Published: April 6th 2010April 3rd 2010
We checked out of the Naples hotel at 8:15, short walk to the station for our train that left at 8:50. We had a 45 minute layover in Rome, then a 4 hour train ride to Venice. It was all problem free and we took naps and played cards, but I was still feeling a bit travel fatigued. We got out of the train, walked out of the station, and right there is the Canal Grande! That immediately banished the travel fatigue, and I said to Kimberly - “Look! We are in Venice!” She looked at me like, yeah, duh. But smiled oblgingly.
We had directions to the hotel that involved crossing four bridges and following a “straight” road that was anything but straight, full of tourists, and changed names three times. Miraculously, we made it without getting lost. We were very happy to see the yellow sign that said HOSTEL. Unfortunately, check in was not for another 1.5 hours and there was no where to leave our luggage. Venice was calling us, and there is no way to explore with luggage! We put all electronics, passports, wallets, etc in our backpacks and hid our luggage amid the bushes in the courtyard (Kimmy's idea ...”I am really good at hiding things” -- and really, you couldn't see them!)
We walked Venice's version of a block, and there was a pizzeria displaying takeaway slices, and Kimberly said “That looks like pizza I would like!” She took one bite and her face said heaven. She ate a few more bites then said, with emphasis, “THIS is the best pizza in the world!” I was quite relieved, as we were almost out of the food we brought with us from the US! She ate two giant slices. We then went back to the hostel courtyard to get jackets. Much cooler here than Naples or even Rome. Luggage was fine, so we went back out exploring. This time we found a Traghetti - the poor man's gondola ride. Half a Euro to go across the Canal Grande. It was fun, albeit short. We got off where they were just finishing cleanup from a fish market (made abundantly clear by the unpleasant odor) so we walked quickly past.
In a few minutes we found ourselves in a picture perfect canal lined square which just happened to have a gelato stand. Got cones and relaxed in the sun. Finished up and walked back to the traghetti for a ride back to the oither side. Walked back to the hostel, just at the right time, checked in at 5:05. Luggage all safe and sound.
Our room is great. This hostel is part of a Catholic university and the room is very dorm like, but it is perfectly serviceable, very clean, and it is just the two of us. We share a bathroom, but it is right across the hall, and so far have never had to wait. Best part is that we got the one and only room with a window to the canal! Definitely did not expect that! $50 a night for a canal view room in Venice, quite a bargain!
Kimmy wanted more pizza but was tired, so I went out while she unpacked. I found a cash machine, and tried to stop at a grocery store. However, it was the night before Easter, and in Italy that is apparently analogous to the Wednesday before Tgiving! I ended up putting my items back and abandoning that mission. Went to the same pizza place, got some pizza, soda, and beer, and headed back to the room.
Kimmy and I ate pizza and played some games. Between the train rides and our room, in that one day, we played:
Phew, I may be gamed out.