Arriving in Venice was effortless or so it seemed. Our luggage came off the ramp immediately and in one piece. Emily stood in line and bought bus tickets to the train station which was about a 10 minute ride from the airport. Riding the bus was what one might call interesting – I had a headache when we got off not from jet lag but rather the staccato burst of pidgin English and French from complaining and somewhat inebriated African restaurant workers. They really thought their boss was an idiot. Some of you may recognize that thought?
Off the bus we got, looking for hotel Piave (like the cheese). After dragging and carrying our luggage for several blocks we wondered if we were going the right direction as it had said only 200 metres. Now when you have packed for all seasons and occasions, 200 metres seems like miles. I saw a bike store and thought hmm good place to ask, but not wanting to look like a wimp (Emily was actually carry a back pack not pulling a suitcase) I said nothing. 1/2 block later, a nice young man (hah!) asked if he could help. Also somewhat under the influence he said he would show us, so after asking at the bar, rather than saying over there, he proceeded to lead us. Have I mentioned that he said something about having a neck brace and not being able to eat and needing a cigarette? What I did not understand in that conversation was that he thought we should buy him a pack for showing us a half block walk to the hotel not that he was going to take a smoke and walk us. We left him swearing and cursing (after refusing to give him 15 Euro for cigarettes) on the street as we ran inside. Lesson one fini.
Dinner hour was upon us so we decided to head into Venice proper and find a good meal. Back to the train station to buy tickets. Some couple graciously gave us free tickets that they had not used, but they were for the return trip rather than into Venice. To the machine we go, and as we are choosing our tickets in comes a hand that starts choosing the buttons for us before we can even read them. Lesson two – no one helps out of kindness. The hand also wanted a pack of cigarettes!
Arrival in Venice itself about 18:00 and really what a great event. Chaos, boats and people everywhere. We had time to quickly check out our car rental and then do some basic sightseeing. Remember the chef boyardee ravioli add which has the kid playing soccer in a piazza? Well we found just that and more including dance lessons.
The hour was getting on so experience told me to find dinner before we became crabby especially given that we had been on the go for more than 24 hours and frankly the airline food while better than many (KLM) was still not equal to a meal on the canal in Venice! Buon appetito.