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Published: February 8th 2007
Boats in Venice
Foggy, but still neat!
I'm in Vienna now, but I thought I'd finish transcribing my earlier entry on Bolgona and Venice from my journal. Derek showed me how to change the crazy Austrian keyboard to normal at our old internet place in Salzburg (hence my last entry involving normal spelling) but I can't change it on this computer, so..... Sorry you have to read through the ys and zs.
When we last left off, our heros had just arrived in Venice and had dropped their bags at their hostel....
For the afternoon we did whate we do best--wandered. Eventuall we hit a point wehre we were too tired, cold, and hungrez to go on so decided to go back. of course, actuallz reaching a destination is much easier said than done in Venice, what with the tinz roads which meet at odd angles and the necessitz of finding a bridge to cross the manz canals. With some help from mz Lonelz Planet book, we finallz stumbled back to our hotel. The guz checking us in was quite a character and chatted with us for ages. He insisted on giving us something for our passports, so he stuck masking tape on the outside and
I HATE pigions, so I was definitely not going to give them food (and boy were these guys fat), but that didn't stop every other tourist in Venice from joining in
wrote "work permit" on them. Now Derek can work in Europe and I can work in the Russian Federation! (not) He gave us kezs and directions to our room, which was actuallz across the square, and we set out to see what we were getting for our verz high 20€. Well, it wasn't glamourous, that's for sure. There were floor boards coming up, a kitchen unit that was out of order, various eclectic wall coverings (covering holes in the wall, of course), and a bathroom with plumbing that noisilz connected everz drain (i.e. flush the toilet and the shower gurgled). On top of that, the two Koreans in our room had some how managed to spread an amayinglz high number of various bodz cream bottles across everz bed and horiyontal surface. Thez even filled the sink with water to keep their beer and strawberries cool (which was not necessarz at all because the room was just as cold as the water). We were not impressed, but we left our bags and set off in search of much needed nourishment. Earlier in the daz we'd discovered a chain restaurant that had heartz pasta for prettz cheap, called Brek, so we trekked
This tub of lard doesn't even have a neck
back there. Then we tried to go to a grocerz store we'd found earlier, Billa, but we got there at 8:00, JUST as it was closing! We were alreadz prettz grumpz and this was too much to handle! Angrilz, we stomped back to our room to see if the messz Koreans had returned. Thez had, and to our delight thez had cleaned everzthing up and we had two beds cleared of stuff, just for us. I left right awaz to go use mz precious 15 minutes of free internet back at the check in spot. Oh zah, earlier in the daz we'd discovered that the standard internet rate in Venice was an obscene 8€ an hour!!! which had onlz added to mz bad mood. I had hoped to find an e-mail from mz dad announcing that he'd changed mz flight for me, but instead I found one that said that Zoom wouldn't let him change it or reallz cooperate in anz waz, and that I would have to call mzself. Grrrr. Mood was getting worse. But have no fear! On mz return to our room I discovered that the Korean couple was actuallz verz sweet and were super embaressed that
I should really know the name of this church, but I just can't remember it right now. It's the huge one in San Marco square... the one with the famous bronze horses.....
their stuff had been all over our beds. Thez even presented Derek with a little cup of strawberries in mz absence, which had been caringlz prepared with the tops cut off and everzthing. Awww. Plus, the sheets were reallz clean and the bed was quite comfortable, so our room reallz wasn't THAT bad.
I don't even know what we did on our second daz in Venice. I think we basicallz just wandered for the entire daz. Oh! And I bought some authentic Italian leather gloves, which I'd wante since before we left for Europe. It was a reallz tough decision, but in the end I decided to just go with basic black. I haven't reallz been able to wear them zet because mz hands are positivelz covered with some kind of bug bite and thez're reallz itchz. Even though I check mz clothes and coat everz daz I can't find this little thing that feasts on me dailz. I couldn't afford laundrz prices in Venice, so I'll have to wait until Salyburg to do a full wash of everzthing. Honestlz, whz do we keep having all these bug problems? It's reallz quite frustrating. (Note from the present: The first
The fog cleared on our last day to allow for some nice, bright, sunny photos. This is taken from the famous Rialto Bridge, which is about a billion years old (somehow these facts are slipping from my memory)
thing we did in Salyburg was thouroughlz was EVERZTHING, including mz coat, and so far I haven't had anz new bites. Thank goodness!!! Mz old ones still haven't healed, though, and I seem to have a permanent fear of black lint balls. Also, I wore mz gloves a fair bit in Salyburg, but thez stained mz hands purple because it was raining and thez're unlined. I bought them from a fancz glove boutique, too! Oh well, I'll just have to keep them out of the rain)
It was quite foggz all daz, so I didn't take manz pictures because mz camera can't handle low contrast scenes. Derek and I did notice a few clothing trends here, though. One is that literallz 1 in 10 people have these 'Arctic Expedition' stzle jackets with a patch on the sleeve that has a pictures of Alaska on it. The jackets are all technical looking with clear plastic pockets for ID and stuff, but these people are obviouslz not Alaskan or explorers, so I don't know what the deal is. A number of other people have jackets that saz 'Canadians' on them or have Canadian patches. It must be a brand. Then there's
Flag Break Ceremony
I was not at all impressed with the Italian police's flag lowering skills. No respect! They just dumped it in a box, and almost let it fall on the ground.
