Venice, never a bad place to be

We slept really well last night. It may have had to do with the wooden shutters over the bedroom windows that blocked all the light, and then the jet lag factor. We were slow getting going today, but that was fine with both of us.

Our first project was picking up our vaporetto (water bus) pass. We decided to get a 7 day pass and bought it on-line, only to realize that it is the same price in person at a vending machine. It really doesn’t matter, but it saves a lot if we end up using the boats more than 8 times in 7 days. We may, or not, but it gives me the feeling of freedom to take the boat whenever I feel like it.

On the way to get the passes, we realized that we had left the print-out in the apartment, so Bill, the faster walker, went back to get it while I stayed , sort of, in the last place we stopped. I ended up returning to Campo Santa Margarhita, where there are benches and some shade and where I met two lovely older men. I sat down on the bench next to them, nodding hello. After a little while the man closest to me said that he and his friend were talking about what they liked to eat. He preferred fish and his friend ate only meat. They were both quite tall, 6’or so, and it turned out that they were both basketball players in their youth, for the Milan professional team.

One man, in a white shirt, said good by and headed out of the square,while the other man,in an orange shirt, continued to chat. His friend had to go home to lunch, his wife was expecting him, he said. The man in the orange shirt didn’t mention a wife, so I suspect he was widowed or perhaps divorced. He told me, with great enthusiasm about how he had gotten to know Bill Bradley in Milan. When Bradley was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, he would come to Milan on weekends to play basketball with the team! This man from Venice played until he was 30 , then became a high school physical education teacher in Venice. He followed Bradley’s political career and knew that he had been a US Senator. He really was lovely to talk with and I may run into him again, I do hope so.

Our next leg of the day’s journey was to find a COOP store and see about buying a SIM card for my phone. I had been told that the offered the best deal. We went to two of them, no luck. Then we stopped at a tobacconist who told us that only the phone companies sell them now. Oh well, we will tackle that later.

We stopped for lunch at a trattoria near San Polo church, sitting outside, drinking lots of cool water. While there were lots of tourists, at least some of them were speaking Italian, so it didn’t feel too familiar! Venice has so so many American tourists, also Russian and everyone else. Still, in some places farther from the Rialto-San Marco area one can feel the sense of life here. Everyone is walking, all the time,everywhere. There is no alternative. You can’t hail a taxi if you don’t feel up to the subway, like in NY. Of course, being San Franciscans, we are aware of the lack of hills! Still there are bridges to climb up and down if you want to go anywhere except a tiny area. I’m amazed at the older folks, carrying their bags of groceries and doing what they have always done- walking.

We took our first vaporetto ride and headed for a nap. Call it jet lag, call it hot weather, I was weary. Lying on the bed, with the window open I dozed to the sounds of a symphony being played at rather high volume from a house across the canal. The occasional boat started up, a gondola or two passed by with laughing tourists , and I heard it all,but nothing was annoying. I drifted sleepily along. Venice is a dreamy place.

Dinner was at a wonderful, very Venetian, restaurant about a 5 minute walk from our apartment. My Brooklyn friends,Steve and Julie, recommended it from their May visit here. We loved the food, the atmosphere, the staff, the other diners! There was a bachelorette party outside,on the bridge.  We were seated at the end of a long table and a family of 5 sat next to us. Lovely kids, beautiful and nice parents.

We walked another 10 minutes to the Zattere, the long wide sidewalk that follows the huge Guidecca canal. My goal was the Gelateria Nico, where we ordered a couple of ice cream treats ( affogato for me- decaf espresso over vanilla gelato, heaven!) and something with some fruit and ice cream for Bill. We sat at a small table facing the water and watched the parade of dozens of watercraft passing before us. From a huge cruise ship (totally out of scale with Venice, awful to see) to tugboats, car ferries, vapretti, to speedy bouncy small boats, some taxis some private transport. Nothing better in my experience!

Walking back took just 10 minutes or so over a couple of bridges, along a canal, through a narrow passage to our front door. Lovely first full day in Venice.

My desire to post photos is at odds with the Internet in the apartment. I need to be able to connect to transfer images from the camera to the iPad, and so far it refuses to cooperate. When I can, I will. In the meantime I hope to put some photos on Facebook which I can do easily from the phone. I prefer the images from my camera,so I don’t know how I will resolve this. Stay tuned!

Arrivederci!

Karen

PS. Bill also has a blog on WordPress: Billtravels.wordpress.com. You can follow him,too. We write about different things naturally, so it’s kind of like a stereo experience to read us both!

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Published in: on September 4, 2016 at 8:09 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I’m enjoying reading this. Thanks for posting Karen!


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