Thursday, October 28, 2010

Venetian Girl, Interrupted

After Rome I was supposed to spend three breathtaking days in Venezia, preferably all 72 hours on a gondola. After a very close call that morning, arriving at the airport with only 4 minutes to spare, we landed in Venice at 8am. One bus ride and water taxi later we made it to the Venice Fish, our first very hostel-like hostel.

We go out and explore the little town for a couple hours, taking in the sights, smells and sounds. This town was cute, very cute, and I couldn't wait for the days ahead. We planned on hitting up the big monuments the second day and visiting Murano, the glass-making island on our last.

By noon, I was exhausted and headed back to the Fish for a nap. I knocked out for several hours and when I woke I found Hira in a bit of a panic. We need a computer, she said, fast! EasyJet sent her a text message letting her know that due to "industrial action in France" our flight had been cancelled. We see that we have only two options, leave the following morning or stay an extra two days for a total of five.

If you can't tell by now, we very reluctantly (and possibly regretfully?) took the first option. We then realized that we spent crucial hours of the only day we had in Venice sleeping and busted out those hostel doors to take in what was rightfully ours, the rest of our day!

Oh Venezia, I did not want to part with you but you are just so tiny and so expensive. We would have spent more time there than we did in Rome and I feared we would have run out of things to do, other than shop. But shop we did, to help ease the pain of leaving early. Instead of visiting the island, we bought Murano glass jewelry. Instead of seeing the sites, we bought post-cards. I bought a beautiful gold and  green hand-crafted masquerade mask that I can't wait to wear. That store was fun.

But now I am back in Paris, with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I can't deny the comforting feeling of familiarity that hit me when I landed and knew exactly where to go, what the signs said, and what the bickering siblings next to me were arguing about. But I was frustrated that these strikes cut my vacation short! Apparently the pension reform proposal has passed the senate and is only one step away from being signed into law by the president. Over 200,000 people took the streets today to show Sarkozy exactly how they feel about having to work two additional years before receiving pensions. Unfortunately, it looks like the strike will not save them from this one. But you let him know just how you feel, Frenchies!

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