We’re riding the last train back to Florence after a big day in Venice. Speaking of trains… when we arrived at Venice this morning the Orient Express was at the platform for boarding. I did the obvious thing and ran over there like a little school boy to snap some
photos, I was so excited! I love surprises like that 🙂
Venice was really cool, especially because I’d made contact with a local couch surfer who had offered to show us around. I’ve written previously about what a difference it makes when you meet someone who already knows all the ins & outs of a place. I think this is amplified in Venice which is basically a huge maze, like snakes and ladders… but it’s bridges and gondolas.
You can’t expect too much when a couch surfer offers to show you around because they’re generously offering you their time. The idea behind couch surfing is cultural exchange, making friends from all over the world. Unfortunately some people think its just a free accommodation service, but when it works properly it is so much more than that!
Our generous guide’s name was Claudio or Adriano (he was happy with either). He had grown up in both Bucharest and Venice, loved telling stories and was SUPER passionate bout sharing Venice with us. A perfect guide!
We spent half the day with him, walking all over the city chatting about this and that… Interesting facts about Venice interspersed with his plans to build a career that won’t tie him down geographically so he can roam free.
I convinced him to have lunch with us, not as remuneration for the tour, but because I think sharing a meal is the best way to make friends. I had a typical Venetian dish, spaghetti in squids ink! Mmmmm fishy 🙂
We parted ways at the place where you can get a quick Gondola ride across the canal for €0.50 (most tourists pay €80 for 45 minutes) and explored some more as we slowly mad our way back to the train station.
Thanks for a great day Adriano!