I’m not just attracted to pink houses. There are also orange and yellow ones—which really look good beside blush & peach (which are apparently shades of pink). *Spot the circular argument. #ArgumentInvalid* So, apparently, their government gets to choose which shade of paint they should use. I love their government already! Hello Burano, if you ever need an extra staff who would love to help you pick out your colors, I’m just an e-mail away. Well, I honestly don’t think you need my help. You’re already doing a fine job!
That night, I had the best gelato in my life. I also realized I can never be a food blogger because I have a strong bias towards dark chocolate and I only have this window of bitterness that I enjoy. Sometimes, I find milk chocolate too sweet and anything beyond 70% dark is too strong. I also tend to consume my subjects before taking a photo of them. Lucky that this gelato was waiting for me on a holder at the counter.
Anyway, today, I also learned that if I wanted to survive, I can’t do it alone. I met a bunch of Taiwanese exchange students who were studying in Czech Republic for a semester or two. I got off Murano and followed them to the next station. I felt like they already knew what they were doing while I was this lost girl trying to find her way through the labyrinth of water stations.
That’s Scott, Lulu, Monica & Cathy. ☺
At this point in the trip, I finally got comfortable with the idea that if ever I get lost, I shouldn’t worry. I just know that armed with a map and enough humility to ask strangers for directions, I’ll get to my destination—it’s just a matter of where. (cue music: “I will find my wayyyy….I can go the distance…I’ll be there somedayyyyy….”)
I also can’t believe that I spent evening laughing in St. Mark’s square with a couple of researchers: Chong from Vietnam who grew up in France and Rafiq who are both doing some research work in the field of Biology & Robotics respectively. They both have PhD’s and they were waiting for a couple of friends for dinner. They were talking about building their own real life version of The Big Bang Theory and calling dibs on the characters. I always felt like an out-of-place nerd for most of my grade school and high school years but for the first time, I actually felt like Penny the PhD-less character. It wasn’t so bad though. I haven’t laughed like this in such a long time but I had to apologize profusely via e-mail the next day for teasing Rafiq too much about his pseudo-issues in life.
I also learned that the dynamics of friendship is pretty much universal. I had to leave before they had dinner to catch the second to the last train to Vicenza. At the water bus on my way back to the Venezia Sta. Lucia station, I made friends with three girls from New York who spent a good number of days in Venice: Kristin, Amanda & Jamie. We exchanged some blogging and travelling tips before we all ran to the train station. I was telling my friends in Manila that I swear, every single day during the entire Big Blog X, I always end up having a new e-mail address or a new Facebook friend. It’s always nice to know that when you feel like you’re alone and confused, there are kindred souls wandering in the same place you’re in. ☺
Good to Know:
1. You can access Venice via train. You may buy the ticket from a TrenItalia vendo or the counter. (I always get mine from the vendo because it feels like I’m pressing a bunch of buttons for soda when I’m buying a ticket for an adventure. Then again, that’s just me. ☺)
2. Don’t confuse Venezia Mestre station and Venezia Sta. Lucia. If you want to get to where I went, go for the latter.
3. Platforms in train stations tend to change last minute so watch out for the announcements and the monitor that has all the schedules.
4. If you want to save yourself from the hassle of buying a ticket each time you have to go to one station to another in Venice, buy yourself a full day pass (of around 20 Euros). The map they’re selling at 3 Euros is also worth it. I don’t know how else I would have gone around that city. Think of it as a Metro / MRT map but you’re travelling on water.
5. Worried about when the last train is leaving? You can always access the TrenItalia schedule from your cellphone. Apparently, they also have an iPhone app. Now, I officially sound like a TrenItalia ambassador. But you see, I spent most of my 10 days in trains and maybe I just love the fact that I can just sit down and let my mind wander instead of driving from city to city like I would in Manila.
Where I Stayed:
You can read more about Vicenza and why it’s a good jump off point for Venice here on my exchange partner’s blog Fotostrasse.
What were the rest of the 15 Big Blog X Bloggers up to while I was in Vicenza? Check out the Big Blog X Blog here or search for the #BigBlogX hashtag on Instagram.
P.S. I will be holding another workshop at Fully Booked BGC on January 10 from 2-5pm, details are still being finalized but if you’d like to be the first to know about it, you may sign-up here.