We were away from Brescia very promptly, all paid and on the road by 10.00, heading on the autostrada to Venice. The car park at Piazza Roma in Venice was already paid for, so we went straight in and were told to go to level 7. Gulp! The Opel is not a car you would choose to drive between winding car park levels and the only good thing about it was that we weren’t at level 8. We got ourselves parked up, unpacked all our luggage and baulked at the prospect of transferring it to the hotel. Last year when we came to Venice we just brought luggage for our three day stay in Venice, this time we had all our luggage for an 18 day holiday! Also due to the Opel having less than perfect boot space, we use holdalls, rucksacks and messenger bags, rather than suitcases. We just had one small wheeled case that sat behind whichever seat Peanut was sitting in, in the Opel. This was going to be a bit of hard work.
P had one bag over either shoulder, a small wheeled case and a small bag to carry and I had another bag over one shoulder and a big bag to carry. So when the lift eventually came and there was a family with a buggy in it already, presumably from level 8 we had to decline and wait for it to come back! Once out of the multi storey we trundled across the Piazza Roma to the waterbus stop, quickly found out which waterbus to catch and bought our tickets.
It was only a couple of minutes before it came and we were treated to a cruise down the Grand Canal to the San Marco stop that we needed. It was a bit of a walk to our hotel, last year our hotel was right in front of us as we got off the waterbus, but this time it was a good 500 yards away on the other side of St Mark’s Square. We made it ok but I won’t deny it was 500 yards of heavy lugging – well so P said anyway!
We quickly unpacked and began to reclaim the wonders of Venice and it was like meeting an old friend. Lunch beckoned so we meandered up the small alley from our hotel and soon found a pleasant restaurant. We chose a prawn cocktail for starters with spaghetti carbonara and pizza to share for our main course. We started talking to an American couple on the next table to us who were in Venice for one day before beginning an Adriatic cruise going to Athens and Istanbul and back. He worked for the US Government in Washington so God only knows what he does, he must be a spy we decided. Still, good company during our lunch.
After a brief exhibition of Italian stress, as the owner of the restaurant had a row with some chap who apparently repeatedly takes a short cut through his restaurant with his dog and feeds him leftovers he finds on the way through, we bumbled on in no particular direction. I had felt sorry for this poor chap as I recognised a fellow stress-head and felt his pain, so I went out of my way to tell him how much we had enjoyed our meal at his restaurant and this seemed to put the smile back on his face.
As we meandered through the narrow streets, I bought P a Murano glass pendant just because it caught my eye – it was in a vivid green and a perfect match for a gorgeous green dress, I know P had brought on the trip as I had watched her lug it across St Mark’s Square to our hotel! To ease our aching feet, we stopped for a drink and grabbed a bit of free WiFi before heading back to our hotel. As our lunch had been very late we realised we wouldn’t be needing much in the way of dinner. So we passed the time in our room, brave P washed our dirty undies, while I caught up on a Midsomer Murders episode dubbed into Italian, quaintly called Inspetore Barnaby (well we watch Inspector Montalbano so why not). So our first evening in Venice was quite like home really.
However, we did make the effort to go out and have a spritz and a hotdog, which was all we needed. The nice thing about Venice is that you can mooch about for hours doing nothing because it is beautiful around every corner, but Venice by night is also a wonderful place and is lit up just where it should be, and with the music in St Marks Square to fill your head it is all perfect. Even the sight of some dodgy bag sellers scampering from the cops with their armfuls of fake Gucci bags just made us smile. To be serious for a minute, while on this trip I am also taking my chemotherapy tablets, three after breakfast and three after my evening meal. On this holiday then I seem to be washing my chemo tablets down with a spritz every evening! No one has ever said I can’t take them with a drink consisting of Campari and prossecco! However, in this swish bar we had ended up in off St Mark’s Square, I had left the tablets on the table for a while, because I was chatting to an English couple behind me, who were enjoying a Bellini and a piña colada, and I was being nosey about what they were drinking. Peanut told me the barman was disturbed by my tablets on the table – clearly we looked like a pair of merry pill poppers – so I necked them down quickly to get them out of his sight!
My eyes not quite level, we crawled back to our hotel at the other end of St Mark’s Square. Yep it’s easy settling in to the life in Venice. Goodnight x.