Day 13-Budapest, Fight to Venice, and Some Wonderful News
Our last day in Budapest, we woke up well-rested and ready to carry on to Venice. The flight didn’t leave until that afternoon so once again we had some time to chill out in our Air BnB. The relaxed morning couldn’t have been more perfectly timed though, because that’s when we learned that our little boy, Sutton, was on the way! We never thought that we’d be in the middle of Budapest when we found out about our first child, but life has some exciting turn of events that way; just don’t ask me how we figured the Hungarian pregnancy test instructions. Hopefully, it’s a sign that Sutton will be another globetrotter just like his parents! Another adventurer added to our family.
Fresh and excited from the news, we packed up and went out for breakfast on a nearby restaurant patio. You can only imagine the delighted conversations we had. Rainclouds soon rolled overhead which didn’t make the walk back to the metro much fun, but little could spoil our mood. We did find a farmers market along the way and figured we grab a souvenir for the occasion (assuming we didn’t already have a good one) from Budapest. We found some tiny Hungarian leather booties that were going to be perfect for Sutton when he got older!
After our little shopping spree, we hopped on the metro and arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately, that turned into even more time to kill because our flight was delayed shortly after. Luckily, we didn’t have the same issue as we did in London. After our flight we landed in Venice and made our way to the Air BnB. Little did we know this host was going to be the favorite of our trip. After greeting us at the door he showed us our room and told us to meet him back at the kitchen in 15. Hmm…strange. We had no clue what we had gotten ourselves into but went along anyways. The guy seemed to be quite the character though; jester masks lined the walls of our room. When we came down, we were met with our host and a slew of maps, snacks, and beer sprawled over the dining table.
He then explained Venezia, Murano, Burano, and the Lido Islands to us for the next half hour. It was like having our own personal tour guide! Much more in-depth than a Google search. Better yet, our host knew our time was limited and laid out the must-see spots, pointed out ticket kiosks, public transport, fresh food, and the best restaurants nearby. Some people are hospitable, and other just go way beyond; this guy was an expert resource!
By now, it was 4 pm and we were starving. The host immediately offered to walk us into town, extending his expertise from the kitchen table to the streets of Venice. Our host quickly became our guide as he pointed out the spots in town like the back of his hand. The pride he held for his town certainly showed.
After showing us around a store, he let us off the leash to venture around town. We enjoyed some pasta and a calzone for dinner with gelato for dessert. One caveat from our host though, he forgot to inform us how everything closes after 6 pm. We learned this the hard way when we tried to grab a bus to Venezia only to find all the kiosks and stations closed. Rats. We even braved a sketchy walk to the train station in the rough part of town; groups of guys darting from the street at the first flash of a police cruiser. The most frustrating part was that there were self-checkout kiosks open for trains and even cigarettes but not even one for the bus surprisingly? A guy knows when he’s reached a dead end, so we turned back home. Venezia would have to wait until tomorrow morning.
Day 14- Venice Continued
Next morning, we woke up, grabbed grub then headed straight to the station to take the bus over the bridge to the islands. Good news, they were open this time! As you can imagine there was water and boats everywhere. We took our host’s advice and hit all the other islands before exploring Venezia. There are two ways to travel to the different islands; a water taxi and a vaporetto, which is basically a water bus/ferry. We opted for the latter. The island of Murano was the first on the list. This small island is renowned for its artisan glass blowing. Once ashore we saw small mom & pop glass galleries and shops chock full of simply mesmerizing pieces of work.
We ducked through alleyways to the main canal, where we found more beautiful, larger-than-life glass sculptures that stood from the water. Murano truly lives up to its name as the “Island of Glass”.
Next, was Burano, or as our host dubbed it, ‘the best island’. We were amazed as soon as we stepped off the vaporetto; tons of little shops, food, and vendors. A simply idyllic and quintessentially Italian experience. We strolled past pastel colored fisherman houses and boats lined up in the canal, each one as beautiful as the crystal blue water beneath it; Burano was like walking through a postcard.
We grabbed lunch, took in a few more sights then decided to pay the next island a visit. Next stop, Lido. Lido is essentially one, seven-mile-long sand bar. It takes about 10 minutes to walk from the Venetian Lagoon on one side to the Adriatic Sea on the other. We strolled the Adriatic side looking for a beach. It was a gorgeous day so as you can imagine we weren’t the only ones who had the same idea.
After soaking up some sun and taking a dip in the Adriatic, we packed our things and began to make our way back. It was back to Venezia to finish the day. On the vaporetto ride we could see dozens of vessels passing through the Grand Canal; fishing boats, sailboats, schooners, gigantic cruise ships. It was a bit like seeing a parade at sea.
We got off at the Basilica di Santa Maria de la Salute, a beautiful 17th century cathedral. We zigzagged through streets, corridors, and bridges until we found a nice patio to grab dinner before heading over the Rialto Bridge. There we enjoyed an amazing view of the Grand Canal. We watched the storefronts and canal bustle as a picturesque sunset descended upon the skyline. Venice and all its islands treated us very well, but it was time to rest up for an early train ride to Florence tomorrow morning. But for now, we sat still and soaked it all in.
Be on the look out for Chapter 7 of our adventure and don't forget to shop some favorites on our store!
Story by: Jeremy Lux
Written by: Eric Gasa