Well..i knew it..
whenever i get to airport early the flight gets delayed. this time it was not "delayed" sort of..but it was supposed to leave by 5'0 in the morning and it took off at 6..
i was next to a paaji! no wonder people know sikhs better as representative of india. we was too inquisitive..what am i doing, where am I going..then when he got to know that i am a doctor and i do brain research..all sorts of questions ranging from psychiatry, psychology, osteoarthritis, multivitamin consumption and then tales of doctors asking him to to bring porno magazines from amsterdam!!..i stopped interacting with him them!
he persisted however, and i came to know that he is a sailor and going to amsterdam. in fact he was not happy that i "did not" ask him about what he is and his life questions! somehow i slept off in between his dialogues and never ending queries.
turkish airlines is a huge one and was almost packed till istanbul. we got veg dishes to eat and coffee (horrible, but was strong enough..was not even close to a black coffee)..and the air hostess seemed to be in a big hurry all the time!
one more bad thing was i was not next to the window and paaji wanted to close it all the time..i missed the view from it wanted to see some areas of middle east at least.
at last the plane landed in istanbul at about 12.40 and it was a smooth landing..i was surprised that people greet such smooth landing by clapping..actually almost all passengers were clapping..and our truely, paaji explained me the funda..and he greeted me good bye and he did not follow me :)the weather was cool and windy..nice that i had my jacket with me.
i went to transit area and the receptionist there panicked looking at my ticket! she said that i am toooooo late for the venice flight and it is about to get off! she made me run to counter number 310 which is about half a kilometer up and down the istanbul airport..my security check-in went smooth and a pretty turkish girl explained me that they are still waiting for other venice passangers! flight again was about 30 minutes late :)
here i was in seat 4B right behind the business class..hardly the plane was full..to say it was about 20-30% full and almost all were foreigners.
I had problems in choosing the menu for lunch..i told the air hostess that no meat, no chicken, no beef, no pork, no non veg...she said nothing exists of that sort!
then i narrowed down to bread and coffee and turkish dry red wine (180mL)..i gulped all of them and started looking out of the window..
sarajevo passed by then the adriatic sea and then venice..
actually when plane was about to enter venice area..it was too cloudy. cloud was in layers..plane passed through at least 4 layers of cloud(all of different TEXTURE so to say!) and finally the blue sea with 2-3 ships..that was the intro.
slowly the color of the water changed from deep blue to muddy to greenish blue..algae have bloomed like crazy in certain parts of the lagoon.
touch down was fast and passport check in was cool. baggage arrived and i headed out to buy the 7 day venice pass and alilaguna airport link out. alilaguna took a painful 1.20 minutes (very slow..felt like giving a adrenaline shot to the driver..later realized that they are supposed to go very slow..for faster transport there is another water taxi which charges double). this itself was 13 euros...money goes so fast in venice. 2 euros were saved by buying a return ticket (thanks to deepti) and i came to know that this return ticket is valid for 30 days.
once i reached S.Zaccharia i could easily get to Zitelle and to the youth hostel. receptionist was very friendly and he has even visited india several times. was speaking very kindly of Sonia Gandhi! says she does not come to italy anymore after the death of her parents and grand parents..but italians are proud of her..well we are also proud that its because of her Congress party of india is one otherwise it would have broken into many pieces!
youth hostel is super cool..these people have all possible basic needs which at least from Indian students' point of view are luxury! however, they waste like crazy but charge also like that. Our indian YHA did not send me the final card so got to give some ID with temporary YHA card to get some discount.
Very cheap Wi-FI 2.5 euros for 12 hours is another part of luxury especially when u have a laptop at your disposal!
contacted home and wife and went to roam around venice.
Venice is a beautiful city..everything is beautiful here..water, lagoon, walls, buildings, garbage, sky. Foreigners are especially outstandingly beautiful and not-ignorable! cant believe how much genetics has played a part here..would be an interesting area to work out.
went around San Marco, San Zaccharia, Rialto, Piazzarella Roma. had a veg sandwich. my palate is paining by chewing this italian bread! its hard..i dont know this is the kind we have but surely they have some 100+ types of bread i guess!
art is everywhere, creativity is seen in almost all parts of this city, crafwork is marvellous and we should not get wife here for shopping! otherwise another idea is "we do some sight seeing" ;) and she does some shopping!..gurgaon mall hifi stalls are no where compared to venice..in such a small area i found a pair of shoes for 500 euros!..the building was not even close to a tea shop in india!
after a long day..i got to sleep early today..i have to do a check trip to san servalo tomorrow and start with the conference thingy.
another thing i found out here we can use India debit card (i withdrew 100 euros i was charged 168 rupees service charge from visa)..but it was cool sort of..ATM kiosks are everywhere in San Marco area.
now that i had some money extra..i took the liberty of going to a shop and ordering pizza margharetta..i could not eat it! hard! but got it packed and going to eat till the last euro! because any amount of money is less in venice..