From here on, I am relying solely on memory–we have been home for almost two weeks, and I didn’t have time to write the rest of the trip while the experiences were fresh in my mind.
So–Saturday morning, and time to disembark for the last time. This process was done by luggage-tag color. Passengers picked up tags the night before and attached them to their large luggage pieces, which were picked up that night – the colors determined what time people were let off the ship and reunited with their stuff. At least that was the plan.
Everyone milled around, not wanting to get involved in anything, and waited until their tag’s color showed up on the TV displays. Then we lined up on the promenade deck and had our passenger cards scanned one last time. Pretty good process–unless, of course, the computer decided to kick up. Which it did. Leaving was a much slower process than we had originally expected. Oh well–we didn’t have anywhere we were going.
Once we got off and picked up our luggage, we decided that the direct route was the best way to get to the hotel–we hired a land taxi. Zip, zap–and we were there.
Wow–cross that bridge from old Venice, and you’re suddenly out in the wide open spaces. It wasn’t rural by any regard, but it was definitely less building-littered.
We were far too early to get our hotel room, so we arranged to leave our luggage in a locked room in the lobby area and roll back into Venice. The lady behind the desk was very helpful–we were able to pick up two 24-hour metro passes for a minimal amount so that we could ride about every conveyance in the city without dumping more euros in a machine. She then told us that the bus stop was “right across the street” (her words).
We thanked her and went right across the street–to a mailbox. What?? We walked up and down, looking, and were soon joined by another family who was equally baffled.
Oh enough of this–I went back into the hotel and asked her to clarify.
Okay–the stop is “200 metres to the left across the street”. I do not know a metre from a mud puddle, and I think she guessed that–so she came back outside with me (with yet another family trailing her), and pointed to where the bus stop was.
Thank you–that’s about a city block.
What’s lovely is that we did NOT miss the bus, and it was not crowded.
There were quite a few stops between where we were picked up and the end of the line. I’m astounded as to how many people can cram onto a bus. This was one of those few times when it didn’t bother me overmuch–for one, I had a seat, and for two–we were all going to have to get off at the same spot.
There is a terminus of sorts at the edge of the city proper, beyond which no vehicles can go. The whole of Venice–the historic bits anyway–belongs to the pedestrian. And with all those bodies, there is no way anything bigger than a stroller would fit anyway.
Venice is a very clean city–shopkeepers make sure the area in front of their places of business is always swept and free of litter. Rarely did I see junk in the canals either. Nice to see in a large city.
I never got used to seeing doorknobs in the middle of doors. Hobbitses…
Once we got into town, our first order of business was to get out of town–we wanted to see Murano and the cemetery, both of which were a vaporetta ride away.
This is one of the zillions of vaporetta/water taxi stops–we’re on a vaporetta and coming up to the dock. It floats on the water too–and when the water is choppy, it can make for an adventurous crossing between boat and dock…
First stop was the cemetery–no pictures allowed. High walls, no places to sneak a peek into the place from outside the walls (unless you’re a high-jumping fish). We went in and looked around for a bit. Nothing spectacular.
Back to the vaporetta and on to Murano. We were really hoping that we could get in one of the glass factories and have a tour, but it didn’t look like that sort of thing was available. So we just ambled about, goggling at things and taking pictures.
We were very enamored of this glass sculpture:
After tooling around a bit on the main drag, we hit the residential streets. So quiet…
It was difficult leaving such a quiet area, but I’m sure the residents didn’t care much for strangers wandering their streets. So we went back to the main drag, found a place for lunch, and watched the world go by for awhile.
Our next stop was St. Mark’s Square–this time we wanted to do it up right. Back onto the vaporetta, and another scenic ride down the Grand Canal to our stop.
St. George and the Dragon–sorry, from here it looks like St. George and the alligator–or sturgeon…
Aside from getting a shoeful of canal water, this day has gone very nicely. What’s interesting, speaking of canal water, is that some people and businesses have to relocate during the winter due to rising waters. It was easy to see in some places:
Most shops in the city sold the Murano glass, carnival masks, jewelry, and high-end clothing. Then there were the street vendors with booths, who sold T-shirts and the usual schlocky tourist stuff.
And then there were the independent hawkers on practically every corner. They sold selfie-sticks, weird little things that whistled, and balls of glob that splatted when they were thrown to the ground, then rearranged themselves into a glob again. Yep–got one of those for my son a few years ago. Minutes of fun–it didn’t take long for the glob to forget how to reassemble itself. Wheee…
What a maze of streets! It’s a good thing we’d gotten a map from the nice people at our hotel. We wandered all over, taking pictures of buildings without names and plazas without signs, lofty residences and simple door fronts.
If you’ve ever wondered where all the pigeons that used to be in Trafalgar Square wandered off to–it was here…Zillions of them.
Dinner time came around, and we made ourselves comfortable at a canal-side restaurant. What a lovely end to a wonderful day!
Saw this advertisement in the bus stop, and thought how wonderful it would be to be a part of it. Foreshadowing…
We took a regular water taxi back to the hotel–or, rather, to the airport. It was less than a half-mile walk from there to the hotel, where we retrieved our stuff and were off to slumberland in no time.
Tomorrow: our last day in Venice