|Our morning routine went as usual and we were ready to depart Salzburg a little before 10.00am. We had packed our shared clothes, etc for Venice in a single suitcase (for ease of travel) and left the remaining luggage (including a fair stack of laundry!) in the car boot. The weather was quite mild (about 4o) and overcast and the roads were free of snow so driving was quite comfortable. We stopped at a motorway Raststazion for a coffee and pastry about 11.00am and then again, just before the Slovenian border, to fill the fuel tank. The car takes Diesel and is costs about €1.36.9 per litre (NZ$
Ron had decided, after earlier considering the possibility, to detour slightly from our route to Venice in order to stop for lunch in Slovenia (just because we can). The trusty TomTom GPS got us close to the border and then Barb’s map reading got us to our chosen stop, Kranjska Gora, without incident. Most of the route from Austria into Slovenia was populated with ski fields, and the mountain slopes were peppered with various forms of ski lifts. While Slovenia had a slightly more rustic feel than Austria, the scenery was similar but the weather had closed in and was overcast and grey.
Kranjska Gora is a small ski town and it took us a little while to find a suitable restaurant for lunch. We had a snack lunch (although Ron’s fried cheese dish was fairly huge) and then followed the map back in to Italy and on to our GPS route. The drive to Venice was mostly autostrada and so we made good time by driving the usual 125-130kph, arriving at the Tronchetta car park just after 4.30pm. Having parked the car we walked the short distance to the water-bus terminal and caught a ferry to Piazza San Marco, which is only a few hundred metres from our hotel. It was a pleasant walk to the hotel as we renewed our acquaintance with the city we last visited in summer.
Of course by this time it was getting dark and it was misty. There were fewer tourists than last time and made it easier to know where we were going.
The hotel (Hotel Bucintoro) is a well appointed establishment, fitted in a nautical theme. The room is a reasonable size, although Zoë once again gets a sedan bed. Our room looks out over the main canal. After settling in we walked briefly East to check out a small but colourful carnival on the waterfront and then reversed to stroll down to Piazza San Marco. Much of the piazza is covered to hide renovation work and the area around the Bridge of Sighs is carpeted with advertising for some Italian production (and looks tacky), but once we hit the back-streets we were back in familiar territory. We window shopped for a while and then ate at a restaurant we had visited previously, briefly meeting an Australian family who were also rounding off a tour.
After a little more strolling and finding shops where we had bought souvenirs from during the last visit, we made our way back to the hotel and retired for the night. Well done Ron for a long day’s drive.
Tomorrow we are looking forward to seeing Venice in a foggy winter’s day.