31st January 2017
Having spent most of yesterday aimlessly meandering through the alleys, bridges, squares, and public churches of Venice, today I opted for a more organised sightseeing trip. I joined a free walking tour, along with a dozen or so other tourists, and we set off. The guide explained the history of Venice; how the ancient settlers drove thick logs into the shallow sands of the offshore lagoon, upon which they built the first houses and churches. We had covered the origins of the city, and its emergence as a Renaissance trading hub, by the time I had to leave for my bus.
I returned to the hostel, using my phone as a guide, since this time I preferred not to get lost, and collected my bag. I took a quick bus out of the city to the airport on the mainland, where I was going to catch another bus to Ljubljana, Slovenia.
I arrived at the airport in good time, and set out looking for the bus terminal. There was only one car park which I reckoned could serve as the bus stop, so I sat down in a small, sheltered seating area beside it, and waited. There was nobody about, and no buses to be seen either. A few minutes before the bus was due to arrive, a man joined me. He was Venezuelan, but spoke fluent English, and was also heading to Ljubljana. We sat chatting and waiting. The scheduled arrival time came and went. The bus was five minutes late. Then ten. We grew uneasy.
The Venezuelan rang an Italian friend of his, who had taken the bus before.
“Shit! He thinks we’re at the wrong place!” he shouted, after half a minute on the phone “Follow me!”
We picked up our bags, ran out of the seating area, and began heading back to the airport terminal. I kept looking back towards the car park from which we’d come, hoping our bus may arrive at the last minute, before we lost sight of the place.
“My friend thinks there’s a big bus terminal around here” called the Venezuelan, pointing towards another set of car parks, tucked behind some buildings. He rounded the corner. Just before I followed, I turned to look one final time at where we’d come from, and spotted a large vehicle with a recognisable logo parking.
“Wait!” I screamed at my Venezuelan friend. “I see our bus!”