Our European Trip - 2005 travel blog

Venice Street in the Evening

Venice Canal

Gondola

Grand Canal from Rialto Bridge

Grand Canal from Rialto Bridge. We ate under the red canopies on...

Rialto Bridge at Night

Duelling Orchestra in St. Mark's Square

St Mark's Square at Night

St. Mark's Cathedral at Night


We were up bright and early at 4:45 am and went downstairs by 5:20 am to meet our taxi driver who took us to the station. We waited till the train was posted on the board and went to the platform and got ourselves comfortable in our reserved seats. The train was fairly busy as we left Vienna, but after a few stops it emptied. The weather was very misty and cloudy, which turned to rain. Christine slept a good part of the way and I, too, slept. Nan tells us we missed the most spectacular part of the journey as we crossed the Dolomites where the train circled a mountain on a ledge.

We arrived in Venice just after lunch time. It had been our intention to buy Museum passes and Vaporetto passes at the train station. I went to one side of the Tourist Information where they explained that that side did not sell Vaporetto passes, and I would be better getting a combination pass for both museums and the Vaporetto from the other side of the Office. I went next door and joined another line to be told that I would be better off buying them separately - which had been my original intention. We have come from the rigidity of Austria to the incompetence of Italy. In fact we all remarked that almost as soon as we crossed the border you could tell the difference by the rusted railings and dilapidated buildings.

We bought the Vaporetto passes and decided to leave the museum passes for another day. We went to the pier for the Vaporetto and crushed on to the first one. I thought Christine had not made it as there did not seem time for her to have got on before it took off, but she was there, if only by he skin of her teeth. We stood till the next stop when many people got off. We got a seat and travelled the rest of the way in relative comfort. Although it was not raining, it was gray and misty. We got off at St. Mark's Square and started walking according to the directions from the hotel. However, the clock tower which we were supposed to go under was being renovated (yes, another one!) and we turned too soon, but the directions told us to look for a Macdonalds, and there were some girls with Macdonalds bags and cups, so we asked them where it was. We followed their directions and then turned into a lane not much wider than our suitcases. Nan was sure I was crazy! (Maybe I am, but that is another story). We were on the right road and found the Hotel Canaletto without further difficulty. We have a nice room overlooking a street. We came round so many corners and corridors we are not sure which way we are facing, but will no doubt try and see it from the outside in the morning.

We got unpacked and decided to rest for a while - Nan slept quite soundly for about an hour. I decided to try my computer which has not booted up since the first night in Vienna. It had also not booted up in Salzburg. Lo and behold it booted up first time. I guess it just does not like Austria. I got Christine's photos backed up and arranged the last couple of days information for the web site which I hope to post tomorrow.

We then went and explored some of the nearby streets as far as Rialto Bridge and admired the gondolas in the canals. We had dinner at exorbitant expense at a restaurant beside the Grand Canal, then walked along the canal and back streets nearby, recrossing the Rialto Bridge and returning to St. Mark's Square where we listened to the Dueling Orchestras and watched the relatively thin crowd of tourists. Several restaurants around the square have small orchestras playing, presumably to attract customers. There is a rivalry to see who can attract the most diners. None were overly populated tonight and one was downright deserted.

We walked over to the canal then returned to the hotel by the same route as we had taken this afternoon.

As Nan is only here till Sunday and we are here till Tuesday, we will see what she wants to do tomorrow. We may go to Murano and Burano as she wants to see the lace-making on Burano. Murano is famous for its glass.

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