This morning started off like every other morning, light haze but the sun was going to shine later in the morning. This was going to be a fun day as we had planned to go into Venice by train today. Just after 9:00AM Danna was doing her hair and I was reading the newspaper. Then things got exciting, first there was a rumble like when a train goes by, then the windows started to rattle and the keys in the door were swinging back and forth. At this point we were looking at each other and I said "EARTHQUAKE"! Our apartment felt like it was on a ship with all the rocking. After about a minute everything stopped moving. It seemed as if it lasted a lot longer. I walked down the stairs and to the front of our building. Lots of people outside looking around but there was no damage that I could see. Spoke to a woman outside, she had just entered the building and was ready to get into the elevator when the quake struck. As she put it the stairs are a better option today. Car alarms were going off but the fellow picking up his dry cleaning did not look at all concerned. Since there were no further aftershocks we headed to the train station for the 40 minute ride to Venice. Total cost return for the two of us was € 11.50 or $15.00 Cdn.
We arrived at Venice's rail station Santa Lucia to a throngs of people milling about. Looking for their hotels, how to get to Piazza San Marco and of course the gelato.
When we in Venice a few years ago we were told that a new bridge was going to be built over the Grande Canal. Seems as everything was going well until the prefabricated bridge was being lifted into place, they say the bridge was too short....back to the drawing board. This may just be a Venetian story but who knows.
On our way to Piazza St. Marco we came across a shop that magically Danna was attracted to, you guessed it, a fabric store. The only way to get her out of there was to bribe her by saying I would buy her a gelato. Even when she is thousands of miles away from home she still needs her fabric fix.
Rialto Market was our next stop. The vegetable market was shutting down for the day but what was left looked very fresh. It was hard to get across the Rialto Bridge with all the people trying to take pictures of the gondolas and each other.
Piazza San Marco was full of tourists, lots of them on guided tours from the cruise ships that were in port. Sun was shinning and since my little friend had left her hat at the apartment we had to get her one before she cooked her brain. Not too bad only €10.00 for the hat including installation.
Now we have 4 pictures of ourselves with the same background. The only difference is this picture must be over exposed as my hair is lighter (greyer) than in the pictures from 30 years ago.
Continued on to the Eastern part of Venice and went to the park. Tourists do come here but most of them would rather be running around the tourist traps. The park is cool and quiet so it is the best place to recharge your batteries. The fellow in this picture was very relaxed.
On our way back to the train station we see a huge traffic jam, well actually it was a gondola jam. All the tourists happened to arrive at the same time for their rides resulting in all the gondolas being booked for the standard tour.
The ride home was uneventful, seven stops down the line and we were home. It is just a five minute walk to our apartment. Then picked up a few things for dinner. This kitchen is a bit smaller than ours and is lacking a microwave, toaster and BBQ but the dinner was still good. No Prosseco tonight!
Last week the giro d'italia bike race went through Treviso, little did I know I would see history in the making. The winner was CANADIAN and from Victoria. This is the first time a Canadian has won this race. All around town the store windows were decorated with pink balloons and pink ribbons.
Alessandra, the property manager took us to her office to sign the rental contract and then off to the bank so we could exchange our Euro travelers cheques to pay our rent. American Express says you can cash them anywhere in the world with no problems and now we can add "except Italy". We thought this would be simple but it took 90 minutes to finally get our cash. Due to current government regulations to reduce income tax evasion the paperwork the bank is required to do is unbelievable. If Alessandra had not been there I am sure we would have left after many hours and still not had any cash. To others traveling to Europe take cash or Canadian Tire dollars instead of travelers cheques.
The telephone company is going to instal phone and Internet on June 6th. Finally we will have not have to go to the hotel and hook up to their system.
Danna watched a couple of old C.S.I. shows on TV tonight as they were n English.
This is one of the rivers going through the historic area just down the street from our apartment.
At 21:30 we thought it would be a good idea to go out for a walk and reward ourselves with a gelato. I think they put something in the gelato to make it habit forming.
Here is a picture of our favorite gelato shop. Their prices are higher but well worth it!