Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Venice 1

I was in Venice, the first time, 5 years ago. Wow! Has it been that long? I was there with the girls during Easter this year, as part of our itinerary to Italy. The first trip, my sister and me stayed a night in a fancy hotel that faced the Grand Canal- very nice. This trip, we visited as a day trip from our base in Bologna. We went by train and it took 2 hours and with each stop we picked up more people going to Venice. It was standing room only on the train, we gave up our seats for some old German tourists. They were so happy that when we finally reached Venice train station they gave my 2 nieces 2 euros each. We still have a good laugh over this.
As usual, Venice is overrun by day trippers, those poor pigeons- they don't stand a chance, there were so many day trippers, it left no room for the pigeons. The girls were awed by Venice. Venice is always so special, it's like no other place in the world. Even with other water filled cities, they are still not like Venice. We could only afford the vaporetto ride from the train station to Piazza San Marco and back. I couldn't afford the gondola ride, I didn't even check the price. I had to be careful with money since I was paying for the whole trip for all 3 of us. It was still fun without the gondola ride, when they make their own money, they can always come back and ride the gondola around the waterways of Venice.
Spending a night in Venice during my first visit was very special. My sister and I couldn't afford to have evening drinks at the cafes that rim St Mark's square but we sat on the steps nearby and listened in on the dueling orchestras! There are always ways to spend less or nothing at all and experience as much pleasure.
Our room was 390 euros a night. I left looking for a room in Venice till too late, the cheap rooms were all full. I couldn't get a room except for this incredibly expensive and terrific room in this fancy hotel. It was their last room and most expensive one because it faced the Grand Canal, (except for the penthouse which was taken). Paying 390 euros for a room 5 years ago was like paying for a presidential suite, well, not quite but almost, for me anyway. I don't remember what it was like waking up in Venice. I remember Venice, at the end of May, was oppressively hot. We stayed in our hotel room which had air conditioning. My sister had hot flashes most of the time and she wasn't tolerating the heat very well. She was miserable.
Venice, in March, was much cooler albeit crowded, it being Spring break. Crowds or none, Venice is still a very special place.

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