Have you ever heard of a bucket list?
For those of you who haven't yet heard of it:
It's a list of things that you would like to do before you die. This list can contain ideas and things you would like to experience, like 'do an extreme sport', 'fall in love', 'travel to a country you always wanted to see', 'meet a specific person', 'do something good without expecting anything in return', 'experience a sunset" or achievements like 'learn a new language', 'your ideal weight' and so on.
Well, I have such a bucket list, so when a friend of mine whom I hadn't seen for ages, invited me to finally visit him in Italy (and it already felt like 100 times he invited me, but I never found the time), I decided to tick off the point on my list 'go on a road trip' by driving from Austria to Italy first and then from there to Croatia to visit one of my best friends in Croatia and continue my adventurous trip with her and her daughter to see parts of that beautiful country as well.
So without planning a lot, but with a crowded car as if I had in mind to stay at least for one month if it comes to clothes and shoes and with half of the content of my bathroom, a pillow and a blanket, food and gifts, I started my adventure.
I jumped in the car and only knew that I would have to pick up my Italian friend somewhere in Italy, but he wasn't sure at that time where he would be exactly, so he told me that I should call him as soon as I pass the Brenner Pass.
I had to deal with hail and thunderstorms on my way, so I was happy when, after picking him up, we finally arrived in Jesolo the next day, where he lives part of the year.
Shortly after arriving, friends of his invited us on a boat trip.
I have always been an open-minded person, who likes to get to know new people, so we gladly accepted the invitation.
It was the day of 'The Festa del Redentore', which is a Venetian festival with a religious background that is celebrated with a spectacular firework.
My Italian friend explained me that 'Il Redentore' began as a feast when the city was delivered from the 'Black Death' in 1576.
Nowadays, each year on this day, a vast number of private boats start to flock into St. Mark's Bay and the Giudecca Canal at dusk, where they wait for the famous firework that starts around 11:30 pm, so the lagoon between Venice and Lido ends up completely full of boats during the night.
We started in the early afternoon from Lido in the direction of Venice and stopped somewhere in the middle to jump into the water, swim a bit and simply enjoy the sun and the sea.
There were other friends they had invited as well, so I was the only stranger, but I received a warm welcome.
It even turned out that for a very short time, one of the women went to the same high school as I did and I thought by myself: 'wow, how small the world is...'
As the sun started to set, we got as close to Venice as we could, so that we would have a wonderful view of the firework. Other boats joined us and it seemed as if they all knew each other. The boats then moored alongside each other and the hosts began to prepare a delicious picnic, rich in variety and I enjoyed nice conversations while eating Italian specialities.
The owner of one of the boats started to play load music and tried his hand as a DJ, so we all began to dance and sing along and hopped from one boat to another. The party atmosphere reached its peak when the firework started, which was amazing.
I have never seen a firework, while being on the sea and it's hard to top an experience like this, especially when you are surrounded by such nice people.
So when we slowly returned to Lido around 2 am, I felt completely happy and grateful for this unexpected and lovely trip.
When thinking about it, in my experience, the spontaneous activities often end up being the most beautiful ones, maybe because we cannot build up specific expectations in advance and just experience the things as they are and live the moments as they arise and sometimes days like these even end with the beginning of new friendships.
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