We’re on the last leg of our vacation – off to Venice today. The trains run every hour and since I didn’t bring our train tickets, we had to purchase them when we got to the station. I thought about getting them yesterday when we arrived, but I didn’t want to set the departure schedule should we decide to take our time departing. We ended up getting to the train station around 10am and tried to purchase tickets for the 10:30 train. No tickets. Ok machine, how about 11:30? No. 12:30? No. Please?? NO! Hmm. Looks like 1:30 is available and even though we’re using the English section, it doesn’t translate everything. We wanted to go first class this time for a change, but it didn’t show that option (well, at least not in English). We got in line at the ticket booth to see if there were any first class tickets and there were but not until the 1:30 train. So now we have three hours to kill in the train station. Good time for me to do yesterday’s blog and up to now. I might even work on my school assignment, which I haven’t touched since we left Vancouver. Eek.
We arrived in Venice and found the Westin Europa & Regina, which is close to San Marco port via the public transit Vaporetto. We dropped off our bags and went to explore. We hit Piazza San Marco which was full of over-priced restaurants that charge a 6 Euro cover just to sit there and have a drink – the cost of the drink is extra, of course. No thanks. Mind you, for the 6 Euros, there is a three piece orchestra playing. Not sure if three pieces counts as an orchestra, but we’ll go with that for lack of a better term. Kelly was now searching for gelato and Rick Steeves recommends a place called La Boutique del Gelato but as the street name wasn’t even on the map, I used my OnStar spidey senses and said definitively, let’s walk towards the Rialto. Well, it turned out to be a good guess and I happened to look up just as we were beside the gelato place. See the nice things I do for my husband? I keep him happy with gelato. I had green apple, with real apple chunks and berry. Kelly had vanilla with chocolate and crème (yes, again). Not bad – and actually a good price. 2 Euro for the small cup with two scoops. We’ve been paying 3 Euro everywhere else. Now on to the Rialto bridge. Not sure what the big fuss is about this other than the view of the canal. We carried on and walked around awhile until we were hungry for dinner. We stopped at a restaurant that wasn’t going to break the bank, Osteria ai Tosi, but after we sat down, saw that not only was there a cover charge of 2,50 Euro but also a 12% service charge. Buggers. Very authentic Venetian restaurant with Bangladesh owners – well ok, maybe not very authentic. Can you say tourist trap? When we left and walked just around the corner, we found all the smoking/drinking locals at the next restaurant. Darn. Oh well, tomorrow night we’ll do better.