Venice, a city with no wheels I 威尼斯,沒有輪子的城市 I

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威尼斯,這個位於義大利東北岸的城市,在我心中一直都像童話一般。

你能想像嗎?一個在水上的城市。房屋之間是海,人們唱著歌、滑著船槳穿梭於其間,多麼浪漫阿。

從米蘭來到威尼斯,時間約是中午,陽光正強豔。一出車站便是條大大的運河,左方有座橋,街上充滿了觀光的人潮,各色人種,大家都來到這觀光勝地,準備一窺威尼斯鮮豔外表下的神祕文化。

坐在聖塔路西亞車站前的階梯上,我們慌張的打開電腦,沒為什麼,只因為我們尚未定好接下來在威尼斯三晚的住宿地點…..。在歐洲的其他城市,沒有預先訂房只是小事一樁,處處都有空房能讓你臨時住進,但在威尼斯,遊客爆炸的假期時段真的是一房難求。

訂房網站上不是客滿就是價錢超出預算,打了數通電話也只是碰壁。頂著豔陽,拖著行李,我們終於在近乎絕望時找到了一間巷弄間的旅館,成功的尋到往後三日的落腳處。 穿過細長狹窄的樓梯,又走過迷宮般的長廊,終於來到我們位於義式平房之間的房間,還意外得到一坐陽台,「船到橋頭自然直」這句話似乎總在旅行時頻頻顯驗。

If there’s a place on earth that looks too much like a fairy tale, its probably Venice.

Can you imagine? A city on the water, between houses lays the ocean, with people singing, paddling through the alleys. How romantic.

We arrived Venice around noon, it was a perfect sunny day, but in our mind, it was thunder storm. We did not have a hotel room yet. Sitting in front of the Santa Lucia Station, we opened out laptops, starting to go through all the booking websites, wondering if we will end up sleeping on the streets today.

During vacation period, Venice is pretty much packed with tourists from all over the world. Finding a room when you have just arrived? Tough choice (Or I should say brave). The cheaper room were mostly occupied, and the high-end ones were just exceeding our budget. After calls and calls, fortunately, we finally had a room just few steps into the alley by the main road, where we stayed for the next three days, and even more luckily, we had a giant balcony in front of our room! There is a slang in Chinese which we say “You’ll eventually cross the bridge when coming to it.” which pretty much means “Everything will eventually work out.”, and I always thought that this my philosophy for traveling, hahaha.

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安頓好後,我迫不及待的奔向威尼斯的大街。還記得在從米蘭前來的火車上,你看著書告訴我,威尼斯是座沒有輪子的城市,所有有輪的路上交通工具都是被禁止的。我想了想,覺得很有意思,對威尼斯又充滿了更多的期待與幻想。

來到威尼斯的街上,觀光的人潮佔據了大多數的空間,義大利的豔陽一樣的發揮著它的功力,人們帶著太陽眼鏡,穿著清涼,配上無拘束的笑容,到處都是度假的氣息。

作為昔日的工業與貿易據點,及今日的觀光勝地,每間街旁的小店都很有意思。從看起來有些老舊的玻璃藝品店,到嘉年華風的面具店,華麗的珠寶店,新穎的冰淇淋店,一直到傳統樸實的水果攤。

On our way to Venice, you flipped through your book and told me that Venice is a city with no wheels, any transportations on road with wheels are not allowed. I thought it was rather interesting, and continually faded in to my daydream of this mysterious city.

On the streets of Venice, tourists occupied most of the space. The sun continued to spread its Italian style welcome, passionately burning us up. People with their sunglasses, vacation-style clothing, carefree smiles, the joy of holiday spreads in the air. As I wandered through the streets, I just couldn’t help myself from stepping in to each store there were. Mask shops, glass stores, Jewelry stores, ice creams shops (most importantly), fruits stalls. Everything looked so insanely adorable on this island, its history and its present, all combining together and creates this exotic summer magic.

