Venice Sept 23, 24,
25, 26 Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday
There are some problems with this. I'm still working
on it but decided to publish anyway.
Sept 23 Friday - Train from Budapest to Venice. We made
the critical 7:10am train in Budapest. After about a 2 1/2 hour
ride we arrived at Wein Meidling station. We have a half hour
layover. We got our bags together and got ready to disembark
when the train doors closed and the train took off! We were on
our way to Vienna Westbanhof station. Oh my God! As we rode we
figured out that we might be able to take the Metro back from
Westbanhof to Meidling station! We arrived at Westbanhof, jumped
off the train and ran for the Metro. We'd been in the station a
couple times before so sort of knew our way around. We grabbed a
couple tickets and ran for line 3. Whoops it's line 6 that we
need. Ran to line 6 and after asking three different people we
jumped on the Metro. Three stops later we jumped off at
Meidling! We ran for our train. Luckily we had heard an
announcement at Meidling the first time that our train is on
platform 6. We made it. But we began running for the end car
thinking it was first class. A conductor sent us back to car 1.
We got on with about two minutes to spare!
We had a 4 1/4 hour ride through beautiful mountainous country. The
tunnels were amazingly long. We arrived at Villach Austria and
found our bus. We got on this crowded stuffy bus. We were
supposed to be facing each other but instead ended up facing
another couple. It was quite uncomfortable. After about three
hours the bus stopped and about half the people got off
including the opposing couple. After that it was a rather OK
ride. We finally pulled into Venice Mistre station which is on
the mainland. Our ticket indicated this was our stop. Oh no, we
are going to have to take a shuttle to Venice! Deb asked the
driver and he said just get back on the bus because I'm going to Tronchetto station on the island.
We arrived at the Tronchetto bus area. There was a people mover there to take us close to the train
station over the Calatrava bridge. The directions to our room
have us passing in front of the train station. We did that and
continued on until we found a bridge, turned left along a canal
until we found our place
Cendon". It turned out to be an old place
but nicely refurbished.
The plan is to stay in a room with no canal view and then the
next day move to a "nicer" room with a canal view. The room was
quite nice, quite roomy and the bathroom had a good shower. The
hotel is fairly close to the train
station so considered a less desirable area but we found it to
be just fine and perhaps a bit quieter then other areas. It's a
pretty good hike to St. Mark's Square.
We were quite tired. We opened the free bottle of wine in our room and had a glass. We hiked
out and looked things over. We found a place to eat near the bridge and next to the canal.
A touristy place but quite good. I think Deb ordered a bottle of
prosecco, her favorite champagne-like drink. I had a half carafe
of red wine. We had fish and gnocchi.
Back to the hotel and bed.
Sept 24 Saturday - Our hotel breakfast
is not so hot.
Proving once again that people along the Mediterranean don't
We decided to take RS mp3 vaporetto tour down the Grand Canal.
The vaporetto is an expensive (E6.5 one trip) bus-boat. The line
was long and confusing. We finally got on the #2 going the wrong
way. It crossed the canal where they kicked us off and directed
us to a #2 going the correct way, so at least we were at the
very beginning of the run. We listened to the commentary as we
cruised down the canal stopping every
little way to pickup and drop off passengers.
Venice is beautiful. Every view is stunning. Interesting buildings, pretty colors
and the wonderful canal and all the boat traffic - vaporetto's,
gondolas, supply boats, personal boats,
water taxi's, etc. A constant hubbub of energy.
An interesting fact as you look at the buildings. The lowest floor is for storage
like a basement, the next floors are for the family and have
large windows. The top floor has small
windows and is where the servants live and where the kitchen is
in case of fire. Hopefully just the top floor
will burn. We were on the servants floor.
We exited just past St Mark's square. As
we hiked back we went over the bridge
with a view of the "Bridge of Sighs". Oh
my God! They've ruined it. It has been hijacked
to be part of an advertisement. Terrible! We
continued on to St. Mark's square. The crowds were unbelievable, mostly tour
groups from all over the world. The line for the church was
hundreds of yards long. It was impossible.
But we hadn't planned on going in at this time so
we started our walk to the Acadamia
Museum and Peggy Guggenheim's museum. It was a colorful walk. I had planned to take the Traghetto to cross the Grand Canal.
Unfortunately we walked past it and didn't want to return so we
kept on walking down these wonderful tiny
twisty streets over various small canals looking in windows
until we found the wooden Academia bridge
and on to the Academia museum.
