Oct 19, 2013

Glasstress 2013

No visit to Venice is complete without a sail over to Murano Island.  Even if you’re not particularly into glass, art, or glass art, it’s still one for the bucket list.  To make the most of our only full day in Venice, we had first sailed to the Cemetery on Isola di San Michele before sailing over to Murano.  Murano’s like a miniature Venice, except pretty much every single store is a glass trinket or art shop.

The first few stores that I walked into left me fairly unimpressed.  Yes, there were some really amazing works of art here and there, but the rest were just glass beads, vases, miniature animals, etc, that I could’ve sworn I’ve seen in bulk at wholesale factories in China and Thailand.

Luckily by the time we got to the other end of the tiny island, Murano redeemed itself by having a really cool gallery called Glasstress.  Unlike the other galleries, we actually had to pay for this one, and as you’ll see, it was worth every penny.  So glad that we randomly stumbled upon it.  It was pretty much empty when we were there, so we stayed for a couple hours just snapping away at the pieces.  Here are some of my favorites:

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Oct 10, 2013

Afternoon at the Cemetery on Isola di San Michele

Let me start off by saying that despite being someone who’s curious and intrigued by the subject matter of death, I’ve never really been much of a cemetery person. It’s not that they scare me or anything (unless maybe I’d just watched an episode of Walking Dead), but I’ve just never really had the urge to visit them.

That said, this is absolutely one of the most fascinating and beautiful cemeteries I’ve ever been to.

My buddies and I woke up that Saturday morning and decided to play that day by ear.  We had a very loose plan that day to grab some espresso, trek across Venice, board a ferry over to the island of San Michele where this cemetery is, and then go from there.

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Sep 4, 2013

The Streets of Venice

Prior to visiting Venice, a friend had told me that I would love it, but also warned me that it would be “very touristy”. I wasn’t exactly sure what she meant by that, but as soon as I arrived, I knew. The touristy-ness of Venice is like Fisherman’s Wharfs’ on steroids. It turns out that not many people actually live there and there were even less so locals among us during our time there because of the holidays, and that there are lots and lots of visitors.

My thoughts on Venice is that architecturally and culturally, it’s such a beautiful, beautiful, charming and rustic city. I’m not a fan of heat, crowds, or mosquitoes, though, and those were abundant in Venice. Nonetheless, I woke up very very early both mornings (like 5-6 AM early) that I was there to experience Venice without those three things and I found them to be some my most enjoyable moments in the city.  Here are some of my favorite shots from those walks.
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Aug 28, 2013

I’m Back! (And How I Manage To Pack So Light)

I’m back! And after an accidental 12 hour “nap” after work yesterday, feeling quite rested :) My body feels fully recharged and in fact, better than ever as I’ve been waking up at 6 AM every morning to get my fitness on before work.

As for how the trip went — it was amazing. It was awesome to visit Italy for the very first time and Switzerland was far more beautiful than I could’ve ever imagined anything in the world being. Also, I couldn’t have imagined traveling with more awesome people.  I wish I had the time and energy to write posts on the go, but expect a flurry of Europe posts in the coming weeks as I edit photos and piece together the rest of my trip! :)

Funny random story about flying home this week: while going through customs with just this bag in tow, the custom agent asked me, “Where’s your luggage?” to which I proudly replied with a big grin, “This is my luggage” :D
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Aug 18, 2013

Ciao from Venezia!

I made it here in one piece! My first day in Venice was a little lackluster because I was so jet lag and stressed out from a bad Airbnb experience (Italian cleaning ladies having a screaming war, anyone? Or maybe that’s just how they talk ;), but on my second day, after I had settled in a bit, the exploring was on! Here are some of the highlights…

I woke up super early and went out to explore on my own at 6 AM while the gang slept. And of course, I had to take a couple obligatory canal shots :)
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