why i think Venice is romantic and its not because they all said so.

Venice is the most expensive city in the world. and so they tell me.

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that was why initially i told Zsolt we are definitely skipping that when we were planning for our Europe trip. it didn’t help that his sole memory of Venice accommodation was “a room a little bigger than your bathroom and a breakfast that is nothing but two crackers”. and if you have seen how small my bathroom is, you would agree that that is certainly not what i want to pay EU150 a night for.

however, my silly boyfriend did not mention that the train travel from zurich to prague was unbelievably long, expensive and time consuming that we might as well have bought plane tickets in advance and it would have been quick, convenient and cheap.

and that was how me- the frugal traveler- ended up in the most expensive city in the world.

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from zurich, we took the train to milan which then connected us to venezia. i will skip describing milan since all i did there was sip coffee and run after the pigeons (the former was nice, the latter was embarrassing). and oh, two africans got one euro out of zee by wrapping a bracelet around his wrist faster than he can hiss. (they did wrap one around mine as well while telling me i’m one of the prettiest girls they met- and then wondering if i have some spare change afterwards. i loved the fake compliment especially since i don’t have to pay for it but they are something you have to watch out for when you get to Milan. they are everywhere and they can get aggressive.)

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we arrived in the paradise that is venice at about seven in the evening. for the next two to three hours that follow our arrival, we have been unable to locate our hotel. the most expensive city in the world either is horrible at making sure their published tourist maps actually reflect the actual streetnames or it’s getting the high of playing a crazy jokes on tourists.

i am not the fittest girl in the world. i can walk for ten, twenty meters and that’s it. if i have to walk farther than that, i like to get the assurance that i know where i am going. for both Zsolt and i, walking around the maze that is venezia on a friday night without a clear indication of where the freaking hotel was located was definitely not a start of a romantic holiday.

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as we were trying to find our way to the hotel, we’ve passed through the “residential” part of venice. and you can tell it was that because the walls have graffiti all over it and if it wasn’t for the fact that i knew for a fact that i was standing on a sinking island- i would have dismissed the area as a slum. on a positive note, however, we found shops and restaurants and gelato shops we would have missed if we didn’t get lost. we found out later on as well that the prices of food in these shops are half as cheap as the prices if you find yourself with a table in one of the restos at the Rialto.

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on top of that, the bed and breakfast (name: B&B Art Academy) we found ourselves in was quite a surprise in itself. we got their junior suite at a last minute price of EU75 a night. there was nothing fancy about it but the bed was comfortable, the size of the room was bigger than expected, the bathroom was complete with amenities, and they throw in a television which was pretty useless at the moment because everything was in italian (but hey, i wouldn’t complain for that price). the breakfast was nothing like what Zsolt kept on scaring me- it was actually quite filling that we didn’t end up grabbing lunch until towards the afternoon.

overall, we spent our time in venice walking and getting lost. for us, the map was pretty useless- if not for making us more lost than we already were. but venice, in its entirety, is a very charming place (though, it was really munich that blew me away). i wouldn’t want to stay there for more than three days in the future trip- i just think it’s too crowded for me. however, because the first trip to venice did not drill a hole in my pocket and it did tick off one more thing in my 100 things to do, it has now been added to my most romantic places on earth list.

because, well, that is just me. i still think there should be no connection between romance and money.

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