Ok, so it's crowded, very tourist orientated and the food is meh...else, pretty cool !
10.09.2011 - 12.09.2011 31 °C
Started the day with a dose of Giddy, have no idea what happened but was struggling to stand vertically without swaying and as for bendng over....that just wasn't fun. However we managed to leave the apartment and grab the train for a two hour trip to Venice.
On arrival we got out the map we'd been given and started the look for our contact, Mr Diego and the apartment. We had been warned about the nuances of Venice and to expect to get lost, unfortunatly we started that way. Though I must admit, I don't see it as our fault. We followed the map precisely and found the number we were looking for, 3080, but not 3080/R....we did find.A, B....F. We rang Mr Diego as instructed and got a lovely messaga service in Italian (later to find out that it was telling us that his inbox for voice mail was full), bugga now what. We foud a couple who offered to help, but in the end thought we were in the right location according to the map. They also did indicat Venice is a bit weird (understatement !) in its house numbering conventions. This left us with 2 bags at the end of the street, no apartment and a missing contact. So we rang the booking agency, hoping someone would answer on a Sarurday.....no luck, despite it being diverted to another line after a while. Alison then remembeted the original contact for the apartment, Roberta. We tried that, it was partially successful, she answered, but her english was not great and as a result we really were no better off.
So applying all the best clichès of insanity we tried ringing Mr Diego and the Apartment organisers again.....oh surprise, no luck.
At that point there was a niggle starting, had we been caught in an internet scam ? However a lady and her son came along, we asked her for help. She was great, she ifentified the full voice mail issue and then spoke to Roberta for us, problem solved. A 30 second walk around the corner and there was a cafe for us to collect the key. Phew.... The lady at the cafe showed us in and we were finally in Venice.
Never heard back from Mr Diego and the map was bloody wrong !
Now with that dose of stress all over, unpacking done, it was 2:40pm, so we shot back to the information booth by the train station and picked up a map. From then we were set to explore, map in hand and the knowledge that we would get lost we slowly made our way to the Rialto Bridge. It was great. A busy bridge with an inner bridge within, I think the inner bridge is the bridge of Sighs. The whole brige crosses the grand canel so we sat and enjoyed the the view and masses of tourists. Then drifted back to our apartment, following signs to the ferries/train station rather than rely on the map.
The apartment was the biggest we've had to date. 90 square meters, Rome was about 70 and Florence 45.
Buggered I think was the technical term by then, so a takeaway pizza from the cafe down the road was enough for tea.
Day two in Venice now beckoned. Big day ahead, knowing that tomorrow we were off to Rodello.Rather than walk to St. Marks square we decided to get one of the ferries there and see sime of the island(s) as we went. It wasn't ideal as things were a bit foggy in the morning. However we got the ferry, stopping to drop off people at a number of places for the days work we eventually made it to St. Marks square.
Although initially foggy it's still pretty impressive with churches, towers etc. Even at that time the crowds were pretty big. We tried to get into the main cathedral but I wasn't allowed with a backpack and despite the signs, at the time there was no where to leave bags. So with a number of other tourists we frustratingly missed out.
We then starting a long ang and wandering tour of various parts of Venice, IN PARTICULAR many shops with small shiny things (many !). I think I'd call this Alison shopping heaven. We did attempt to buy most of Venice as a result ;-). In addition to this we managed a few sites as expected. (yup photos later sorry).
One interesting point was when we decided on a coffee in St. Marks Square. There was a small quartet playing so we decided to grab a seat, listen and have coffee. That was until we fount out that the cost of sitting and listening was about €6 each..then the coffee was going to require a second mortgage. Bugga tgat, we moved on, could have got a takeaway coffee and stood and listened for about €6 all up.
I noted in another post the very tourist nature of the restaurants so won't repeat that here.
In effect that was Venice for us. Ideally we should have got out to some of the islands, especially Murano, but we didn't have enough time. I think we really needed another 1 - 2 days. Would we return, perhaps, but only if time after Florence and Rodello.