While we waited for our new room to be ready, we walked to the far side of Venice over the Accademia bridge. It took us a while to find it, andin true Venetian style, we wandered first to the Rialto bridge (which looks quite run down, I must say) first before finally finding the right place. Walking along the southern edge of Venice was quite pleasant in the weak, milky sunshine. We walked as far as the ferry terminal and then came back to sit on one of the 7 benches in Venice to watch various ships go by. Most open areas in the city have no benches but plenty of signs forbidding sitting on steps or piazzas. If you want a chair, you must buy something at one of the expensive restaurants and pay extra to sit at one of the tables. Seriously. Take out coffee = 2.50. Same coffee at a table = 3.00.
After our leisurely stroll we stumbled upon the former royal gardens which were surprisingly chock
full of tangerine benches. What a perfect spot to sit for a few moments in the evaporating sunshine to eat our lunch of fruit and granola bars. Tossing the crumbs from the granola bars on the ground instantly attracts thousands of pigeons. Nora liked that, but I have to say I found it a little bit gross. On the walk back to the hotel to move into our new room, I thought I would try the pigeon trick again, and tossed the hollow cone from the end of my gellatti on the ground. Sure enough a crowd of pigeons showed up. They began taking turns pecking at the cone until a sea gull swooped in, grabbed the whole thing and flew off.
Once we got checked in to our room and had a place to leave the backpack we went into San Marco Basilica. It is the most incredibly detailed place I have ever seen. Every flat surface is covered with mosaics. Every inch of the floor is covered with tile in intricate patterns. When I say "flat surface" of course, I am using it figuratively. The floor is anything but flat. It undulates and slants in multiple directions. I suspect this has to do with the whole "Venice is sinking" thing, and
nowhere is it more evident than in the Basilica. The ceilings are covered with gold mosaics of scenes from Biblical stories. I think so, anyway, the words are in Latin, and many of the ceilings are so far away, and I had to crane my neck so far to even see a tiny fraction of them.
The afternoon sunlight has all dried up, so we spent some time on the rooftop terrace of our hotel and are now enjoying the view from our hotel room. A massive cruise ship has just drifted by and, regrettably, did not crash. This evening was spent in a similar low-key fashion as we wander lost through the streets and alleyways of Venice in search of reasonably-priced pizza, which we found and ate. Then we ate more gelatto and got lost again. Such is a day in Venice.
Today was spent rather quietly, as befits a gloomy and misty day. Our morning began with breakfast in our real hotel. Rolls, cereal, yogurt, meat, cheese and hard-boiled eggs were offered for the meal, and somebody brought a cuppuccino to the table for me. This is a nice place, and we are certainly paying for it (twice!) Out in front there is a small table and chairs for the exclusive use of Hotel guests. It seems to be primarily used by smokers, of which Italy has plenty, but we did walk past a woman seated with her iPad and coffee while idly plucking chin hairs with tweezers. I hope she doesn't sit near us at breakfast. The staff at this hotel have been really nice and helpful. They moved our luggage from one room to another for us, and gave us the key to get to the rooftop terrace.