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在這座像迷宮般的城市,每轉個彎就會有新的驚喜。但,最令人驚喜的終究不是街道,而是一旁映著藍天的運河,以及那些充滿色彩房屋。

威尼斯被運河分割成許多區塊,一座座的橋又將它再度串連起來,我喜歡在橋上逗留,多拍幾張照片,時不時會有載著遊客的貢多拉船從橋下滑過。腦海中的威尼斯如今成了眼前的風景,而我就站在畫裡。

威尼斯說大不大,說小不小,走在大街上,拐個彎又是羊腸小徑。我們從下午一直逛到晚上,真的,威尼斯就像座巨大的迷宮,看著地圖也不一定能找到出口,大半的時間都花在迷路上,最後也習慣了這樣的步調,一邊迷路,一邊探索。

記得路途中經過了路邊的蔬果攤,喜歡吃水果的我停下來盤算今晚陽台上的宵夜。水果攤旁有賣一束一束的朝天椒,超超超愛吃辣的你看了又驚又喜,直說要買一束來吃吃。老闆連忙過來解釋,說這是辣度非常高的辣椒,絕對不可以一口咬下或吃太多。你有些不信邪,因為在歐洲吃過每道有辣的餐點對你來說都配不上你心中的「辣」字,但在老闆的苦口婆心下,你決定買半束就好。

和和藹的老闆道別後,你迫不及待的咬了一口辣椒,而我永遠記得你當時那個「對不起我錯了,這個真的很辣」欲哭無淚的表情,你說你從食道到胃都在燃燒,我看了只能不停的大笑並朝你的表情狂按快門。沒想到老闆竟從後面追上已走遠的我們,拿了顆大大的地中海蜜棗給你,用很可愛義式的英文說:「我想想,這個辣椒是真的很辣,我怕你受不了,快把這棵蜜棗吃了吧!」

義大利的人們真的十分熱情可愛,我想這個可愛的小故事我會永遠記得。而最後你便對這束辣椒產生敬畏的心,一直放在你的包包裡。

Venice is more like a maze rather than a city, each corner is full of surprises. But, as we all know, the real surprises are never on the streets. The sky reflected on the canals in between those colourful Venetian style houses, creating a picture so fascinating. I liked to linger on each bridge that I passed by, stare at all the different sceneries from different corners, taking pictures, and more pictures. Sometimes you can see gondolas passing through right underneath where you’re standing. It’s the dreamy picture of venice that I have always been dreaming of.

I still remember the fruit stall that we passed by while getting lost, looking at all the colourful fruits can just be so exciting for a fruit lover like me,so of course we stopped for a little fruit shopping. You soon spotted those cute red little chillies at the upright corner of the stall, and for a spicy-food-addict like you, I could just see how much you wanted to try them out. A owner of the stall soon came to you and explained that this type if chilli is hot pepper, which is very very VERY spicy, and you doubted it, since all the spicy food that we had in Europe weren’t really meeting your standard of “spiciness”. Eventually you decided to buy half bunch of it, and after we said goodbye to the cute owner, you just couldn’t wait to have a small bite of it.

I can just still remember so clearly how your face looked like (pretty much all twisted) after you had that bite of hot pepper. It’s a look that shows “Holy sh*t this is really damn spicy.” For me I just couldn’t stop laughing and took as many pictures of your deeply-in-pain face as possible.  About a minute later, the owner of the stall suddenly caught us up, holding a date is his hand and passed it to you, “I thought you would need this, because that chilli is really spicy……”

That was probably the cutest story from our Venice trip that I will always remember. And about the hot pepper? It stayed at the bottom of your bag till the end of our trip as I remembered…..

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威尼斯的第一日幾乎都在迷路中度過,但也對這個城市有了基本的認識(希望明天不要再迷路),計畫要在明天搭乘水上巴士到鄰近的小島。

我們在運河邊看了好一陣子的夕陽,提著買好的水果、再在回飯店的路上買了片大大的Pizza和一瓶紅酒,座在陽台上,看著星星,聽著街上群眾的噪雜,在威尼斯的夜晚尋求一片寧靜。

First day of venice was pretty much about getting lost (both in the stores and on the streets), yet to have a clearer vision of the city to plan on our water bus trip to Lido island the next day.

We stopped by the canal and watched the sunset for quite a while, the water was reflected orange, creating such a vivid picture with all the venetian-style colourful houses along side. Grabbing some berries and grapes from the stall, with pizza and a bottle of wine bought on the way back, we sat on our balcony and enjoyed a little quietness away from the noisy streets of Venizia.

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-Iris

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