This Godless Endeavor (lilitaly) wrote,
This Godless Endeavor

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Venice 1

Okay, I have absolutely nothing to do tonight, so it's a good a time as any to maybe throw some pix of Venice up here. Others to follow when I get the chance.

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- Let me start by saying that Trans-Atlantic Flights are a case AGAINST having children. Everytime I go anywhere, I kick myself for not bringing earplugs. There were brats on the flights to and from Italy. They would NOT shut the fuck up and their parents weren't doing much about it. I've decided that I don't believe in turbulence. I think the pilots are under the impression that we're all a little too comfy in our mortality, so they shake the controls a bit to teach us an important lesson about life. It's very noble of them.

- We arrived in Venice without issue. The airport has regular busses that run to the one place cars are allowed on Venice: Piazzale Roma, a parking lot and drop-off point for people coming in from the mainland. Because Venice has no roads, this is as far as autos can go. We hoofed it to our Hotel near the Guglie Canal in Cannaregio, Venice's Northmost district.

Bridge over the Guglie Canal
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View from Bridge over the Guglie
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- Our Hotel was fine despite mixed reviews. Usually, when I travel I go to hostels and end up sleeping in a room with a bunch of strangers. Really, our own bathroom was enough to satisfy me. But it was strange that they pushed together 2 small beds to accommodate us. The shower had a nylon cable hanging from the wall. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was for. I tugged on it about 3 times and then the phone rang. The front desk thought I had fallen or hurt myself. So it was an alarm of sorts, which I thought was pretty nifty. And sorry, I will never get used to a hand-held shower head when there's no curtain or cabin. Someone from Austria left their keys in the nightstand. No Gideon Bible though. The bells at a neighboring church would go crazy at 7:00am. I can't say I minded though. A farmers' market took place right outside our window every morning. Our windows and shutters (Completely old school! All thick wood, old joints and painted green) were good enough at keeping it to a low rumble. They roasted chestnuts almost daily. It was near impossible to resist. I was bummed when they stopped doing it about 4 or 5 days into our stay.

- The following are a number of places in our neighborhood that we passed by daily.

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- View from the Train Station. Outside and to the left of the shot, there was a glass case enclosing a curious statue of Mary holding Jesus in her lap, which was draped with an American flag. It spoke volumes.

Gli Scalzi
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- As seen from the Ponte Scalzi, one of Venice's three major bridges.

San Geremia
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San Geremia Detail
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- Venice, as you can imagine, is a fairy-tale place. You can spend days wandering around and just looking. It is also tourist hell. The native population has dropped drastically over decades as tourists overrun the city and the cost of living is high. You could throw a brick and hit either a glass or mask shop just about anywhere you went. So it was a bit of a bummer to know that you can't really get a feel for authentic life in Venice when the day-to-day is largely catering to foreigners. In a way I felt like I was part of the problem. I attempted my pitiful Italian, but was answered only in English. I wasn't even encouraged to give it a shot. Ah well. I started to wonder if the reason I like to travel is so I can be nice to other people. Here I'm a dick.

- I might end up talking about food a lot. Let's start by saying I had prosciutto and gelato every day. How can you resist? Prosciutto, though readily availble to me now, was something of a novelty to me growing up (along with cannoli). So whenever I have it, it's damn near a delicacy as far as I'm concerned. That first night I had gnocchi in a rabbit ragout. Soooooo good. I was surprised to hear "Please, please, please let me get what I want" in the restaurant. The chef was completely bald except for a little triangular sideburn on one side. It was kinda funny.

- Here are some random shots from the first day. It was overcast just about every day.

Rio Terra Farsetti(?)
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Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelist
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Along Rio della Misericordia
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Rio della Misericordia II
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