City of Canals and Cheap Happy Hour

Trip Start Mar 01, 2012
Trip End Apr 30, 2012

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Where I stayed
The Westin Europa & Regina, Venice
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19:

1) Finally, we get on the right train, no sweat or tears….good sign of improvement.

2) Arrive in Venice, the city of water canals, and we take a beautiful ferry ride to our hotel. As we check in to our hotel, the concierge looks at us with a skeptical glance (I'm wearing tennis shoes, wet jeans, smelly fleece, and lets just say the unkept hair matches the rest of my appearance). I am tempted to casually remark to Bridget that our affairs in the offshore oil company that both her and I own are going swimmingly, but I withhold such comments. We then walk in to our room with slippers waiting for our calloused feet….absolute heaven. 

3) We read countless and countless reviews of how expensive Venice is, you will not make it out of the city without freeing your wallet of a welcomed burden--but this is for the average vacationers. Bridget and I--cheap backpackers who will pay for a good meal but not for a piece of stale bread and overpriced pastas--went against the grain (literally) and bought two fantas and two kebabs at a shack on a random canal street all for 11 euros… We ate our wonderful Mediterranean sandwiches and refreshing drinks back in our comfy hotel while watching baseball on ESPN (one of two english speaking channels)--this is what you call priceless

March 20:

1) Woke up after a much needed 11 hour sleep, feeling refreshed and ready to walk our way through the streets of venice… After seeing the fantastically beautiful St. Marks Basilica, prized for its gold embedded ceilings (one wonders if it is real gold, but we are treating it as such because it makes for a better story) we start our walk around the entire city. According to Rick Steves, Venice is in actuality 100 different islands attached by bridges, and Bridget and I were determined to trespass on as many of these islands as we could. We walked for about 5 hours (almost lost each other a couple of times because Bridget walked as fast as Pat and I took a more Nancy level of speed) and ended our journey at the famous Rialto Bridge, where Bridget and I drew for an hour (attempting to capture the historic site on paper)

2) Once again, our determination to challenge the critics accusations of Venice's reputation for ripping travelers off, I researched a place that served Appertivo (happy hour) where with a purchase of one drink (5 euro) you get unlimited food of fresh Venetian cuisine… As we stuffed ourselves into plump turkeys, we high-fived on our way out and even did a mild attempt at a fist pump for avoiding the Venice Wallet trap. On our way home, we also passed by some school kids chasing each other around with an iron, spraying water at the unfortunate faces of the losers…. This is what you call improvising

3) I would also like to remark that this was quite possibly the most enjoyable place to window shop only because the beautiful items that were on display were expensive enough to know that you had no chance to afford such things so just admiring them from outside was enough to keep you smiling.

March 21:

1) Another great nights sleep, ferry trip to the train station, and we are officially off to Zurich Switzerland and sadly saying good bye to Italy. On the train, we sat across from an older couple who lives in the suburbs of Zurich, and we had a great conversation that spanned a variety of topics. The husband was a theologist physicist (or at least that is was I gathered at the 45 minutes of conversation we had as he attempted to speak his best English)… the main takeaway--money does not offer you happiness… I am glad to know that this is a universal truth that sadly is practiced as much as it is preached… They also gave us some great ideas on what is worth the $$ to go see in Interlaken (our next stop after Zurich), kindly telling us that the Swiss Alps that surround the Interlaken Valley are the main site where most of the Bollywood films are being produced--who would have known?? Other than that, they were great company, especially after they offered to exchange their Venice pastries for our 1 euro bag of bacon crackers…. The gentlemen said he preferred our artificially tasting snack over the Venice delight he offered us.. I am pretty sure we got the better end of that stick but we all won in the end as we both munched on our newly acquired items

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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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DeAnne on

I may have to disagree with the older wise couple on the "money does not offer happiness" argument-especially since it came from someone living in one of the most expensive cities in the WORLD- ;) enjoy!

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