As we left our apartment on an overcast morning, the rain had already begun. It rained the entire day; not a little shower here and there but a constant rain with occasional downpours. Not once did any of us complain about the weather! Not once did anyone even THINK of staying indoors that day. I have to be honest, this may have been my favorite day in Venice. Yes, we were soaked by the end of the day and Yes, we were cold by the time we finally stopped for dinner but it was such an enjoyable day!
We realized very quickly that 9:30 a.m. is early in Venice as the shops were just opening and we were one of the few people out and about. After walking in the rain for a while we found a quaint little outside area to have our first cappuccino. Thankfully there was a canopy so we could escape the rain for the moment. On one side of us was the Grand Canal with it's centuries old buildings of patriarchal Venice families and on the other side of us were both the travelers and residents of Venice passing by as their day unfolded.
WELL...... You need to understand that all the streets look very similar as they zig zag around fading pastel buildings and all the street signs are in a language that we don't understand. And... there are hundreds (literally) of bridges that extend over hundreds (literally) of canals. All I have to say is thank goodness that both of our daughters have strong map reading skills and strong directional sense. :)
We didn't expect to get to the train station in 25 minutes because we made lots of stops to see the sights of Venice, but we did not expect it to take us 6 HOURS to find the train station! Yes, you read that correctly. 6 HOURS later we arrived at the train station and purchased our tickets to Florence. It was at the train station that I found the first public bathroom I had to pay to use. It cost 1 Euro !! (approximately $1.50) There were glass doors in front of the machine where you placed the euro and once the money was given the glass doors would slide apart and you walked into the bathroom area. When leaving the bathroom area the glass doors would slide open again and you could leave. I had never seen anything like that before.
Ok, now to find our way back to our apartment. Truthfully if it were up to me I could have never found my way back. At this point all I knew was we had walked to the other side of the island and we needed to walk in the opposite direction. Yet again, thank goodness for my kids. :)
|The map reading experts. :)|
Because of the rain there weren't as many gondolas traveling the canals but the sight of them along the dock was equally as beautiful. To say it was surreal to be in Venice Italy, a city that is literally built on the water, drinking a cappuccino and strolling along the cobblestone streets, is an understatement. There were numerous times I felt a bit giddy about it.Venice is a fascinating, mysterious, picturesque place with history of another time simply living in each and every weathered structure lining the narrow streets and canals. Pictures will never be able to capture what I saw with my eyes.
|We thought these streets had a "Harry Potter" feel to them. They made us think of the streets in Diagon Alley. ;)|