Day 58 – Back to Italy again

Venice, Italy

Today was unfortunately my last day in Malta.  Even though I didn’t really do much like sightseeing or anything like that, it was a great experience just because of where I was.  The island itself was beautiful and although one of the main resources for Malta is the tourism industry it wasn’t overrun by them.

Maybe I was just there at the right time of year or maybe they haven’t all discovered the island yet but either way, it was nice to be in a resort like place without all the tourists that usually accompany it.

I actually gave serious consideration to throwing away my 50 euro plane ticket I had purchased to Venice and rebook for a later date to stay in Malta longer.

In the end though it would have been too expensive to do as the new ticket would have been vastly more as I had to book it on short notice.

So I left Malta after one final english breakfast which, by the way, I could have every morning for the rest of my life.  My flight was at a respectable 2:45pm so I could ease into going to the airport around noon.

This was my 11th flight on the trip and I’ve gotten into a kind of morbid habit of filming the takeoffs and landings – you know, just in case something happens and I can sell the video to CNN.  Like I said – kind of morbid.

Of course the flight went off without a hitch and I was back in Italy once again.  To my happy surprise the weather was actually really nice here in Venice considering I’ve kind of associated Italy with rain at this point.

My directions to the hostel were on the obscure side.  Instead of directions to different streets to take I was left with instructions that told me to go over a couple of bridges and then turn right at a restaurant and then another right behind a narrow alleyway behind it.

Simple, right?

Amazingly I actually found the hostel pretty easily although it was a bit of a walk which I don’t normally mind but it kind of sucks when you have a big backpack on and you’re trying to navigate your way through swarms of tourists.

Yeah, Venice has alot of tourists…

When I got to the hostel I was a little shocked to find an Asian girl at the front desk.  Her English was lousy and I immediately knew I wouldn’t be getting any information about Venice from her.  She informed me that I actually wouldn’t be staying in the main hostel but down the road at their “secondary location”.  She told me someone would be by shortly to lead me there.

Okay…

The guy who came by was another Asian and he spoke even less English.

What the hell?  Am I at a hostel in Venice run by Asians?

The other location wasn’t around the corner, but a good 2 blocks away.  To say I was rather pissed would be an understatement as I couldn’t believe this place had such a high rating online and I was left in a building far away from the main building with people who couldn’t help me discover Venice.

I left the hostel fuming but as I walked along the street I tried to talk myself down not wanting them to ruin my experience of Venice.

I mean, after all, I was in Venice!

I went to the tourist information office to get a map and a little help and then walked down the street to stop in for dinner around 8pm.

I chose a place offering a 2 course meal for 11 euros.  I ordered a smoked salmon penne pasta starter and a pork chop with grilled vegetables as a main course (and a 1/2 bottle of wine).

The service I had was the worst I’ve had so far as it took forever to take my order, to get my food and then to pay the bill.  The food wasn’t much better as the pasta wasn’t cooked al dente and the pork chop was pretty dry – yes, I have officially become a foodie.

Anyway I headed back to the hostel not feeling so great about my time in Venice so far.  I was hoping that when I returned I would find a great group of people hanging out at the hostel as there were 9 other people in that building.

Instead I found the girl from the front desk at the other building waiting for me outside the hostel.  She had heard how disappointed I was and they had a cancellation so they had a bed for me in the main building and she was there to take me there.

I headed inside to get my stuff and also to check if anyone decent was there in which case I would just tell her I was fine with that building.  I only found a couple of guys there so I grabbed my stuff and left to go to the main building.

In my new room I was immediately welcomed by the 3 other guys staying in the room – Jake, Chris and Carlos and also a girl staying in the hostel, Elle.

They gave me a couple glasses of prosecco and it was a great way to change my view of Venice.  It’s amazing how people you meet along the way change your perspective of a city.

Elle left on her own way but the four of us guys went to discover the bars and do some drinking.

We walked around for a bit and stopped in a couple of bars where I had a couple more glasses of prosecco.  It was just really nice to hang out with some people (with the exception of my two Maltese friends) after all the alone time I’ve had since I left the south of France last week.

Unfortunately the guys are all leaving tomorrow but I’m hopeful my 3 new roommates turn out to be great.  In fact it will be a huge determining factor on the length of my stay here in Venice.  I’ve only booked the two nights but could easily stay longer if the right people come along.

I’ve officially reached that stage of my trip where I’m going to play it by ear as I go from city to city and country to country and, yes, I’m super excited about it…

Euro Trip 2013, Venice, Italy, Trip Journal
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