January 27, 2008

Oh this day was off to a lovely start. We had to leave the hotel around 4am and walk through the lovely vaguely sketchy area to the bus station. A few blocks into we were pretty sure we were going the right way but someone wanted to stop and look at the map. I had firmly stated before we left the hotel that there would no map checking on the sketchy street. It was just not happening. So um. yeah, I may have slightly freaked when he said we should check the map. What part of no map checking did he not get? And what part of me saving for days that I didn't feel safe in that area did he not get? Well, he's a guy. He just didn't get it. So I blew up at him, we kept walking, found where we needed to go and then later in the day I apologized. (I still don't think he totally gets it mind you.)

But we found our bus and took it to an aiport in the middle of nowhere where we got on a plane to take another plane to the middle of nowhere and then a bus to Venice. We got to Venice early in the morning.

Venice was totally different from any other city we'd been in. You felt it instantly. It probably didn't hurt that public transit = boats. Or that we were greeted to sights like this.



After the breakdown in Rome that morning I was loving Venice. Even if it was cold.

It had cool art.



As you can see from where the sun was, it really was pretty early.



We were able to check into our hotel when we arrived, which was a totally unexpected bonus. Furthermore we *found* our hotel easily. It was just a block off of Piazza San Marco. Realllly easy to find, and nothing is ever really easy to find in Venice. We were supposed to get lost three times before we found anything. I was totally loving Venice.

We went exploring.



We got lost. Well, not really. We weren't really trying to get anywhere specifically. We were trying to move in a certain direction and somehow managed to go the opposite way.



This would happen a lot, but since Venice is rather small it wasn't a big deal.  We always found ourselves in some piazza or near some church.

We were quite happy to be there though.



And look! The bags under our eyes disappeared. Trust me, Lee's did too.

Did I mention that were in Venice during Carnaval? We were treated to characters like this coming out of alleys.



And then something happened that made Venice lose it's luster a bit. We went for lunch. We had been warned about two things in Venice - as tourists we would be charged more than locals (true) and the food was often not very good (very true). Sure, there are good restaurants in Venice but unfortunately they were really not in our budget. And we didn't want to go to the local bars and order snacks (guide book recommended) as well, we wanted meals. We didn't want to sit in bars. So we stopped for lunch as someplace right along one of the canals and had one of the worst. meals. ever. And it cost as much as good meals in Paris. When I say it was bad, it was bad. It was horrible.

The streets in Venice are neat...but narrow.



We mostly just wandered around Venice that day. In the evening the lights come on. It was purty.



When we went out to dinner that night we decided to pony up for a more expensive dinner. And it was quite good. Unfortunately they brought me the wrong main course (which I didn't send back) and the wrong dessert (which I did). At least cheap wine followed us to Venice. And this place had a lovely homemade limoncello. And I got a bit tipsy. But somehow our hotel in twisty-turny Venice was way easier for me to find than our hotel in Rome.