Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 4A: Venice

This was the view of our hotel room. If we weren't in a rush to do things, I could have logged some serious hours on that balcony. Well, once Kurt and I woke up and got going, we headed down to breakfast at the hotel. Not too many of our bare bones hostels were offering anything free, so it was nice to have something included.

After breakfast, we packed up our 2 little bags and headed to check out. Kurt and the receptionist had a little Italian interchange, so this is my translation of what was said:

Kurt: Hi, we'd like to check out.
Lady: Sure, what room are you leaving?
K: 102
L: Oh! 102! The airport called! They have your bags but they are stuck in customs, so you will have to go retrieve them.
K: What?! All the way in Zurich?! We can't go all the way back there! Mamma mia! (a direct quote)
L: Oh, no no. They are at the Venice airport. Here's how you get there...

We were quite thrilled to have located our bags and not having to travel all the way back to Zurich! A huge weight had been lifted off our shoulders. The Venice airport is obviously not close and would be a huge pain in the ass to reach, but we weren't about to complain. I was ready to burn my jeans and t-shirt, so new clothes would be a welcome sight. Even though we were itching to get our stuff, we decided to head into Venice for a day of sightseeing before we made the trek to the airport.

From the mere hours we spent on Lido, I really liked it. There are so many beautiful houses and gardens. Plus, the beach is so close! There are lots of little restaurants and shops and less people than on the main island. All the locals ride around on bikes and are really friendly. They even have a few canals of their own! I would highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Venice.

Kurt and I took the ferry to mainland but didn't have an itinerary worked out. We stopped by the site of the Venice Biennale but were too early. They were setting up and told us to come back in a month. I wish. We wandered around a bit and then decided to make a plan. It was getting to be midday and hot.

The ferry was really great because you can sightsee as you move around quickly. Plus, it is shaded and you get a breeze. Much nicer than walking! I guess I will just have to consider that my romantic gondola ride :(

We rode up the Grand Canal to reach the Rialto Bridge. It was packed with tons of people so we took some photos, looked at a map, and picked a very obscure area to walk to as our next location. Now, I believe Kurt and I both have good senses of direction, but Venice ended up being a challenge. We got turned around and off course and walked a bit out of the way. We had plans to find a place to eat at our destination, so the delay made our walk seem like a death march. It was soooooo incredibly hot. When the sun is high, there is no shade from the buildings and there are few, if any, trees on the island. I was pretty miserable. The one highlight was Kurt receiving a "Go Bucks!" from a passerby. He even got an "OH-IO" out of the kid who spotted his Ohio State shirt. We decided that this recognition totally beat my Roll Tide/War Eagle experience from the evening before. You win, Kurt.

Finally, we made it to the random spot on the map we had chosen to visit. It ended up being the Jewish ghetto and was super quiet. Relief! We found a quiet little restaurant and a table on a canal. After perusing the menu, Kurt and I decided to share some pasta and after much deliberation, went out on a limb and ordered a black pasta. It's made from ink from a squid or cuttlefish and was delicious!

Obviously! We didn't leave a crumb on that plate. Kurt and I are determined to make this at home sometime. Our first task is finding the ink...I hardly even know where to start. There is a fancy little grocery store near my apartment. I'm thinking of sweet-talking the seafood guy into finding some for us.

After lunch, we had our fill of walking and canals and sun, so we started planning our route to the airport. We thought we could take another ferry there but turned out we would have to pay more money. Instead we took a very crowded and hot bus. While waiting at the bus station, we saw this new bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava. It was nice to see a modern addition to the city.

Venice is such a strange place. It is unbelievably beautiful but seems like an illusion. It seems like Disneyworld. I wonder what it would be like to be a local (which I hear there aren't many). I think I would end up murdering a tourist or moving to Lido for my sanity. Anyway, I'm glad we went. It was a great place to visit, but I could not have been more excited to get on that packed bus out of town to go get our luggage!


  1. The cool glass of white was also incredibly refreshing with lunch. We upset the old man who waited on us bc we split the pasta - odd that he isn't more accustomed to that considering the neighborhood.

    Oh! And what about the bar we saw after with Brooklyn Brewery beers!

    Also the gas stations for the ferries were cool.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...