Published: August 21st 2006June 24th 2006
Arriving in Venice from Mestre
Our little ferry boat took us through the middle of the mooring area for a number of huge ocean-going cruise ships then past the backside of Venice. Finally we rounded a bend in a rather run-down section of the city and saw the Venice we tourists were supposed to see. Using the Disney World analogy again this was like being behind all the false facades on Main Street USA then suddenly emerging on to the phoney, touristy little world of gift shops and rides.
I think this photo gives an idea of just how choppy the water was on our little cruise.
Usually the first night spent in Europe leaves me all screwed-up because of jetlag. But this night I slept like a rock. Having my own single room while Gail and her Mom occupied a double meant I got many full nights of sleep on this vacation. Jurgen kept us pretty busy the day before so I was exhausted when 10:30 rolled around.
We "slept-in" until 8:00 then headed for breakfast at 8:30. Jim was already in the breakfast room serving coffee and gabbing with the waitress when I showed-up. Back home I don't eat much of a breakfast. Usually a couple vitamins and a muffin see me through until lunch. But when I'm in Europe I get very caught-up in the breakfast culture of Germany and Austria where huge breakfasts of rolls, cheese, meat, eggs and hot cereal are usually offered.
Unfortunately I'm not as impressed by the breakfasts in France, Spain and Italy. The breakfast at the Oasi is typical - a couple choices of cold cereal, bland (by European standards) bread, apples, marmalades that look disgusting and watered down orange juice. I settled for a slice of bread and butter washed-down by orange scented water.
A quiet Sunday Morning in Venice
This view of Venice would change dramatically in a few hours when all the tourists would start showing up.
Once our boat landed we headed toward Piazza San Marco.
we are returning back to the Oasi after our visit to Venice we don't have to lug our suitcases out to the bus. As a portend of many good days to come, everyone shows up on time. And even better, all the kids head for the back of the bus and leave us adults with the front seats.
This will be our fourth one day visit to Venice in the last 5 years. I know Venice lovers would tell me that we're missing so much not spending the night in town but the place doesn't thrill me enough to want to come back and spend more time. I've found too many places elsewhere that I would prefer to revisit. But as long as I am on a tour that visits a bunch of other places I really
like then I can put up with a day in Venice. In my opinion it's on par with Disney World - it's a rather entertaining but artificially created tourist spot. It isn't the real
When we've stayed in Lido de Jesolo we took a bus ride to the other end of the island to catch our boat to Venice. We
Entrance to Piazza San Marco
This is the area where pirates and traitors were hanged. In the recent movie, Cassanova, this is where Heath Ledger escapes the Inquisitor.
came into Venice from the East. Our first view of the city was usually right where our boat landed - just a bridge or two from St. Mark's Square.
This time we were staying North of Venice. It took us about 45 minutes to get to our boat in Mestre. Before we could park the bus Salvatore had to stop at a kiosk and pay a couple hundred Euros for parking privileges. This practice is common throughout Italy. Ostensibly this is to control the amount of pollution the buses spew into the old Italian cities but it's also a huge moneymaker for the local government.
By ten o’clock we were parked and ready to head on to our boat that would ferry us into Venice. Walking on the docks toward our boat I was grossed-out by the rotting smell everywhere and the tons of trash bobbing in the surf. I had often heard people comment on how filthy Venice was but on my previous visits I hadn’t seen much garbage at all. The tides must push all of Venice’s refuse to Mestre.
There are more photos below