Friday, July 22, 2011

Part 3

Sunday, July 10

We woke up early to catch the train to La Spezia. I thought we'd get a chance to go back the the 'Pirate' restaurant but, it being Sunday, he was closed ... at least that early. So we headed for the train and got to La Spezia a bit early. Coffee was in a little bar across the street from the train.

As usual, with Trenitalia, the connections were good. The train from Parma to Bologna was crowded; the rest were OK.

I tried several times along the way to contact the apartment landlord using the information that had been provided to me by the rental agency. I finally, managed to connect using information on the same apartment from a different agency's web site.

I'll say right now that I never experience anything quite like the rush I get whenever I step out of the Venetian train station and look out over the glorious chaos that is Venice. The sun was shining, the water gleaming. Boats, gondolas, vaporetti all jostle for position on the Grand Canal; that ribbon of water that bisects the city. The city is old, it's tired, and it cares not that yet another tourist has wandered in. Venice continues her continues hum and bustle as she has for hundreds of years ... and always the question ... for how many more years can she survive?

We dove in and took the vaporetto from the train station to the Rialto Bridge. There, we hooked up with the landlord.

The apartment is nice ... very nice. On Calle de Madona, the apartment is just a few steps up from the Grand Canal, not more than 100 meters from the Rialto bridge. In a tourist city, it's in the most tourist-y of areas ... but the central location is hard to beat.

Both Marg and Helen are in need of something else to wear - since Lufthansa still has not come through with our luggage. So, there was some more shopping.

We walked, shopped and gawked in neighbourhoods on the "south" side of the Grand Canal. During our last two trips to Venice, we never spent much time over here. We stayed pretty close to the main route (following the signs directing us to the train station). Eventually, that's where we wound From well, actually across the Grand Canal from the train station. We crossed and worked our way back towards the Rialto bridge on the north (much more tourist-y) side of the Grand Canal.

This was the side of the Grand Canal that was much more familiar to us. We stopped at a couple of grocery stores to pick up some breakfast and lunch things; and eventually made our way back to the apartment.

To this point, the weather has been spectacular! But sunny and warm combined with walking and crowds meant it was time for a pre-supper cleanup. That done, we headed out for supper.

After supper, we made our way over to Piazza San Marco to listen to the different cafe orchestras. Then, after a stop for gelato, we came back to the apartment.

Just as we were all climbing into our beds, there was the sound of a "doorbell" rang. Helen thought it was our bags being delivered ... but there was nobody there; it was probably just a "wrong number".

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