Hitching Europe blog #7 Team Thosji: Venezia to Ljubliana
As promised, we’ll continue where we left off: with our arrival in the city of Venice Thursday morning. This was a kind of weird experience: as we had hardly slept and started so ‘early’, it felt like we arrived there in the evening, whereas we actually still had the whole day ahead of us. The dark, cloudy weather further contributed to this feeling. While we were on the ‘bus’ (boat) navigating the grand canal, a storm broke loose. We decided to search a hostel a.s.a.p. when we arrived at our final docking stop. Unfortunately, just before we reached the supermarket near the hostel to get some food, the storm reached its climax; we ran as hard as we could but got soaked anyway. An hour later, however, we were finally relieved from our 24-hour endurings with a nice room for two with an ensuite bathroom. We enjoyed a well-earned siesta, and then set out to explore the city.
We found that Venice is extremely touristy, but for good reasons. I had once heard that Amsterdam is the ‘Venice of Western Europe’, but I have to say it doesn’t come close to the real deal. The houses that are built directly next to the water make for a very special sight, and the old narrow streets are definitely worth a walk-through.
For dinner we had pizza, which was actually pretty cheap, even though a glass of iced tea (which was coincidentally not mentioned on the menu) turned out to be €5.50. Thereafter we walked around some more, until we (really) coincidentally sat down next to a building from which came sounds of classical music. We checked it out, and found that in 10 minutes a chambre orchestra was going to play Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’. There were still some tickets available, so we took the opportunity to enjoy this very nice Venetian experience.
After the concert we walked out on the romantically lit San Marco Square to discover there were small orchestras playing classic Italian and international hits outside. We listened to them for a while, and a tasty 4.5 star-rated Italian ice cream topped off the evening.
Hitchwiki said catching a ride out of Venice would be hard, and it did not have very good recommendations how to get one, so instead we checked google maps for a gas station in the outskirts of the city. We first took a train, then a bus, and lastly walked for about twenty minutes through a quite pretty area until we reached it. We had made the right choice, for we found a ride almost instantly. Paulo and Carlo brought us all the way to Trieste, to a gas station that seemed promising as it was extremely busy.
We arrived there at 5 p.m.. By 12 a.m., we had said “scuzi, state andando verso Ljubljana?” at least 500 times, and we were extremely well acquainted with the adjective ‘piedo’ (full) and its plural form ‘piedi’. We heard from some people that the sea was at walking distance, behind a nice Italian village, so we set out to find a sleeping spot on the beach. Unfortunately there was no beach, however (only a small port and some rocks), and so we ended up on a patch of grass covered by trees at the border of the village. We actually slept quite comfortably there, and the next morning we returned to Hitchhikers’ Hell to give it one more try. After one hour (eight hours of trying in total), at 10.30, we were finally rescued by Laetitia and Maria, mother and daughter, who took us with them to Trieste. They took us to their apartment there with a beautiful seaside view and offered us a shower, which we thankfully accepted. Laetitia then even brought us to a service station at the Slovenian border, where we were soon picked up by football scout Ivo. His job (probably a dreamjob for many) was to watch a lot of football matches and discover talent. He had in this way scouted a now Croatian national team player playing for Fiorentina in Italy. Ivo showed us a spot that was, according to him, the best place to get out of Trieste. However, it had started showering, and since we had already had a shower we took cover at a pizza restaurant.
We had a nice and relatively cheap early dinner there (see photo for the probably best-sold pizza of the restaurant),
and after found out that Ivo had been right about the spot. Mladen, who works for car rental company Sixt, brought us all the way to Ljubljana airport, wherefrom air traffic control assistant Mathias brought us to the center of the Slovenian capital. We decided to stay there for the night, and to aim for Belgrade the next day.
To be continued…
Groetjes uit Niš, Serbia!