Venice, Italy – July 5 (Day 1)
We landed at Venice Marco Polo airport Thursday, July 5th, 8 minutes early even though we left 5 minutes late – that must have been one strong tail-wind. The 6am flight was almost full with about 130 aboard …….. we gated at the north end of the airport and were bused to the far south end before boarding. The flight was typical for a no frills airline – one beverage (about 4 sips) pay for everything else.
Up – down no drama ….. no babies wailing ….. hardly any time to have a nap. That’s what I call a good flight.
Once we disembark, it’s get luggage and decide which form of transportation to take – bus, taxi or boat. We decided to try the water ferry …. ’cause it’s different. Turns out it’s not the fastest form of travel – 1hour 30 minutes ……. still, it was a leisurely way to get to the islands and see a lot of sites we wouldn’t normally see.
We get to our hotel around 11, drop off our bags and go for a stroll (really more of a dodge people) to the fish market and other sites, returning at 1pm for a bite and a pint.
Room is ready at 2:40 ……. shower, nap and a change of clothes before we try to find the Grads. During this time there was an intense thunder storm. By the time (6pm), we are ready to go out, you can’t tell there had been a storm. Now for the Grads, we have the address, general area and Gerda’s cell phone. It takes about 45 minutes to walk to the piazza near their place, the cell phone blue dot people help us incrementally get the rest of the way. How did our ancestors ever do it?
The Grads had a fabulous time in Barcelona, spending a lot of time on the beaches …. Harlow even got her hair braided in cornrows – looks beautiful.
They do have a very nice Venice VBRO suite – we’re almost jealous. Rather than go back to the “Rialto” bridge, we try the restaurant down and around the corner.
After a good meal we grab a gelato nearby and decide to head home as another storm is brewing – lots of lightning. You can usually tell it’s time to head in doors when the winds pick-up, the temperature drops, the gondoliers start covering their boats and the waiters start moving their tables & chairs inside. The last two being the most important. So time to boogie when all four happen.
Regardless, on the way back we do stop to listen to a young opera singer. She was very good ….. notice the added drama of the lightning in the background above the church.
Opera singer …... in a storm
About 10 minutes after we retire, it pours …… with winds getting heavier and more wild lightning …… I’m sure a lot of people got soaked.
Venice, Italy – July 6 (Day 2)
Today is “beach” day …… yes the grandkids want to visit Lido beach …… 5 kilometers of fine sand.
So we go for a tour of the fish market with the Grads, then it’s to the San Marco mall to get gelato. Afterwards we show them our hotel room while Brian & Shayne have a beer. Next stop, the vaporato (water bus) to go to Lido …… 10 minute wait, 20 minute ride and a 15 minute walk, we’re there. Fine sand everywhere. The kids can walk out for quite a distance before the water gets too high ….. they love it. Playing, swimming and digging while we have a beer on the beach – just perfect!
Time to head back after 3 hours (6:00pm), the kids are hungry. We land at San Marco pier and Gerda catches us a gondola ride right away. The kids are thrilled.
We go into the Grand Canal and then back into a smaller, side canal. Once we hit the side canal, surprisingly it is very quite.
Disembark, gingerly, so as to not tip the gondola ….. breath a sigh of relief, and move on to dinner by the Rialto bridge. The kids like it cause they can get burgers and fries, the adults like it cause the kids are happy.
That was a very fast two days ….. but the kids did love it – Taylan got a wireless model Ferrari and Harlow got a sleeping puppy doll (it’s so life like).
Venice, Italy – July 7 (Travel Day):
Up earlier today – we have to take the vaporato to the train station and it’s usually packed – so the earlier the better. By the time we go along the 15 stops, there is barely room to breath. Pack to the gills the boat expels the passengers with relief on the part of all.
Entering the train station is not like an airport. Yes, there is security but there are no segregated areas …. just a big mass of churning people – swirling in many directions. Great for people watching, not so good to carve your way from point A to point B. We do make it to our train on time and get seated ….. always fun trying to get the luggage stored where you can see.
…… And we’re off again – time to say bye to Venice …..