European Discovery Day 7

Day 7 (May 14): Austrian Tyrol to Venice

Spectacular scenery as we head south to Venice. Enjoy a complimentary motor boat trip to see St Mark’s Square, the Doges’ Palace, the Bridge of Sighs and treat yourself to a gondola ride.

Got up at 6:00am, and the bus left at 7:30 for Venice. The first sight this morning was Reuben’s home in Hofpgartten. We started with a 3 hour drive till our first stop in Italy. Despite the dire warnings from Hans on how chaotic it would be, it wasn’t too bad. I even managed to get lunch and go to the bathroom. After lunch we had another 3 hour drive, during which a bug took up residence on my windowsill. Since I was afraid of this bug I asked Alberto to save me, all he did was taunt the bug, which didn’t move. And I thought he was a man! So I closed the curtain until Mike, Maya, and Anne saved me, Thanks Guys!!!! This horrifying incident was on top of my Pringles container opening and half the Pringles falling out into the bag it was in. I tried to get as many back into the container, but had to eat half because I couldn’t fit them in. While eating them, one got caught in my throat so I grabbed my bottle of water. To my surprise I had accidentally bought carbonated water, which is VILE, even worse when choking on Pringles. Oh, and did I mention that in the middle of the night I got up to go to the bathroom and bashed my leg on the bed, leaving a huge bruise. No, today wasn’t going well.

It had been raining all morning, but when we arrived in Venice around 2:00pm it had cleared up. Our first stop was glass blowing, again a brief interesting demonstration. The glass was too expensive for me though, so off we went exploring. Anne, Garry, Laurie, Nicola, Maya and I headed to the water bus for a ride to San Rialto, and met Mike on the boat. The bus was very crowded and we seemed to end up in the way whenever people were getting on and off. When we got off in San Rialto we got our first gelaties, they were yummy. We wandered around for a while in the general direction of San Marco Square stopping in shops. In Venice it doesn’t help to use a map, you just wander around and get lost. There are signs all over the place that will point you in the right direction, and I know they worked because we ended up in San Marco. When we got there we went to find a bathroom, here I had the pleasure of paying 50 euro cents to use a skuzzy co-ed bathroom, but at least there were toilet seats. Italy doesn’t have the best bathrooms…

So while waiting for Hans to meet us for our Gondolas rides it started to rain, and when it rains, it pours! Most bailed on the gondola ride, but 10 of us braved it in the rain. My boat had Me, Mike, Maya, Laurie and Garry. The other boat had Kristen, Yolandi, Lisa, Caitlin and Jenny. The gondola gave a different view of Venice, you got to see just how much Venice had sunk down and how rundown it had become from the salt water. It’s actually pretty sad because you could tell how nice it must have been in its day, but was looking kinda sad now. Oh, and no the Gondolier didn’t sing to us, but he wasn’t on his phone the whole time like I had heard some other people complain about.

After the Gondola ride Hans got Maya and I spots at the optional dinner. We hadn’t planned on going, but with the rain screwing things up we decided that was the best thing to do. The dinner really wasn’t much to write home about. The food was ok, the vegetarians didn’t like it at all. The entertainment was ok too, not terribly impressed by the guy not knowing the words to Thats Amore. Anyway, when we first arrived at the restaurant I noticed that the charm on my necklace was missing, I looked around the floor by me, but didn’t find it. The problem was that the last time I remembered having it was before the Gondola ride, obviously it was gone forever. But as luck would have it, at the end of dinner Steven found my charm on the floor, it’s a small miracle since I had only told one person, not Steven, that I had lost it.

After dinner Maya and I decided to take a little walk around before it was time to go back to the hotel. About 2 canals later I realized I had left my purse in the restaurant, what is up with me today??? Will nothing go right? So I ran back, and everyone was still there, as was my purse. Then I had to run back to meet Maya, you wouldn’t believe how far apart these canals were! I ran into other people from the tour who said Maya had left without me, but she had asked them to wait for me. Kamala and Mikki got the biggest, gaudiest, bags. Mikki’s was a Louie Vuitton, don’t remember who supposedly made Kamala’s, but they paid 20 euros. These bags were almost the size of my suitcase, they were hysterical!

After that we headed back to the hotel, I think we got there around 9:30. I had to drag my suitcase up a flight of stairs, that was nice. I tried to call home from here, but had trouble with the Contiki e-kit card. I ended up having to get pissy with Customer Service and they put my call through, of course when no one answered at my Mother’s office I realized it was Saturday and she wasn’t at work. duhhhh!

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