June 21, 2009 9:25A.M.
Yep, I'm in Venice eating breakfast at Hotel Ca'D'Oro. Amongst the comforts again. No stairs, hair dryers, grocery stores, no stairs, elevators, buses (well, vaporettos), no driving, and no stairs.
We ended up leaving Allison behind at the castle because it was 6:45. Time to leave the parking lot. It's a good thing we left then. Crazy trying to drive thru Florence with tons of one ways.
Drop Jim and Julie at the train station then struggle to get back to Avis. We arrive there about 7:45 and have to wait for them to open. Anxious moments of, "Will we make the train?" ensue. Get checked out, they never mention the dented bumper, and race to the stazione only to wait in another line for tickets. Get to the window and are told 2nd class is full. Have to pay extra but it was worth it to get to Venizia 3 hours earlier. The train pulls in and Gordon says I have 5 minutes to find cappuccino. Being driven by mad coffee cravings I do it and we board in time.
The 3 hour trip was uneventful except for the rain and Gordon finishing Angels and Demons. We drive across Golfe di Venizia and enter the watery city.
I have found where all the tourists are. They're at the Venice train station. This place is mobbed with people. Well, the five cruise ships in the harbor probably don't help. We make our way thru the crowds, up and over seven bridges, until 45 minutes later and one nice shopkeeper full of directions we find the hotel tucked in some obscure alley.
Since it was only noon they were nice enough to let us have our room. the canal view is there and it's okay. I didn't heaer the angels trumpet when I threw open the shutters though.
What happens next involves six hours of constant walking. From the Rialto Bridge to San Marco, to Accademia to Gritti Palace and back. My feet are kililng me from all the topsy turvy concrete blocks. Venice is HUGE!
Naps before dinner aren't unheard of on this vacation. We take the concierge's recommendation for dinner. I've been cold all day so we moved inside. Check two more things off my Italian To Do List: Risotto (with shrimp, yum!) and Tiramisu (Uck!).
Back to Rialto and San Marco. So glad we did because these two sights lit up were fantastic. Especially since Saint Mark's Square was FLOODED! I got some shots of folks splashing through the above-ankle deep water. Hotel then sleep.