15th of August
This is the final journal entry of the summer. The Dreamway is finished and it is time to go back to normal life. For a month my life was in a beautiful bubble with the most amazing people and mountains in it. Alas, bubbles are not made to last and every journey has an end. I’m not too sad about this though. Most of all I’m grateful for a wonderful journey, one that feels both shorter and way longer than the one month in which it took place.
But first, before everything ended, there was Venice. A city both rich in architecture and history, a caleidoscope of colours with an endless capacity to amaze and inspire. I guess I liked the place.
We arrived in Venice late in the afternoon. Our arrival on Piazza San Marco signified the end of the journey, we were no longer bound to the Dreamway. The appartment we had booked turned out to be sitting right next to Canal Grande and the San Stae church. No ‘only a 15 minute walk/run (depending on how optimistic the owner is) from the city centre’ this time, we were right in the center. The exploring started straight from the front door.
As Anthony went for wine, food and new clothes (in that order) Jenny, Elena and I set of to explore the city by foot. We did what I love the most when exploring a new place: wandering around without aim, tasting the atmosphere and trying to see the real city pressed in between the famous sights. Venice is definitely made for this: the city is a delightful maze of canals, bridges, narrow streets and squares seemingly built without a plan. Many times we found ourselves in a quiet alleyway lined with old doors, paint bleached and damaged by years past only to turn a corner and be back on one of the main streets. Many other times we turned a corner only to find the way dead-ending in one of the many canals.
Yesterday morning we woke up at 5:30 to see the sun rise over the Piazza San Marco. Or rather, everyone woke up while I was wondering why my eyes didn’t want to open and why there were mice running around in my head. The celebratory drinks of the evening before might have had something to do with it. From then on everything went very fast. The maze that is Venice is even nicer in the morning than during the day (no tourists, the colours look even better) and after wandering around for several more hours it was time to pack my bag and take the boat to the airport. Of the final four I was the first to leave. Anthony, Jenny and Elena, I’m going to miss you!
After the flight to Bruxelles there still was a three hour train ride to Utrecht and so the story ends how it started: Me in a train, nursing a medium sized hangover due to overenthousiast alcohol consumption and sleep deprivation. This goes to show that as with every journey it is not the destination but what happens along the way that matters. Cheers!
P.S. Interested in hiking the Dreamway? You can now find all of the practical information right here on my website!