April 10, 2008

Venice, Italy

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Sunday, April 6 - Venice A whirl-wind (or world-wind?) tour of Venice came & went quickly, but was well worth it. The visit got off to a scary start on Saturday. Between the train station snack bar and ticket office, I lost my wallet! After a mad-dash to retrace my steps over the past 5 minutes, I abesent mindedly left the wallet on the snack bar check out counter. Fortunately the workers turned it over to the police and we found it - with all cash & credit cards intact. Whew!

The water bus from the train station (there are no cars in Venice - zilch, boats are the only form of transportation) dropped us off by the Rialto bridge (which is wide enough to hold 2 rows of shops). Traversing the bridge w/ luggage through the crowd was a sight. A left, a right and to the end of a little alley, we found our
tiny B&B. Up a long staircase we arrived at the front door.
Up another long staircase to the owner's flat. Then up another staircase to our room, which is basically a renovated attic - very well renovated - we liked this room better than the 4-star hotel in Milan (Milan was more like an average 2-star joint - it did not live up to the web site billing). The Venice room was perfect for our 1 night stint (just watch your head).

Spent a few minutes settling in, then hit the streets.
Our target destination was St. Mark's Square, we intentionally deviated off the beaten path - discovered a maze of alley ways, campos (squares), deadends, characters & canals. And lots of photos opps. I logged 400+ photos (& mini-videos), not to mention all that T captured. Among discoverys, a McDonalds! - whose "water closet" was nasty, just like home! :)

Sunday morning began with the obligitory (and recommended) gondola ride, our gondalier pointed out several sites (many we saw by land/bridge yesterday), including Marco Polo's home during his Venice stay. We enjoyed seeing the locals hanging laundry out to dry above the canals. Remainder of the day was filled with a boat ride to Murano (famous glass factories & lunch; both underwhelming IMHO), an impromtu stop at San Michele Cemetery island, tour of The Doge's Palace back at St. Mark's Square and cruise back up the Grand Canal to pick up luggage (over the Rialto Bridge again) and back to the train station (with wallet secure).

The city is surreal, just like the movies (I kept trying to spot the Grand Canal Palace which was imploded in Casino Royale). Well worth the trip. Wish we had more time.

Next stop - Florence.


Jeff said...

When I was in Venice I saw those water fountains all over. They looked pretty grungey. Glad to see someone gets some use out of it though.

RaleighRedSoxFan said...

In Rome we saw some locals use the fountains. Apparently if you place your finger in the right spot - at least on some fountains - the water will shoot out of a different hole like a water bubbler (that's a Yankee term).