Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 3B: Venice

Our train arrived in Venice in the late afternoon and it was HOT. We were sweating by the time we stepped out of the train station. Kurt was excited to flex his Italian, so we asked for some directions and figured out how the ferry works. I guess I never quite realized that there are really no cars on the island and everyone does travel by boat. Crazy! I am a fan of boats so I was thrilled to get out on the water.

Per a friend's suggestion (thanks Erin!), we booked a hostel on Lido, an island off the main island of Venice. It was a short ride away on the ferry and much cheaper than staying directly within the madness.

Isn't our hotel cute!? It is probably one of the nicer places we stayed on our trip but was super affordable. It took us a little while to locate once the ferry dumped us off on Lido, but thankfully, Kurt was able to put that Italian to good use again and ask directions. We were thrilled to sit in the air conditioning once we checked in. See that balcony right above the entrance? That was our room! Lido was such a cute, laid-back beach town. I wanted to extend our stay there and have my coffee on that balcony every morning!

Kurt and I took a quick breather at the hotel, did some research on our doomed luggage, and then decided to do some exploring around Venice. It took some time to find an ATM and then get a ticket for the ferry, so our voyage didn't get underway until sunset. The sky was beautiful over the water though!

We got off at the stop for Piazza San Marco. Of course, it was packed with tourists but somehow still nice. There was a band playing some music to a crowd and people were milling about the square eating gelato. If it weren't for all the huge billboards and illegal handbag sellers and guys offering unsuspecting girls flowers and then expecting their male companions to pay for them, it could be sort of romantic.

Unfortunately, most of the piazza and surrounding buildings were covered in scaffolding. Venice, and particularly Piazza San Marco, have been plagued by flooding issues. (I guess building on an island can be problematic.) The city is currently working on a system to reduce the frequency of the floods and the damage they cause. But our photo ops were ruined! Plus, it was dark and I am too lazy to employ the Mackenzie/Kurt Method of stabilizing your camera on an object for non-blurry pictures, so it was tough to get any good shots.

We ended up just doing lots of wandering through all the street along the canals. Kurt and I were so reluctant to stop at any shops or restaurants anywhere close to Piazza San Marco (i.e. the tourists) that we wandered aimlessly through the city. Finally when we decided we were in the mood for gelato or a beer, we couldn't find anything! After some intense searching, we finally found some gelato and enjoyed in a church piazza while people watching.

After our late-night dessert, we were beat and headed to the ferry stop to try and figure out the late night schedule. We were exhausted, parched, and ready for bed but had to wait a while for the next boat.

Don't we look cute?! Kurt is wearing his Delta Sky Team XL t-shirt we got from our airport kits since they misplaced our bags. I am still sporting a grubby Auburn t-shirt. However, while walking around this evening, I did receive a.....ugh.....I can't even fathom it...umm....a Roll Tide. Ugh! Regardless, I was excited to hear something familiar and countered the young guy with a War Eagle!! Thankfully, his girlfriend was halfway reasonable and kindly returned my War Eagle. (Obviously she has the sense in the relationship.) I guess there is one bright spot from our luggage being Alabama connection in Italy!

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