Colorfull And Crowded

May 11th 

We found a waterbus to the St.Mark’s stop since we knew our hotel was somewhat near there.  Boy was it crowded.  It was late morning and the crowds filled the waterways and st. mark’s square.  We tried to find our hotel, but got lost.  Store owners had no idea what hotel we were talking about.  Eventually though, we came across it, and it was right near where we had been.  I left lisa in the downstairs foye and walked upstairs to a tiny hotel reception/office that was filled with 3 people.  Their reservation system was a handy desk/notebook calendar and she was busy writing in pencil and erasing inforation.  It was a chaotic office with one young lady (our age or younger) taking our passports and writing down information, an older lady (60’s) scribbling in the calendar, and a gentleman (her husband?) grabbing the keys and getting directions from the lady.  It was 80 euro’s cash and she tried to explain that because we were paying cash and staying in the annex, that we were getting the cheapest deal.

orangecurtains_smThe gentleman took us to our room which was around the corner.  We were given a keychain with 4 keys on it:  the street-side door, the hallway door, the bedroom door and one to stick into the light socket to power the lights.  Our room was funky and colorful with bright burnt orange curtains on 3 windows that overlooked the street and would become noisy at night.  It was a cozy room and we didn’t see the landlord again.  It had a bidet, and this time I used it, but mainly as a refreshment from long days of walking and getting lost.

bolognaese_sm

We set out to walk around venice, and after about an hour, we came across a restraunt called Il Paradiso, and thus far, might rate as the best meal yet (though every meal is a slice of heaven).  We ordered a bottle of their own house wine, caprese, gnochi with bolagnese and pennecita with bolagnese.  Everything was perfect.  It was a cute, street-side cafe with lovely atmosphere.  I think I drink four glasses of wine to every one that Lisa drinks.  I was trying to get her to drink faster, cause I wasn’t able to slow myself down.  My new mantra:  Slow meals, slow living, fast drinking.

Venice is certainly a picturesque location.  Nothing like it exists in the world as far as I know.  Water that leads right up to buildings, with zero sand or gradual shore.  It’s truely breathtaking.  It is very colorful, and during the day, very crowded.  It is full of people and personality.

davidboxers_smWe came across a street vendor, and I bought a pair of joke boxers for Cameron–the statue of David’s genital area.

We jumped on a gondola ride that ended up being a much shorter trip than promised, so it wasn’t really worth the cost of the 80 euros.  However, it was really pleasurable thing to do, and was the first time I ever rode a gondola.  I found myself during this entire trip to Venice remarking that it must have been crazy back in the day when there was much less canal traffic, and more just gondolas.  Now, the canal is crazy busy between water buses, water taxi’s, gondola  boats, and private personal boats.  Our gondola ride took us thru some back waterways and was very pleasant.  However, when we exited the boat, I left the blue bag with Cam’s boxers.  Sucks.

We started walking some more, and eventually we found ourselves to have traversed most of the main island and was far from where we thought we were.  That is something you should be aware of if you ever come to Venice.  You will get lost.  There is no doubt about that.  Every street is a winding narrow street, with no views of landmarks, and they lead you from one square to the next, to a bridge, to another.  However, during our few hour trek, we happened to find ourselves again back near where we caught our gondola ride.  A few askings around, showing the picture of our gondalier to other gondaliers, and we eventually came across our lost blue bag.  So good for Cam, even though, they probably won’t fit anyway.

We found ourselves back to our hotel approximately 5:30 pm and was perfect timing for a siesta.  Our legs were beat from all the walking we have been doing, all the exploring we have accomplished while being lost.

gondola_sm

Slept for a few hours, and then forced ourselves up around 8:30 pm. Went out towards St. Mark’s square (1 block away really), and it was dusk.  It stays light late here, usually till about 9:30.  There were many cafe’s and restraunts that have chairs out in the middle of the square, and serve food, and have live bands playing contemporary favorite songs.  We sat at one that included a violinist, a clarinet, fluetist (jazz flute?), an accordian, a standing bass, and a pianist.  Shared a caprese pomodoro panini and a 12 euro bottle of coke.  Although it may have been a tourist trap of a place (high prices, cover charge etc), the atmosphere, the scenery, the music, the company, were all worth it.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5hOefbno8M

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This Week I'm Thinking About: Jonathan Wilt