Saturday, March 19, 2005

Spring Break '05 | Day 3

I woke up to a sudden shiver as I found myself in a sleeping bag on the balcony on a frigid Florentine morning. I guess I was adamant about sleeping outside the night before and now found myself in a cold dash back inside to warm up. Shana had her last class today before her holiday break today so Dustin and I planned to head up to Venice for a short excursion. As Dustin showered, I walked with Shana to the train station to purchase train tickets. When she headed off to school, I rushed home to shower and then we darted back on a bus to the station with just enough time to catch the train out.

On the train, Dustin was feeling hung over from all the drinking and we found our way to the dining car for a small snack of salami and bread. Coincidentally one of Shana's friends that we met the night before, Yoseph, was in the very same car on his way to his holiday destination. While I read from Shana's Let's Go Italy guidebook, Dustin had puked into a bag and had placed that bag on the floor. As he passed into a tired stupor, his puked slowly dripped onto the floor of the train car and an angry, large Italian man had quickly made us aware of the incident. I made sure we got out of there as quickly as possible. At a point in the trip, we had only a few minutes to change to a connecting train to Venice. At the Venezia Mestre station, we became aware that the train we were supposed to be on was just about to arrive. Along with other foolish Americans we illegally dashed across the tracks to get to the other platform to make it in time to catch the train.

At the Venezia St. Lucia station, I found a quick station ticket terminal to buy return fare for the next day. Heading out of the station, hunger had set in and I bought ice cream on the walk to the hostel. After hours of walking around the city, we found the hostel and dropped off our luggage before heading out to dinner. In one of the restaurants along the canal we found the Ristorante Alla Conchiglia and splurged on a three course meal with dessert. I tried the Venetian pasta dish with scuttlefish followed by a fried calamari serving.

After dinner we walked in the direction St. Mark’s Square and then to the Bridge Accademia to the far end of the city. In the return trip, we made our way to the Rialto Bridge to buy some gifts that had caught my eye earlier. On the way back to the hostel, we dropped by a supermarket to buy some wine and beers. Back at our spacious hostel, I took an hour for sleep and then we headed out again to a drink and sandwich at a local pub.

Once all the shops had begun to close up, we made our way back. To get back into the hostel, there was a key to open the front gate. With little success we tried valiantly to open the blasted gate--the key had fit but would not turn. Later, we were to discover that I was mistakenly using Shana’s apartment key to open the gate. This weird twist of events would lead me to take a break from the failed attempts at entry. While we waited a moment, a group of girls hauling their own luggage had come up to our hostel. They had with them the inn keeper and he had opened the gate for us with his key. In an even stranger of coincidences, these girls were from Wisconsin and more specifically Madison, my home. It became clear to them from my Wisconsin fleece jacket that a bunch of us mid-westerners had good taste in choosing such a great hostel in Venice. In our room, we drank the beer and wine before getting a good night’s rest.

Activity: 3 | Energy: 3 | Friends: 3

Spring Break '05 | Day 3


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