Don’t get me wrong – I’m fully aware that it’s still winter and being winter, there’s always a chance of snow. For some strange reason though, there was a bit of a disconnect from the obvious and what goes on in my head and I didn’t believe that there would be any chance that the fluffy white stuff would impact my Venice Carnival trip in any shape or form. Once again, I was very, very wrong!
It all started out in the morning when we opened the front door to step out for the day and noticed that there were a few random flurries in the air. Nothing to worry about as it looked minor and so we made our way to Piazza San Macro to catch a glimpse of all the action before heading to the meet up spot for our gondola ride. Upon arrival to Piazza San Macro, we realized that the snow was getting heavier and nobody was hanging out in the otherwise crowded piazza. The smarter people had decided to take cover where they could and taking another look around, we came to the realization that there didn’t seem to be any gondolas on the water either.
As we stood there shivering and wondering what to do next, it didn’t dawn on us that our gondola ride would be cancelled. After all, we had made the effort to come in full costume to make the most out of the experience and had decided that the photos of us on the water would just so much better if it could really start snowing hard. After another hour outside roaming about, we finally made the executive decision that enough was enough and that we were cold. So we did the only thing 2 Canadian girls in full Venetian outfits could do – eat!
After a 2 course meal that allowed us to warm up enough to face the elements once again, we decided it was best to give the tour organizers a call before making our way to the Gondola Park. Thankfully we did, as we found out that they were going to cancel the event for the day due to high tides and snow. This information was followed by the advice of go somewhere inside and stay warm today. And that was it – Venice had decided to call it a snow day. There was a light dusting on the ground with just a threat of a bit more snow but it was like we were roaming around in a ghost town. Some shops were closed while other storekeepers were trying to figure out how best to clear the snow with their brooms. The crowded streets were empty except for a few hooligans goofing around in wannabe snowball fights as they struggled to stay upright. It was comical and entertaining but nevertheless, my last full day in Venice was cancelled due to the weather conditions. It was sad but maybe just the excuse I was looking for to return – after all, who can say they’ve been to Venice without experiencing a gondola ride right?
Categories: ITALY, italy: venice
Tags: canadians working abroad, canadians working overseas, change of life, gondola, gondola ride, italy, Piazza San Marco, Rialto Bridge, snow, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Travelogues, Venice, Venice Carnival, working abroad, working overseas
Words can’t describe the brilliance I’ve witnessed. Sure, before leaving for the Venice Carnival, I knew I was in for people watching at it’s finest but what I saw simply blew me away. After 2 flights and a shuttle bus, I found myself smack dab in the middle of all the carnival action. On arrival the weather was mild and the professionals and festival merry goers all paraded around in their best get-ups of the day. There were face painting stations set up all over the windy streets and vendors selling everything from the simple 2 euro masks to the elaborate outfit that made you look like one of the professionals. On top of that, the homemade costumes and creativity that went into them were simply amazing. The variation was extreme from 6’4″ men pretending they were Batman (trust me, I use the term pretending lightly) to costumes so complex that it looked as though they had taken all year to make.
Right off the bat, I got an eyeful and without a shadow of a doubt, knew that my decision to attend the Venice Carnival was hands down one of the smartest things that I’ve done all year. The outfits were so magnificent that it was hard not to get swept up in all the excitement and start dressing the part myself. Yes, I started collecting masks and capes like nobody’s business and wound up in a handful of tourist photos myself (posing ever so badly I might add) but at the end of the day, it was my inner paparazzi that kicked some serious ass!
Sorting through what I liked the most has turned out to be a difficult task at this hour and so I’ve just chosen my favourite images that I haven’t plastered all over instagram whenever I could get a little wi-fi in my life. Despite my love of photography, I was armed with nothing but the simplest of all of the point and shoot cameras (one that I lovingly refer to as the terminator due to the “damage” it endured in Berlin) and an iPhone. Granted, I was rather jealous of all the digital SLRs surrounding me and wishing I had the ability to pull focus like a mofo as well but reminded myself that I’m not on assignment and to sit back and enjoy all that was around me.
With all the activities going on, that was simple enough to do. After a crazy photo shoot, we would duck into some food spot (truth be told, most likely anywhere that was serving gelato) to chill out and regroup before heading back out into the crowd once again. My plan for Venice Carnival was to just get a taste of what it was like and that’s exactly what I did. We participated in a handful of events, dressed up like complete nutters ourselves as well as showed full appreciated to those who did it well. All in all, I would have to say that this is one of those events that everyone should attend once in their lifetime.
Categories: ITALY, italy: venice
Tags: canadians working abroad, canadians working overseas, Carnival, italy, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Travelogues, Venice, Venice Carnival, working abroad, working overseas