"Awake is the New Sleep"

Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
Trip End Jun 29, 2007

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Flag of Italy  ,
Saturday, June 2, 2007

Greetings to all my younger freinds who know this Ben Lee album.

Yesterday was out last morning in Prague. Rob has come down with a heavy cold and chose to spend the morning resting indoors while Liz and I took to the streets of the Old Town again. We wandered around in a few circles, stopping for only lunch and a coffee. We continued Liz's hunt for absinthe and mine for a marionette - a specialty of the Czech Republic and something I had promised myself as a souvenir of this trip. Unfortunately, they are made completely from wood plus costume and, with packing, would have added considerable weight to an overweight bag that is yet to travel a few stops in Italy that will require much lifting. One shop did offer postage at 1,000 euro - AU$60!

So instead, I settled for option #2 - a small garnet ring - pretending it was the eternity ring that was due about 20 years ago! Much easier to carry too! Garnets and amber are sold widely in the large number of jewellery shops in town, but the latter are chunky and inelegant to my eye. Garnets range in colour from orange through the standard red to the much-prized pale green and from delicate pieces to huge knuckle-dusters.

Last night, we wearily boarded the overnight train from Prague to Venice. We booked a 4-berth cabin between the three of us which in hindsight was one of our best decisions of this trip. Our carriage was full of loud Czechs carrying - you guessed it - cheap beer! They stood in the passage drinking and talking loudly well beyond our bedtime and we were glad we could lock our door and did not have one of them in the fourth bunk coming and going! Still, sleep was fitful as the noise continued, the train made many stops and the beds weren't the softest.

The train was a mix of Austrian sleepers and Czech sitting carriages. The latter were dropped at the Czech-Austrian border (we may have changed engines too) and when we woke the next morning, we were heading in the opposite direction with an Italian diesel pulling us towards Venice! This train was not quite up to Canadian standards and had only frankfurts and sandwiches available on request from the stewardess. We were issued with hostel-like sheet bags and had to ask for blankets. Irene was very reluctant to issue them as everyone would then want them, and she would have to pack them up in the morning!

8.30am, Venezia S. Lucia - Aahh! Real coffee! Even at the train station.

A number 1 vaporetto to our accommodation and then a morning wandering the lanes of this city that never fails to fascinate. Rob retire for the afternoon in an attempt to knock his cold and Liz and I continued our wanderings, fighting our way through an increasingly thick crowd of tourists. Dinner was at the pizza and pasta in the local square before retiring to plan tomorrow's agenda and explore Italian TV - and Franco Cozzo ads! Well, someone else, but just as bad!

Time for some real sleep.

For the record...
Pashminas - 10 euros, approximately AU$17
Hawkers      - selling imitaion designer bags here
Cappucino - 1.50 euros up to 10 euros in San Marco Square (and we didn't...)
Pizza squares  - 2 to 3.6 euros (from the Lebanese shop!)
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