Date of Trip: November 2007
lougee1043 trip report venice may 11/14
met a couple at the train station from mpls spoke for about 20 min. as posted earlier -don’t be shy talk to people- you will get all sorts of suggestions to make your trip even better
so far there has been plenty of room in the overhead shelves so we have not used the bicycle lock to secure our luggage in the car end luggage space. if anyone wants to buy a new bicycle lock just write and make me an offer lol
after about 2 hours on the train we discovered a handle under the seat, like in a plane, that allows the back to tilt and make the ride more comfortable
observation —every time you order a meal you have the opportunity to order mineral water—fizz or no fizz. I am convinced that the economy of italy is directly based on the sale of mineral water to tourists.
took a water taxi to our hotel. man what a first time experience—all daily life commutes on the water. if you haven’t been there I don’t think that you can appreciate what this means. spend a few minutes looking at the traffic on any street. ambulance – in venice on the water firetruck -in venice on the water police– in venice on the water garbage collection – in venice on the water food delivery – in venice on the water having that piece of furniture delivered—in venice on the water awesome and that doesn’t include the vaporettos traghettos gondolas and all the private motor boats and on the weekend all the kayak people.
hotel torino – sorry to say that this was the only hotel that I would not stay at again
first time in st marks square. paid the required lira for the corn to feed the birds and we now have the required photos of the birds sitting on our outstretched arms and on our heads. This became jans daily ritual on our entering the square each day. Took drinks at the cafe lavena and listened to the orchestra. How do you describe the square and the feelings you get when spend time there?
Jan promised her friend carly that she would try to bring a beautiful italian man home for her. Jan would spend the trip taking pictures of beautiful italian men and no I could not take pictures of beautiful italian women for my friends because she said that all my friends are married. I ask you, is that a reason??
The first italian she stops for a picture turns out to be an american named rob weller, who co-hosted entertainment tonite a few years back with john tesh. He wasn’t italian but he was good looking enough and nice enough to agree to have his picture taken.
Those of you who have been to st marks may have noticed the entrance to a government office that is guarded by 2 carabinari in flack jackets and carrying submachine guns. if anyone wants a pix of my wife with these guys I have it.
Have to confess I broke rule 13a:b I am wearing shorts along with a lot of other people and enjoying every cool moment. We walked and walked just trying to get a feel of the city. What an adventure never knowing whether the next street you turn down will lead you to another street or a dead end canal.
Stopped and had gelatto concoctions with fresh fruit and lots of other good stuff. Was glad to see that they used a large scoop.
Back to the hotel to rest our eyes for a bit. Its now 9:40pm we have gotten our second wind so off we go, running the gauntlet of purse sellers to get back to the square. really beyond our belief that we are finally really here. Classical and popular music form the 3 restaurants on the square at 11pm. Wonderful, Finally they even played a little bochelli. Everyone really responded to that.
Friday – beautiful day going to try to change rooms -jan cant handle the 3 floors. After breakfast off we go to discover the vaporetto. Went to the jewish ghetto. Looked in on a hebrew school and was invited in by a young man from brooklyn. Stayed about 30 min. made a donation and left. Found the gam gam restaurant exactly where the posters said it would be. There to early-closed.
Went to the rialto bridge for shopping. Jan bought _______ & ________&_________&___________etc. You fill in the blanks and will probably be correct.
Stopped at the cafe orientale for lunch. Its on the other side of the canal from the rialto vaporetto stop. Jan had gamberetti in salsa rosa. Shrimp in pink sauce. I had sarde in saor con polenta. Sardines venetian style- wonderful and gnocchetti al granchio -crab dumplings everything was delicious. We don’t normally spend $50. For lunch on a Friday- oh well there is always another atm machine.
With a map and a little luck you can master some of the uniqueness that is venice. I told jan that in two days I would be piloting a vaporetto. Unfortunately , that’s when we leave so I would not be able to take my drivers test.
Back at the hotel we have a new room. Smaller then the last one, but on the 2nd floor and the a/c works. Really a small room, one of us has to go outside to change our mind. Considering I explained our request for a low floor back in nov. when we made the reservations and again when we confirmed I felt it was really unacceptable the way we were accommodated. Oh well we don’t have to stay there again.
We met a couple through the travel board, who overlapped 3 cities with us and by chance were booked in the same hotel as we were. Going to meet links4 for drinks. Met in the lobby and we walked to the square where we spent hours getting to know each other and listening to the music. We agreed to meet in florence for dinner.
After saying good nite to links4, they were leaving the following am, we hung around the square, bought a painting and just exalted in being there . I know I keep saying things like this, I just cant help it.
When we got back to the hotel there was a man in the lobby in his bathrobe complaining about the noise. The desk told him that the police had been called. We go up to our new, small room and we now know what the complaint was about. Right across the alley there was a party going on with loud, very loud music. The music was good but it was loud. After about 15 min. the police showed up and then there was no music. Good nite.
We got up and got ready for the day in shifts, remember the small room. Plan to visit the church today, take a gondola ride at nite and we will fill in the blanks in between.
Tried 3 atms with no luck. Running out of cash, starting to get nervous. No problem, wrong type of atm. Found the right one and they paid out better then vegas.
For a great water tour take the #82 – limited stops- does a complete circle and back to where you started.
Had a light lunch at one of the cafes near the bridge of sighs – salad nicoise and pizza – we are saving ourselves for dinner.
After seeing groups of people dutifully following the raised clipboard, or the red umbrella or the yellow flower personally reminds me why I dislike tours.
Cafes, as always are unreal, order something and you own the table til you are ready to leave. Waiters will now bother you.
Jan does her bird act. She thinks she trained them to eat out of her hand while sitting on her outstretched arms. I told her that the birds trained her to buy the corn and to feed it to them in only 2 visits.
Tried to get to the madonna dell’orto stop to see the beautiful sunsets – so how did we end up at murano? Finally got back and now its time for the gondola ride. No flexibility on price. So I agreed to pay it and away we go. Going down one of the lesser canals and there is another boat coming toward us. When we get even with the other boat the lady in the other boat says “pardon me, do you have any grey poupon”? All you could hear was the four of us laughing as the boats drifted apart.
Last morning breakfast and water taxi to the train station- cost $50.00us when we get to the station jan informs me that she left her makeup in the room, advised her to buy new makeup in florence. They don’t have her brand, shade, color etc etc and she may have left some other stuff in the room. So what do I do, that’s right folks, I take a water taxi back to the hotel to get her makeup and a brush. $100.00 spent just so she would not bug me all day on the way to florence. Am I a good husband or a wacko one??
Next stop florence.