The Final Train

When I was planning this trip and scoping out what we could manage to squeeze in to a two week period, I didn’t realize it would entail 12 different train trips. We’ve managed to become quite adept at finding our way, with Silas frequently in the lead. Nice to see him so confident at his age. Fortunately, the trains here seem to run far more often, far more on time and are in better shape than the few Amtrak trains I’ve taken. Today was trip number 12, from Bologna to Venice. It was a bullet train, the nicest and fastest so it only took an hour and a half and that was even with it making at least three other stops along the way.

We exited the train, walked out of the station and voila! There was Venice, the Grand Canal. Our first order of business was to buy 3 day passes for the Vaporetti, the water taxis. Once we had them in hand the next thing was to figure out which spot to go to to get on the correct one to take us nearest to the hotel. I knew from corresponding with the hotel from home that it should be the ACTV 1 or 2. We had to wait in a rather crowded queue for about 20 minutes, jostling around with everyone and their bags, including ours. It makes us happy that we packed so light that we each have only a small roller bag and a backpack. Eventually we got squished on board and were on our way. Luckily as we made stops the crowd thinned making it much more pleasant.

We got off at St Mark’s Square with only a five minute walk to the hotel. That is five minutes after we reoriented ourselves and headed in the right direction. The hotel is very elegant, but as much in Europe, smaller than we are accustomed to in the states. Here we actually have two separate rooms as they didn’t have one to accommodate all four of us. But it gives us two bathrooms! Woohoo! We quickly put our bags into our rooms and headed out to start exploring. We didn’t have anything booked for today, so we could just wander.

That is exactly what we did, eventually walking over 5 miles. But that was with a quick stop for wine and a cheese plate, where we didn’t linger as we were in the shade and the wind picked up. But we were sitting next to what seemed to be a working area as there were several boats with small cranes on board offloading pallets of material. Made me very nervous as an old cargo handler as there didn’t seem to be a lot of safety measures.

We picked up and wandered across St Mark’s Square, past the Campanile, the cathedral and the Doge Palace (that’s all for tomorrow!). We were hungry and Gulgun had a hankering for pizza and sitting in the sunshine so we found a spot that hit the bill on both points.

Then Silas declared it was time for today’s gelato. We let him look up online for a shop and he led the way. Turned out to be one of our favorites with the flavor choices. They even had snickers, my favorite candy! It was called Gelato Fantasy, and we all agreed that it was indeed. Later after we ate every bit Silas commented that ” An Italian tourist horror movie would be one without gelato every day”. We agreed!

At that point we just ambled around neighborhoods enjoying that we got away from all the crowds and walked along narrow paths, along small canals, and places where it seemed locals lived by the sighting of all the laundry hanging out between buildings.

We finally headed back toward the hotel and just when Gulgun had commented on not having seen a single grocery type store, wondering where the locals shopped, then there was a Coop. Perfect! We stopped in for a bottle of wine and a bag of chips and figured we were set for the evening.

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