Having carefully looked at the map before arrival (in an attempt to prepare for the walk at night in a new city), I had a pretty good idea of how to get to the hostel from the bus station. I wasn’t prepared for the rain, however, but after covering my backpack I was off in the right direction, and I wasn’t the only one heading past the train station. I was pleasantly surprised that the first part of the walk, over my first of many bridges in Venice, and past the station, was much quicker than what I had imagined. Surprised by the amount of people walking in the streets on a rainy October evening, this helped to reassure me and I was overcome by that feeling of intense excitement that comes with arriving in a new place- not sure what to expect but all senses completely alert and taking in every little detail.
I walked past many tourist shops (all closed) and navigated my way to San Leonardo street, with fewer and fewer people by my side. I took out the map again and realized that I was almost there…or so I thought as the numbers on the street didn’t correspond to what I was looking for. Backtracking a few steps and looking down a side street, I could make out the sign for “Archie’s House”, which had no spotlight making it hard to find. There seemed to be a light on inside and I could make out an indication on the doorbell to ring 3 times. I did this, or so I thought, but heard nothing (and later learned it was turned off!).
Fifteen minutes flew by as I alternated between “ringing” the bell, stepping into the street and looking up to see if there was any movement, and trying to take refuge from the rain by standing on the tiny step. I had specifically mentioned that I would be arriving after the reception hours, so I assumed that someone would be there as this was confirmed as being ok. I went to the bar next door (which would later become a favorite Spritz spot) and tried asking but the guy who was cleaning up just said that you have to ring the bell. I went back and tried again…no luck. It was still early though and I just decided to wait a bit. If I couldn’t get in, I would just have to go and find somewhere else to sleep…but I wasn’t at that point yet.
A couple of minutes later, a tall, older man with grey wavy hair and a great smile came walking directly towards the door, protected from the rain under his umbrella. After asking if he was from Archie’s and saying I had a reservation, he looked at me directly and told me I didn’t. No panic though as after I said my name he replied, “Ah, yes” and started talking to me in Greek. J He must have been confused by the not so Greek accent in English but it all worked out in the end, even if he reminded me that I was lucky that our paths happened to cross (not sure where the luck came from, or if it was a joke, because I had a reservation and was told it was ok to arrive later)!
I was grateful it worked out, after only about 30 minutes waiting in the rain, and before any kind of panic mode set in and was thrilled to have a roof over my heard and a bed to sleep in (even if the shower was out of order until noon the next day!).