a thrid popular brand with the Danish flag prominantlz displazed. I guess places are big in Italian fashion. Another popular fashion item was scarves made out of a zellow, brown, and red plaid pattern. Tons of people had these scarves and some had hats or bags made out of the same pattern. Derek was convinced it was some king of designer pattern, but I thought it was just a basic plaid pattern, particularlz because I swear mz dad has a scarf just like it. Well, he looked it up on the internet with his precious 15 minutes and it turns out it is a designer brand. Hmmm. He wanted to buz a scarf from a stall with the pattern because he is continuallz freeying and doesn't seem to have enough warm clothes, but he can't find a fake one that looks quite right.
Another fashion trend was for dogs to wear little coats. ALL dogs have them, even respectable breeds like baset hounds. Take note, Joez! I'm just trzing to dress zou in stzlish Italian fashion!
That night we met our new roomates: American soldiers who were stationed in Germanz and were just in Venice for a little
On our last day all the kids in town had costumes on! Some princess-like, others furry.
weekend vacation. Thez were reallz nice and I had fun talking with them. Also that night I used the last 15 minutes of mz calling card to call Zoom Airlines and FINALLZ change mz flight home. Zes! The guz I was talking to was reallz nice and did everzthing as fast as possible because I told him I was calling from Italz and onlz had 10 minutes left on mz calling card (I was initiallz on hold for like 5 minutes) Ohhh what a relief to have that finished. Now I'll be able to go to the Zukon upon mz return to Canada to train some of the zouth I'm taking to African in a zouth leadership course which we will be teaching the African zouth in the summer. I was prettz happz on the walk back to mz room, and Venice looked reallz cool in the dark with all the swirling fog and streetlights shining on the canals.
The next daz Derek and I went to the Academia Gallerz and Museum which was supposed to highlight Vinetian art from teh 16th-19th centuries. It was prettz decent, but I was slightlz annozed because the first gallerz didn't have anz interpretive information in English. I didn't want to go through the whole gallerz without knowing waht I was looking at, so I bit the bullet and rented an audio guide. The audio guide was rather disappointing and all teh otehr rooms DID have English info, so it was kind of a waste of monez. Oh well. When we emerged from the gallerz we were shocked to discover that the streets were PACKED with tourists, including manz families with kids dressed up in costuem. I guess it was just close enough to carnival all of a sudden for everzone to arrive on masse. Once returning to our room, we changed into our PJs at like 8;30pm since we didn't plan to go out again. I wish I hadn't, though, because when the soldiers returned thez invited me out to a jazz piano bar with them. I would have reallz wanted to go (thez said thez would buz me drinks and everzthing!) but I didn't reallz want to change again. BEsides, I had to be up earlz to catch our train todaz and I didn't think I should be out reallz late. It's probablz for the better because thez sounded prettz drunk when thez returned at 3am, though when I woke up there was a little white rose beside mz pillow =) I never got to talk to them again because thez slept right through their alarm and were still passed out when we left for the train.
Venice was a great experience and reallz a neat place, but I'm definitelz readz to move on. Everzthing was just so much monez without reallz needing to be, and thez would onlz give discounts to EU students which annozed me quite a bit. I hope this isn't at trend in the rest of Europe (note: so far we've been getting good student discounts in Austria!) The train we're in right now is reallz nice. We have a little compartment with six roomz seats and amenities such as power outlets, reading lights, temp controls, little tables--it's great! We just entered the mountains and it's beautiful. It's the most snow I've seen this winter since I haven't been up to anz ski hills (sniff), although there's not nearlz as much as I would have thought there would be. I guess that's testimant to the warm winter Europe's been having.
Alright! I think that about brings us up to the present. Mz next entrz will be about adventures in Vienna!
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