I get up a little early this morning so I can go see Samantha who has an early train to Rome. I figure she will be in the breakfast room and she is. She shares a story that makes me laugh. She says some English speaking man asks, "Are you American?" "Yes," she answers. She said then he asked if she was having a problem with her air conditioning. Now, even though she didn't call, she says yes because she thinks that he overheard her on the phone. I laughed and told her that he had talked to me, not her. And she's all like "...but how did he know I was American?" Funny girl. Anyway, after she leaves I head back upstairs to get ready and come back later with Angela.
Alleys, venetian style
So, this man after hearing us talk says, oh Americans. He's Australian. Turns out he's the guy on the phone. I explained to him, that I was the person he spoke to not Samantha, she was confused. So was he! Now, I wouldn't mention this story, but here it gets funny. We tell him we were in town for a wedding, and he says "Oh, did the brother of the bride have a yellow mohawk?" "Wow!" Apparently, he met Amber's mother and brother the night before when they were talking to a cab driver and he helped out. This man is befriending Americans everywhere.!
So anyway, we get on our way and are soon headed to Venice...the last stop of the trip :( Now, I have to say that I am amped about Venice.
Venice panorama on the grand canal
Just the idea of it tickles me...and it does not disappoint. Venice is magical. All those people that say the water is dirty...puhlease come take a look at the Milwaukee River! We immediately realize that we are going to need to take public transportation, because we can't lug our bags over the steps, so we catch a bus (a water bus) and 30 minutes later we are right outside the hotel. I have to say, if you have never been to Venice, or if you have been several times, this may sound silly, but even taking the bus to the hotel is thrilling in Venice. I will agree with everyone that says there isn't a lot to do in Venice, but every step and everywhere you turn is mesmerizing. It is just so different from any place I have been. Our hotel room wasn't ready yet, so we drop our bags off and wander around.
The venetian sunset
I love where we are. We had heard that Venice was just so crowded, but this area on Fondamente Nove was not at all crowded. We got pizza and gelato and just sat around pinching ourselves.
As soon as the room is ready we are in. This place is very very tiny, but I am so happy with this hotel, because it looks just like a family run Italian hotel. We Americans are so easily amused. We decide to head to St Marks square because besides, Burano and Murano, it's the only thing on our list to do. Now, Venice is a maze of alleys. That's it! No streets and zero use for a map. Luckily, we just walked and found signs and 100 hours later we found it.
St Marks square in the evening
I say 100 hours because we could not stop oohing and aahing. We were all, look at this, look at that. We were like kids in a candy store. We could tell when we were nearing St Marks because the ghost town of our side of town gave way to unbearalbe crowds. So much so that, I got one glimpse of the square and said, we have to come back later. So we wandered around looking at the shops. I loved looking at the glass items. I could have looked at every piece, and I almost did. Which was silly, because we planned to go to Murano the next day.
So there really isn't much else we did in Venice. We wandered around taking millions of pictures and just enjoying the atmosphere. At one point we see some Police and ask to take a picture of them.
Me and the carabinieri - "If there is a thief, call the polizia" "If you want to go to the nightclubs, call the carabinieri" - This is a direct quote!
Sure they say, so we take pictures with them and end up talking until after dark. They really don't know English, but with the help of the phrase book, we communicate. They also explain the difference between the Polizia and the Carabinieri. If you have a problem you call the polizia, if you want to have fun you call them (they were actually the carabinieri). But seriously, turns out they are the military police. Which does not make sense to me because we weren't on a base, but military police must have different duties in Italy. Anyway, they were a lot of fun. We decide to go back to the hotel and I promise, we spent the next 2 1/2 hours lost. Venice at night looks nothing like Venice during the day. And those alleys that seemed so charming in the daytime, were downright frightening at night. Around and around we went, everything seemed familiar, but mostly because we walked by the same thing 15 times trying to get it right. It had seemed so easy earlier. When we finally made it back it was after 12am and we had left the Carabinieri at 945. I wanted to kiss the ground when we found the hotel. Instead, I showered and went to bed. End of day 8.