Testing the Venitian Waters
Trip Start Feb 07, 2008
35Trip End May 03, 2008
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After we were clean and comfy we decided to walk over to the Duomo, figuring we'd get there right around sunset if we hurried. We asked for a map from reception and took along our guide book as well; to be sure we didn't end up at an undesired location. While Venice is small, and the cheapest way of getting around is by foot, this does not mean things are easy to find. You can rely on two things: it is impossible to walk out of the city (unless you plan on going for a swim) so you will always be able to find your way (at some point), and, it will take you twice as long to get anywhere in Venice because no matter how prepared you are - unless you are local - you will get lost. When this happens just remind yourself of the former guideline and take a few deep breaths, when in doubt just keep walking.
We eventually made it to the Duomo but we missed the setting sun, oh well. We had walked from one side of Venice to the other so there was still something to be pleased about! After a few pictures of the fašade and a few of the Bridge of Sighs we decided to try our luck at finding the way back, surely we would be better at it this time! I have no idea how long it took us to get back to the hotel, I don't wear a watch and absolutely refused to look at the time on my cell phone - that would have made it worse I am sure
Walking through the neighborhoods (I like to think we were at least lost in a few neighborhoods and not just one) was oddly calming. I knew where I was but at the same time had no idea, it was quiet except for when we ran across another group of people and while we probably should have been a little panicked, neither of us was. The streams of people we came upon while trying to find our way reminded me of currents in a river, the stronger currents running on the major streets sometimes giving way to eddies in the small piazzas but eventually coming together creating the froth at the entrance to a narrow street. When we were the only ones on the street we had strayed off course, only passing a few individuals, ultimately becoming stuck in a puddle. Once we located one of the major currents it was like that scene in Finding Nemo when Dory and Marlin prepare to join the E.A.C. (East Atlantic Current) - crazy and a little scary at first but once in weaving about and increasing/decreasing your pace to accommodate others becomes second nature.
At some point we found the neighborhood our hotel was in and fell into our beds ready for some sleep.
note: we stopped at some point and had a great dinner at a small trattoria with excellent food and even better Tiramisu :)
The next morning we took the Vapporetto (water bus) to Murano to look around at the glass creations the island is reputed for
We grabbed some pizza before boarding the train and were on our way back to Florence.
*note: on the way back a large group of students got on the train in Bologna and we happened to be sitting in their reserved seats - you can choose to reserve them or not, people just politely move to another if it turns out their seat was actually booked by someone else - so I realized this and made eye contact, smiled, pointed to the seat - the girl acknowledged the seat was hers - and proceeded to gather my things and tell Chris we had to move. Like I said there were a lot of them so moving out of the way was not too easy and there was a moment before we could move anywhere. In this brief moment the girl I previously mentioned says - clearly audible to me and Chris - "umm, those are our seats, DO THEY SPEAK ENGLISH?"..
**note on previous note: later that day the girl's comment was topped by an American woman in Florence, as she was walking by an Italian woman standing next to two strollers she exclaimed "Oh, Twins!", in reference to the two children occupying said strollers (they were clearly not twins by the way). The Italian woman laughed and politely said no they were not twins, and thank goodness as it was hard enough caring for one toddler. The American woman proceeded to exclaim - still within earshot of the Italian woman - well look at that, she understood "twins"! Are you kidding me!? Even if she hadn't understood English the smile on your face as you admired the children would have communicated you were not a weirdo, only acknowledging the "level of cute" sitting in the strollers, but to then assume the woman - who just understood your complex English sentence that included the word twins - would not understand you are talking about her while only 2 feet away?! Come on...I guess I was still cranky from the train ride :)