Mountains and Canals
Trip Start Aug 31, 2009
16Trip End Jan 08, 2010
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The day after Christmas we boarded a train to Venice. As we approached Milan I found it disorienting to see snow on the ground and in the pine trees…right next to palm trees. We arrived in Venice after dark and took a water bus to the area of town where our hotel was located, which was arguably the best decision we made during our trip, we would have hopelessly wandered through Venice over countless bridges until the wee hours of the morning otherwise. Unlike Grindelwald, I feel no such need to return to Venice. I thought it was a little dirty and depressing
I thought Venice was amazing. You really cannot describe the feel and the sights and smells of this floating city. Venice is a group of small man made islands all linked together by one large canal and many smaller ones with over 400 bridges. It is the only truly pedestrian city in the world, no cars anywhere, only boats. Things are a bit more expensive in Venice, and many of the buildings are in a slight state of disrepair, but this is all because everything must be brought in by boat and, I felt it added to the antique feeling. We wandered for a bit when we first got in until we found our hotel. It was a one star place that was a little dirtier than Christine cared for, but it kept the rain off our heads. Also, there was no hair dryer or wifi internet like the website had promised, so this further added to our frustration with the Albrego San Samuele. It may seem petty to want internet when in Venice, but this is really how we have come to plan all our travels and itineraries well in Europe. As well as communicate with all of you. We did find a dryer eventually, and we managed to figure things out sans the net, but it was a little more difficult.
That night we ate at a Ristorante right near the hotel and had our first taste of authentic Italian food. We had Risotto with sea food and vegetables, cod with polenta and a liter of the Vini Della Casa Rosello (House Red Wine) that was cheap, but superb. We found a wine shop next door that sold liters for 5 euro, and I definitely can say that we took advantage of this deal during our stay
Besides eating, we did a lot of wandering in Venice as well. In the true Venetian fashion, we would leave the map at home and just set out in a general direction towards where we wanted to go. I could wander narrow alleys and cross small footbridges in Venice for weeks if I had the time. The water is a beautiful shade of light marine green (although we read it is quite polluted) and the gondolas and arched bridges are everywhere you turn. There are narrow alleys and streets all over and numerous bridges, but no direct routes anywhere
The second day we had been walking for hours, and I was complaining about how I wanted a drink, but it was too early to start on the wine again and almost magically, an Irish Pub appeared before us. We were the only customers in the place and the woman that ran the pub was very nice and accommodating. After a few pints of thick, delicious stout ale, we were back on our way.
I would definitely like to return to Venice one day and have only one regret from our time there. We never got to take a romantic gondola ride. They are ridiculously expensive, and at this time in our travels, just out of the question. Someday we will return a little older and a little wealthier and we’ll take that ride, at night with the accordion player and singer, but until then it is on to Florence and more exploring. Ciao!