In my previous blog I had talked about how I had lost my fellow traveler before the trip, my camera and memorable photos during the trip, and all my traces in Rome after the trip, but at the same time how much I had gained and found from this trip to Venice and Rome.
Now, I want to talk about my memories and impressions of these two cities.
Venice comes first!
Venice, a romantic city surrounded by water; at least that was my impression of this city before going there.
I had heard this music in Venice from time to time, and this melody was my first memory about Venice.
This music came from a famous RPG game, Xuan-Yuan Sword 3 (or SWD 3), in Taiwan many years ago. In this game, there was also a role named Lillian, an innocent girl who followed her true love to Venice, but ended up being sacrificed in the early stage of the game. This piece was the background music of Venice setting, and it brought me my first feeling for Venice: a bit sad but romantic; a bit gray but exotic; drifting and drowsing.
However, in reality, my first impression of Venice was another story. On the way from the airport to Piazza San Marco by boat, all I could see was white, and two rows of wooden pillars indicating the route, heading to somewhere unknown in the mist.
When entering the Grand Canal, I was surprised to see those old houses and buildings by the bank. It wasn’t the classic- and elegant-old style from the 18th century I had expected to see, but more an aging- and shabby-old style. Some seemingly abandoned buildings were not attractive at all, let alone romantic.
However, Venice was such an enchanted city under cover that you didn’t see its magic until you lost your way in the labyrinth of streets. The map was almost useless, but you could always find something new and special around every corner…or around every bridge. In the end, you forgot your original destination, and got lost again in the shops full of distinctive personality and style.
It was a city made for randomness and spontaneousness, not for plans and schedules. Of course you could browse this city in a conventional way, but then you would never reveal the veil of Venice and see what lies beneath. With no cars and street numbers in chaos, the only thing you can do was follow your heart and instinct, and appreciate everything you see on the way with no expectations.
From another perspective, Venice was indeed a romantic yet frustrating, charming yet misty city. It was a city perfect for lovers and friends rather for single travelers. In the journey, you and your traveling companion decided the place you wanted to go together, got lost together, checked the map together, argued which way was the right direction together, found the way together…and then got lost again together…till you were exhausted…then you either laughed or fell apart with each other. What a wonderful place to test your relationship/friendship!
With different companions, you could look into Venice in different eyes. Although I felt sorry that Nalia couldn’t go with me and hence the lack of view from girls’ eyes, I was glad that Levin was there with me. We had explored churches and canals in Venice together, shared delicious Italian food, bumped into a wonderful and professional Vivaldi concert and wandered around in the dark and scary alleys every evening. The last but not the least, we did the must-do Gondola ride, floating on the water in the wobbly asymmetric boat and crossing under countless of bridges. It was such a romantic and unique scene to see Venice in different angles that I almost fell in love.
My last impression of Venice was the Palazzo Dulcale illuminated in the rain in the dark. We were catching our boat to the airport, and Levin was dragging his luggage running across the Piazza San Marco ahead of me. I took a photo for the moment from behind. Even though I had lost my camera and therefore, no chance to see that picture again, the image has imprinted on my mind as my last memory of Venice.
The trip to Venice was quite unusual to me. The beginning didn’t go according to plan, but yet I had the most wonderful experience in the end. I cherish every moment there.
Now it’s time to shift the scene from Venice to my next stop, Rome.
To be continued…