Those lions were so real, I felt like I could touch them… oh, and anatomically correct too- and NO I did not touch those either. I wandered back streets until I came to the Arsenale,
then decided I needed to head back to gather my stuff and hitch a ride to the train station. I made it back in better time than expected, so I stopped to have a little lunch (a salad with 2 types of fresh goat cheese…mmmmmm I needed the greens after all that wine last night!) and a cuppa cappuccino. I gotta admit, I was skeptical when Jesse came back with his obsession for cappuccinos, NOW I understand. Really. I will wake up at 2 am with cravings for those, I can tell now.
I stopped back at the hotel, picked up my bags, and headed down to the vapporetto landing. Amazingly, I got on the right boat the first time. What I did NOT realize was that my watch was running 15 minutes behind… and I was late. After figuring out where I was supposed to be, I realized that the time I should leave was passed and so was my train. *sigh* So, I found an information kiosk, and after the gentleman saw I was genuinely distressed and trying to understand the system (I didn't mention my watch was broken, that would just seem like I was
trying TOO hard) he got me on the next train out. The countryside is familiar, except when you see old buildings crumbled on the edges, a style that hasn't been in use for centuries… otherwise, it looks much like home most of the time. We went through some low mountains, in the dark tunnels I felt my head bob a bit and my eyelids doing the long blink… glad I’m not driving! When the conducter comes by to scan my ticket, he begins rapidly questioning me in Italian. I work out that he wants to see the old ticket as well as the new. After much apologizing and running through my bags and paperwork, he finally gives up on me, and I hope he isn't telling me I am about to be kicked off the train. I make it to Florence, and it appears that the fates have decided to throw me a few loops. I handled being alone in Venice too well, perhaps, and now its time to up the ante. After searching for a painful 15 mins in the trainstation, I finally locate a pay toilet (1Euro) and get to mark one more experience off my list.I grab a taxi ( good man, he tells me that the hotel is close enough to walk... I look at the crowded streets and my fully packed suitcase and tell him I would rather not figure it out. He drops me right at the door, and the fun begins. Katti, the owner, turns out to know very little english. After an elaborate pantomime and game of charades, I ascertain that there is a problem with my reservation. It appears as though someone was drinking all night (remember, this is in pantomime with animated italian narrative) and vomited repeatedly (is this the room I'm staying in? I think, a bit panicked) and someone is still in bed sleeping it off. Not sure WHY this is important, I take out the bablefish on my phone and type in "the room will be ready later?" and hit translate. She puts on her reading glasses, looks at the translation for a moment, and happily replies Si Si.
Then, she gathers up keys and motions for me to follow her. I'm not sure where the translation went wrong, or if she just couldn't read the screen on my phone, but I don't think she caught the gist. She brings me up one more flight of stairs, past a lounge with folks about my age speaking english and working on laptops, and pantomimes which keys go to which doors. My bedroom door has a skeleton key. No kidding.The room is fine, plain, no views to speak of.
I wash up a bit, gather my bag and head out. One of the couples is still in the lounge, so we chat for a bit (They have been here 5 days and are just NOW getting his luggage.) Then I head out to see a bit of town (all the sights are closed) and find food.
I had a short day in venice today, and that was just fine with me. The Labor Day holiday started, and the streets were PACKED. I mean ohmygod packed. I took a few shots of shoes (my Imelda page is in the works) but there were so many people streaming past, it was hard to get TO the windows. I wandered to St. Marks square to see how bad it would be there, and was SO glad I chose to see the venetian staples earlier rather than later! It was intense, hot, and filled with people who were lost or gawking, and ALWAYS in my way. I decided to tour a little of the south side of the island, and came across these gorgeous statues.