Friday, July 22, 2011

Part 4

Monday, July 11

This our fourth day without luggage.

And we found out what the bell was all about.

Yesterday, Helen had thought she'd heard a doorbell ring ... and thought that it might be our luggage being delivered. While she was taking a shower, Marg noticed a cord hanging down from some sort of switch box mounted high on the wall above the shower cabinet.just for fun, she pulled the string ... and that sounded the bell we'd heard the night before. That set off a round of speculation about what such a bell would be for.

"Maybe it's to signal for help in case you fall in the shower." No, because the end of the cord did not reach down to the floor; if you fell, you could never reach the end of the cord to give it a tug. My personal favorite was that it could be used to signal "stop" to anyone who happened to be running water elsewhere in the apartment (and causing the shower to run too hot or cold). In the end, we never came up with a satisfactory explanation ... so if anyone has any ideas, please feel free to pass them along.

One of the reasons i like staying in apartments is that we get full control over more of our meals. For breakfast, we'd picked up some Muesli and yogurt ... along with fruit. Once we'd finished that, we left the apartment and found a place (not difficult) for coffee.

With breakfast and a first cup of coffee (literally) under our belts, we headed off for a bit of exploring. And so as to have something else to wear, a bit more shopping.

Yesterday, during our wanders, we'd found the Frari church.

We went to the Frari church and when we came out, there was a trio playing Vivaldi out in the Campo

After our time in the Frari church, Marg and I had another coffee (no more coffee for Helen) and listened to the string trio that had set up on one side of the campo; they were playing Vivaldi.

It was getting on to lunch time. Given the central location of our apartment, it really wasn't necessary to schlep our lunch around with us while we explored the city. So we worked our way back towards the Rialto Bridge (very easy, just follow the signs). It was just as well that we took a break from the crowds and the heat. It was easily well over 30C and many of the shops had closed for whatever the Italians call "siesta".

I was still waiting for some contact from *anyone* who knew *anything* about our luggage. I had been told that someone would attempt to contact me, and I'd also asked our landlord to give me a call if anything materialized.

Now, with the battery on the phone nearly dead and the internet cafés closed for "siesta" I was starting to feel like we would never see our bags again. Fortunately, the battery lasted through our lunch break (our own siesta) and once the shops began to open up again, I went to a Vodaphone shop and bought a charger. Marg and Helen were still shopping and poking around, so I found an open Internet café and spent half an hour on the Internet trying to chase down our bags (and, taking advantage of an available power bar, put some more charge into the phone).

I'd arranged to meet Marg and Helen on a little bridge just outside the internet café. People would come up to me from time to time and ask if I could take their pictures. It was a pretty spot - gondolas were taking tourists back and forth through the narrow passageway. (In fact, I think that this was on the route our gondolier had taken when we were here a few years ago.) the passageway was so close that, from time to time, a gondolier would have to use his foot to "kick out" from one of the buildings. They looked so smooth doing it, I'll wager that they've been doing exactly that for quite a number of years.

We made our way slowly to piazza San Marco.

Wandered there ... eventually went on a very quick tour through, then back to the waterfront ... back and forth ... wandered different paths trying to get lost and eventually returned to the apartment.

The bags were finally supposed to arrive at 8:20 ... RRRRIGHT!

8:32 ... still nothing.

At 8:50, I wound up making yet another call to Air Canada to see if there was any new information that they could share. It turns out that the bags had been consigned to a local delivery service - to be brought to "597 San Polo", that the delivery had been cancelled and that the bags were now scheduled to go from Venice to Vienna for forwarding to Ljubljana. The problem with the delivery? Our actual address is "579 San Polo".

Now, you might say ... "What problem? Why wouldn't you have seen the guy going to 597 and just re-directed him?"

Addresses in Venice are strange. There are several sections of the city, and each building or even entrance to a building has it's own unique number within that section of the city. Our apartment is actually on Calle Madona. "597 San Polo" may be over on the next block ... or it may be on a cross street ... the only thing for certain is that it is not just "up the street".

But ... as I have kept saying to anyone who will listen ... all someone has to do is call, or give me a functional phone number that I can use to contact someone. So far, it seems as though the only people I can ever get any information from are the Air Canada lost baggage people.

So, minus our baggage, we headed out for our final evening in Venice. We found a nice restaurant that even had, as a bonus, a three-piece string group busking in the square.

After supper, we walked over to the train station to get the tickets for our next leg of the journey - to Gorizia. With those in hand, we did the nighttime vaporetto ride along the Grand Canal from the train station to Piazza San Marco; taking in the sights of Venice at night. Then, it was a short walk back to the apartment for a good night's sleep.

One more note ... when we got back, there were 17 missed calls from the apartment landlord. I think we're starting to get Lufthansa's attention.

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