A Very Full Day in Venice, Part 2: Bar Crawling

I woke up from my nap to see my Canadian roommate adjusting things in his pack.  I gruffly asked, with a sleepy voice, how was the church?
He went on to explain that the view from the tower at the church was amazing… and I expressed my regret for missing it, but really I wouldn’t have made it up the stairs. This wouldn’t be the first day on this trip that I overexerted myself.
The hostel we were staying in had a community dinner for 4 euros, but it didn’t start until late, European dinner time, 8pm or so.  We had 2 hours to kill, so I asked if he wanted to grab a drink.  We headed out into the alleys of Venice with no particular destination in mind.
We turned a corner and ran into my friend Nicole from the US crossing the bridge.  Nicole was travelling with me for the first week of my trip, but we had different styles of touring so we spent our days apart.
Nicole! I screamed, laughing at how excited I was to run into someone I knew in Venice.
She joined our hunt for a drink and we found a popular bar, with my favorite, Venetian Spritzers.  We threw back a couple drinks while sitting at a table.  We were talking in English in a room full of Italian conversation.  A girl walked by with a handful of drinks, turned her head, and said, “Americans? That’s odd.”  Then she just walked away.
I thought it was a bit rude the way she said it, so I mumbled to my friends, “You’re odd..”
But later she stopped by and we talked for a minute, she was a bit too eager to brag about her journey of couch surfing through all of Europe.  She told me she hated Croatia and loved Bosnia.  I began to get annoyed with her, but luckily her Italian host decided it was time to go.
We headed back to our family dinner at the hostel.  It was a yummy creamy pasta with veggies and olives mixed in.  They made it vegetarian just for me!
During dinner, there is all the red wine you can drink!  So we all got toasted and made new friends with a girl from Mexico and a guy from Columbia (both solo travelers).  Nicole wanted to play pool in Venice, so we talked to the hostel manager and he sent us off towards the train station in search of a billiards hall.
We walked down a main street past the train station in very jolly moods from the wine.  The wine was keeping the bite of the cold night air subdued.  As we were walking, Jose was going on and on about how much gelato he had eaten that day.  Then, as we passed a gelato stand, he made me get some with him, because I had told him I hadn’t had any in Italy yet.
It was cold out, but I ate the gelato and I had to admit I enjoyed it.


Me and Veronica from Mexico with the Italian bartender.
We kept walking and Nicole started asking people in broken Italian where the billiards hall was.  She used the hand motion of shooting a pool stick to help.  One person made us turn around and told us we passed it.  Another person said there were no billiards clubs… Eventually we went into a tiny little bar to have a drink and warm up.  The bartender was very friendly and posed in a picture with us.  But still no billiards.
He sent us towards the Rialto Bridge, in search of at least some lively night life.  We found our way to the fish market by the bridge and low and behold there were drunk people singing and dancing in front of a little open bar on a plaza.  The bar looked like a walk-up snack bar, but  they served alcohol and played loud music.  They had free peanuts scattered on top of barrels for customers to pick at.  The stone sidewalk was covered in shells.


Bar Crawl Group on Rialto Bridge
We enjoyed our new-found hot spot and proceeded to have a few more drinks.  We met people from France and Italy that spoke English.  I definitely have a bunch of blurry pictures from this bar with all the new friends.


Very nice couple from France!
A very large, but cute black dog wandered up to us, begging for peanuts.  He was so cute!  We gave him a couple.  There was no sign of his owner, but hey it’s Venice.  Dogs do whatever they want here.
After hanging there for a while, I popped my head around a corner and discovered another bar, with even more people hanging out all over the sidewalk.  So I yelled at my group from the hostel and we headed over.  This bar was crowded with Venetian university students.  Luckily, they all knew English well enough from school.
We finally decided it was time to go when a young drunk college kid started talking about Castro and Cuba and honestly he lost me…  I wasn’t sure what he was saying, but he wanted me to pass a message to Obama.  I explained I wasn’t on speaking terms with the President and we decided to leave.

Please give me a peanut!

It was a brisk walk through the quiet alleys of Venice on the way back.  It truly is a beautiful city to walk around at night.  Also, it seems quite safe to do so.  We snuck into the hostel and all slipped quietly into our beds.

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