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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 45.4345, 12.3384
On our final day in Vienna, which reached a high of 99 degrees, we decided to take in the Third Man Museum, which was indoors. We arrived a little bit early and took in the Nachstmarket as we waited for the museum to open. It was full of fresh produce, fish, meats, and octopi. Walking alongside, Jake
was hit by a tomato bomb that someone had decided to discard by throwing it over the back of their stall onto the street. Or, perhaps it was another case of facial profiling. We'll never know.
The Third Man Museum was a collection of film and historical artifacts related to the post WWII period in Viennese history. The two guides we met were especially enthusiastic about the collection, which is only open to visitors on Saturdays. The film, starring Orson Welles, was an international hit in 1948 and also recently voted "Best British Movie Ever." We were hoping to see the film first, but the timing wasn't right. Spending the day indoors was.
We went back to our hotel where we had paid extra for a 6pm check out to rest in advance of our first-class overnight train ride to Venice. After a hearty meal, we boarded train 237. It was really something. We had purchased tickets with the expectation of having ensuite bath and shower, air conditioning, and a dining car. What we got was a sauna wagon, two-bunk little cabins with a sink, no air conditioning, and no dining car. Did we mention already that it was 99 degrees and humid? For the next 12 hours we rocked and sweated our way through the Alps, got in a little sleep, and were glad to say goodbye. Venice at 8:30 am was also something like a sauna, but it was a lot more beautiful than our 40 square foot double bunk cells. The ride from the train station to our hotel on a vaporetto (canal taxi) was a nice one and a good way to start a new day in a new place. It was like entering a different world. Barb and Rich, seeing it for the first time, were really impressed.
We stopped for coffee and tea in Piazza San Marco, the iconic focal point of Venice. We had some time to kill, so sitting in the shade and listening to live classical music seemed like a perfect way to start our day at the very elegant Cafe Florian. Our waiter, despite the heat, was bedecked in a white tuxedo and our beverages were served, literally, on a silver platter. An hour later we met our landlord Roberto at Cafe Americano and were whisked off into the labyrinthine Venetian interior. Our apartment offered two portable air conditioning units for the price of 7 Euros. It was a no brainer. They are running now. It is still hot. With our three oscillating fans and the laundry machine, we only the breaker once.
After getting our bearings, we sought out a grocery store to stock up for our self-catered breakfasts for the next three days. When we finally found the store, it was closed, but we were able to take in the Rialto bridge and area. Again, it was really hot. Back home for a bit, but undeterred, our Rick Steves book and google maps led us to our goal. Rich and Jake set out on a shopping trip that, despite low expectations, turned out quite well. We plan on hearty breakfasts for the next three days.
Heading out to dinner, as we crossed a canal bridge, we were taken aback by the smells of really good cooking. On a whim, we turned back, and found ourselves on our own block and having a wonderful dinner at Animabella. We all went with the spinach and ricotta tortellini and caprese salad. Both were winning choices and we recommend this little gem with 5 tables to anyone.
To wrap up the night, we boarded a vaporetto along the Grand Canal for a self-guided tour. Thank you, Rick Steves. Hot, full, and fulfilled, we have now returned to the comforts of our apartment.
p.s. Do not book the 237 train from Vienna to Venice. Ever.
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