Monday, July 05, 2010

Day 20: Venice

The goal was to do Venice for under $200.  This was accomplished and it catalyzed a lot of great stories along the way.  The most practical transit from Naples to Venice was an overnight train.  Upon embarking the train we made the discovery that the air conditioning wasn't working/didn't exist.  It was very hot and very humid.  Luckily this improved a bit with an open window when the train was moving.  The four seats I previously booked were in a compartment of six.  We were kind of hoping that the other two wouldn't be occupied and for the first few hours this was the case.  I took as many Benadryl as was probably safe and settled in for the ride.  Despite the four of us essentially sleeping on top of each other, it wasn't that horrible.  I was able to get an hour or so at a time but people coming in and out between random stops for the two remaining seats got a little unpleasant.  We tried to have at least one us awake at all times for security issues but our fellow riders weren't as sketchy as I expected and most were pretty friendly.  We eventually arrived about 5:30am and took a bus into town.  This whole overnight train deal was one of those experiences I'm definitely glad I did (it's pretty funny looking back, I would love to get a picture of us sprawled out among each other and the disgusting train compartment) but will probably try to avoid in the future.


Venice is such a unique city, I glad I got a chance to see it again.  We arrived in town about 6:00am and it was essentially dead.  All my previous images of Venice have been filled with people and activity so it was a little weird walking around the empty corridors and seeing only a handful of boats out.  We dropped off our bags at hotel (another stellar deal) walked to St. Mark's Square and the surrounding area while it was still early.  We stopped in a neat little cafe to get a breakfast of croissants and coffee before finding gondolier willing to take four cheap college kids.  We talked down the price a bit and did the necessary ride throughout the Grand Canal and some smaller back canals.  After this we walked around the Rialto Bridge and the girls did some shopping in the nearby shops while Daniel and I took pictures of other strange looking tourists.  After lunch we did the inside of St. Marks (love the gold mosaics) and took another good long walk.


We then checked into the hotel for a much needed nap before heading out to dinner.  After dinner a pretty strong thunderstorm hit which forced us to stay close to hotel.  We did, however, brave the rain for some gelato before turning in.  We got a pretty amazing deal with the hotel.  I don't know how it happened but it was right in town (next to St. Mark's) and we actually had four separate beds in a relatively decent sized room for under $100.  Now the beds weren't the most comfortable but they beat the train seats.  We turned in a bit early because the next morning required a 4:30am start to catch our plane.  That's all for now, I have a midterm tomorrow and should probably study a bit.

1 comment:

Stutelberg Family said...

WOW- it is hard to believe you have been gone for 20 days! Is time flying by? Glad you had a good and safe Venice trip. Good luck on your midterm, which you have probably already taken!!