Venice was probably the top place on my to see list. But I decided to wait until the weather would be slightly warmer, so Venice was my last trip abroad of second semester.
Unfortunately, my plan for nice weather didn't work, and it drizzled rain on my first 2 days, and there was gorgeous sunshine on the day I was leaving, typical! This meant on my last day, being the Insta lover that I am, I re-took some of my photos, because sun makes everything better!
But my cheap plane tickets pretty much make up for it. My flight out was only €19, which is amazing because Prague doesn't have too many cheap routes, compared to Dublin where you can get everywhere pretty cheap, especially if you wait around for a sale (Love you Ryanair xo). Well, what I didn't know was that they were cheap because Venice air traffic control were striking on the Saturday! So I guess a lot of people didn't want to fly that weekend, but all the better for me!
I also somehow got a really cheap hostel in a good location. Venice is an island, connected to the mainland by a bridge/road, and a lot of the cheap hostels and hotels are located on the mainland, so you're not staying in the gorgeous, unique little canal lined streets of Venice. Plus, public transport in Venice is quite expensive, so that would be an added cost.
This was my first time travelling alone (besides flying alone), which kind of added something. This is because I am always the planner, the one who organises the trip and how to get from A to B. I know that my friends appreciate it, but sometimes it makes you feel like you are being overbearing and bossy, so it was nice to just organise everything for myself, and do exactly what I want to do.
So after arriving in the airport and getting the waterbus(!) to the island, I had 2 hours to kill before I could check in. First stop: pizza! After being awake since the crack of dawn, this was much appreciated. After a bit of wandering around, I checked into my hostel and was pleasantly surprised. Then I set off towards the most famous areas.
It's true what they say, that you're not doing Venice right if you don't get lost (but thank god for Google maps). Even just trying to get from one place to another is so enjoyable, because of everything you see on the way. A lot of cities in Europe, although beautiful, have similar architecture, and really you could be anywhere. But Venice is so unique, you just know that you are in Venice and no where else is like this. Everything is so picture perfect, you feel like you are in a film.
I went to St Mark's Square. One of my favourite parts was the blue clock, on the gate you pass through to enter the square. The Basilica was breathtaking, it's huge and even though I've seen so many gorgeous churches and cathedrals on my travels, it was something else. After an obligatory stop for some gelato I walked along the sea for a while, before looking in some of the shops. And I can't wait to come back to Venice when I have more money, because the shopping was amazing, although I was relegated to window shopping.
On the saturday, I headed to the Arsenale, which is where the boats were built, I went there via water bus, which was still a complete novelty to me. I stumbled across the Maritime History Museum, which was amazing. There was so many different types of boats, some huge, some tiny and ornate, all with a different story. This is probably my favourite museum I've ever been to, my inner nerd was so happy. I stopped for a coffee at a cafe beside the entrance to the Arsenale, then I went back to St Marks square and went up the clock tower, which gave a gorgeous view over the city and out to the sea. Then I headed back in the direction of my hostel, to see the Jewish Ghetto, there wasn't a lot to see, but it was nice to see a less touristic, more local and authentic part of the city, that has a lot of history. Then it was time for pizza round 2, I was really tired, so I grabbed a takeaway pizza from a pizzeria near me that got really good ratings.
That evening I wanted to see Venice at sunset, because the previous night I napped through it! I wasn't disappointed, the colours of the sunset reflected on the canals were just gorgeous, as was walking along the promenade on the north of the island. I found another huge cathedral near there, so went inside for a while. I headed back to my hostel, walking the long way and stopping for some more gelato.
On Sunday, my final day, I could finally pack away my umbrella and crack out the sunglasses, the weather was amazing. I couldn't do too much that day because my flight was at 3, and I was conscious of making it to the airport on time,it being my first time travelling solo. So I just wandered around my favourite areas, taking some more photos. Then I got a snack and sat in the square in the sun. Even though I was in a city which is so popular for tourists, sitting in that square, with the grandparents sat on the benches after mass, and the local kids running around the square playing, it feels like you could be in a little Italian town.
So I, sadly, said goodbye to Venice, and got the boat back to the airpot, and enjoyed a bellini before the short plane trip home.
Although it's nice to share memories and places with your friends, it's important to be able to enjoy time by yourself, and to stand fully on your own two feet, and Venice was the perfect city to do just that.