The Academia is a worthy museum. We were ready to get tickets
and stand in line. They only let 300 people in at a time. I went
to the ticket window - no line. In fact no fee, it's free today.
We got the tickets and walked right in. It was not crowded. We
took our time looking at the fine art.
After this we went over to the Peggy Guggenheim
museum which is close by. Another interesting collection. We took our time looking at
We now started the trek back to our place. Venice is supposed to
be very walkable but after being on our feet so much today and
the crowds that slow you down it was a pretty challenging hike.
Though absolutely beautiful
as you pass many churches, pass over many canals,
see many shops
and open air cafes. We stopped at a cafe at some point where we shared a pizza, water and a drink.
We passed over the Scalzi bridge near
our canal and finally made it home. Our
stuff had been moved to another room. This room is overlooking a fairly large canal. Looking
out the window was fascinating! Watching the boats and vaporetto's go by, the cafes
along the canal, people strolling, the buildings
across the way. An absolutely beautiful view
through three small windows.
We rested up and went out to eat at a place near us on the
canal. So beautiful and fun. Deb had gnocchi and prosecco again. I had gnocchi too followed by a
Lemonocello. Then to bed.
Sept 25 Sunday - Much fun looking out the window watching the tables and umbrellas being set
up, people walking their dogs, delivery
boats and vaparetto's cruising the canal. Our new
room doesn't have a proper shower but I'll
live. The breakfast was once again rather dreadful.
We went to the train station to confirm
our train reservation. There was some communication goof up and
they had us leaving today instead of tomorrow. I had to hassle
that problem. Deb noticed the tobacchi stand sold vaporetto
tickets so we bought two so we could avoid the long hike back
from San Marco Square. We also missed the long ticket line at
the vaporetto stop.
We lounged around the bar next to the canal and rested up before starting our
big day around noon. Now off on our hike to San Marco Square. As we hiked along
I wanted to take a Traghetto across the
canal. Darn, it looks like they don't run on Sunday. The walk was beautiful and fun though very crowded. We are going along the canal. We
came to the Rialto Bridge which is a
famous beautiful bridge over the Grand Canal. We had been warned
that eating here is a tourist ripoff and very expensive. As we
passed we eyed a perfect table right on the Canal facing the
bridge, a classic setting. An aggressive waiter flagged us and
indicated this could be our table. We
bit. It was magnificent, the photos show
it - canal traffic, gondolas,
seagulls, beautiful views OMG. For lunch Deb had "fruit of the
sea" spaghetti and prosecco. I had spaghetti carbonara and a glass of wine.
Wonderful and expensive.
We continued our hike
to San Marco Square. It appeared we had run across a nest of breeding gondolas. We went to the Correr museum on San Marco Square
to buy our tickets as suggested by RS and avoid the line at the
Doge's Palace. For some reason the people here liked and
remembered us. We easily entered the Doge's Palace
and looked it over in detail.
Here they have the largest painting on canvas in the world.
Going to the attached prison
you can look out of the Bridge of Sighs.
Prisoners would look out here at their last view of freedom and
We then went to the church of San Marco which is
free to enter. After a brief scan we got tickets to the upper
levels and museum. This was really fantastic. The views were outstanding.
We found the horses
on the front of the church are reproductions, the originals are inside. They were possibly
cast during the time of Alexander the Great - 400BC! An amazing
story. Views inside the church and the museum were great! Well worthwhile.
We then went back to the Correr museum, where they
welcomed us back, and toured that. It was a very deserving
museum. Many interesting collections including armor, coins,
Venetian art, etc. An extensive collection. No pictures because
the guards were very diligent.
We were pretty tired. We had our vaporetto tickets so we went to
the vaporetto stop and tried to figure it out. We really wanted
#2 but it was crowded and the first one seemed to be going the
wrong way. I noticed another one had the
stop near our room on our canal so we
got on that. Whoops, this one immediately started off across the
Canal and in fact did not go up the Grand Canal! I was pretty
sure we would get where we wanted to go. I had wondered why the
train station seemed to be the stop before our stop. It was a
different tour then most tourists see. Other passengers assured
us we'd get where we were going. We did get there after quite a
long and interesting ride.
We took a break at our bar with a couple spritzes
then had dinner at the same place as yesterday. I had pizza and Deb had gnocchi
again. The place I wanted to eat was closed on Sunday.
Sept 26 Monday - We packed up and hiked over to the train station and got on
our train to Florence.
- I think we pretty much did Venice. Two full days seems like
- Venice is the worlds most beautiful city.
- Watching the traffic on the major canals is just wonderful.