Venice with the little ones, or a waterbus, gondolas and other boats.
I really wanted to go to Venice already when dad showed me a short movie about this place on his computer, and there was a big yellow ship in the movie. Together with Nela, we immediately agreed that we would board that ship, and before departure we kept asking our parents to show us the same images again. Other little boats didn’t seem that cool to us, especially those that were shown most often, which could be boarded by two persons only, and there was a funny-dressed man with an oar standing behind them. Rowing while standing up – it’s unthinkable, isn’t it? What’s more – rowing a gondola, when there were many cool and fast ships and boats around!
Our dreams came true already a dozen or so minutes after arriving in Venice. Although we arrived in the evening, we weren’t tired at all, because we can easily sleep in our child safety seats we like so much, and even if we wake up, there’s always something interesting to observe through the windscreen. Even driving into this strange city felt completely different than driving into Warsaw or Łódź. First, we rode along a huge number of railway tracks, and Nela and I really enjoy looking at railway tracks and the trains (we can even distinguish between the suburban and express ones). Then, we rode across a long bridge, and there were lots of ships around it, even ships bigger than the yellow one, but we couldn’t see many people on their boards. Then, we reached our destination and we went to the hotel, and dad parked the car – when he came back, he was very proud, because he had parked the car on a seventh floor of a car park and said that there were no car elevators there. It’s a pity he didn’t take us with him, but apparently it was very stuffy there.
It was very nice on board our little ship, though, known there as “vaporetto”, that is a waterbus. People really use it as we use trams in Polish cities, or maybe they use it even more often, because, apparently, it rarely happens that you find so many beautifully-dressed couples in our country. And there, a few couples boarded near the theatre, another few – at the Casino stop, and we really felt as if we were at a ball that was lately organized in my kindergarten (in my kindergarten, because for now Nela only walks me to the entrance, and she will start going there in the next school year. If she finally stops peeing in her diapers, of course, otherwise she won’t get accepted to the kindergarten, which would make me sad, and she would have to stay at home).
Our vaporetto was painted yellow here and there, and made funny noises. And we were looking through the railing at all those buildings we were passing by, wondering how was it possible that they were built on water. There are no cars there, and instead of streets there are water canals, and boats sail through them – and I understand that. Also the police and the fire brigade sail instead of driving, and that’s why they are a water police and a water fire brigade, I quickly explained that to Nela. She understood that and also began looking out for such boats. But we don’t quite understand, how was it all built on water? And how come nothing drowns if even a tiny ball we often play with while bathing drowns, and our other toys drown, too? Dad tried to explain this to us, but it was too difficult. Besides, there was so much more going on around us that we weren’t able to listen to what he was saying carefully...
On the first evening, we deboarded the waterbus at the big and beautiful Rialto Bridge, the biggest bridge we saw there. Also the ice creams were the best and the biggest there, they were delicious. A man from the booth also let me come in to pee before we even ordered anything, later not every waiter agreed to that. It’s strange, because where was I supposed to pee? It’s been a long time since I stopped wearing diapers. There were no trees there, either...
Our parents were as delighted with Venice as we were, also with the bridges, but with the bridges as if less and less. When on the second day we were strolling around the city with a pram – because Nela and I were tired and we preferred to admire everything from a little pram, so that our legs wouldn’t hurt – they were somewhat tired of those bridges. Dad laughed saying that those more than 300 footbridges over the canals (I think he was talking about this many bridges, but I can only count to five, so I don’t know for sure. But it was a large number, larger than five) weren’t built with parents with children in mind: each one had some stairs you had to walk up on one side and walk down on the other side, and that wasn’t easy while holding a pram, even if I wasn’t sitting in it at the time. I’m a little bit surprised by my parents – they could’ve taken the backpacks in which they sometimes carry us in with them, that would’ve made everything easier. They didn’t know about those bridges, or what?
Some people warned our parents about walking down the crowded streets of Venice with children, that it would be difficult, but that wasn’t a problem. Sometimes they were crowded, but the farther from the city centre, the better, and we kept chasing one another with Nela in this great square everyone goes to without bumping into people. Those were great chases, too, because there were lots of beautiful buildings around, and there were orchestras performing live in nearby restaurants. I even said that the music sounded very classical, and my mom stated that it was even called that way. It could be called “nice” as well, as it was very nice.
We ate pizza and spaghetti in a smaller eatery with a beautiful garden. Mom said that the place caught her attention, and then it turned out that after walking along a narrow street and through a narrow restaurant, you enter a very cosy garden. The waiters were acting as all the waiters usually act there – they often approached us, laughed, caressed us. Those Italians, because it is the Italians who live in Venice, they really like children. Parents say that owing to this fact, the time spent in restaurants is much more pleasant, because it’s easier to justify our behaviour. We love chasing one another around in restaurants.
We will remember Venice for a long time also because we took the waterbus on many occasions (which is very simple, as dad says, though he once missed our stop and almost made us board a wrong line), and we got on a motorboat on the sea. We were travelling near the riverbank, because it was a kind of a water taxi, but we still felt as if we were on board a regular ship, and we could feel how the boat was swinging on the waves and how the wind was blowing. That was really cool, and mom was downright delighted as she was sitting on the boards near the side of the waterbus, letting the sun tan her face. We also enjoyed it, because the captain let us chase ourselves around and he was only smiling at us.
We could talk for hours about what we liked in Venice the most, because those were three days very well spent. We also saw a bridge with padlocks similar to the one in Salzburg (locked by the couples so that they would never split), and ice creams that we hadn’t eaten before – they were delicious. And, all in all, we were in a city that was built on water, and there’s no other place like it in the whole world, apparently. We’ll see, all that’s best is still ahead of us. At least that’s what mom often tells us.
Although, during our Venice trip, she kept saying that she hadn’t seen anything that beautiful in her life. Neither had we.