Without too much fanfare, the Koomans arrived in Venice at about 3 pm, an hour or two later than they had expected. Venice is an interesting place, of course it is located on a group of islands in the Adriatic, and no buses, cars, trucks or vans can get to it. One has to park, then ride a water taxi, water bus, etc. to get to where you are going. It was at our parking garage where the senior Koomans and junior parted ways. Nick and Marg were training off to Rome for a couple of nights before doing a bit more in Northern Italy. Chris, Shana and the boys were spending their anniversary night in Venice (how romantic!), and then heading south to their villa in Abruzzo. A few tears were shed, fun was had together after all, and it was a quick 9 days together.
This blogger looks forward to hearing about and seeing the pictures from the part of Italy we won’t get to.
Ah Venice! What a city. The Koomans saw as much as they could in the 22 hours they were there. It is truly a wonder of the world. It is both beautiful and romantic, bustling and intimate, ancient and unbelievable, and incredibly, incredibly expensive. Our apartment for the night was at the far end of the Grand canal, a large ‘road’ that serpentines its way through the city. This gave us the good fortune of seeing most of the city on the way to the hotel. The hotel was an ‘apartment’ as listed on the Internet. It had sleeping for six with a shared bathroom. It turned out to be a large room with six single beds, and the aforementioned bathroom was shared with the whole floor. It was old and rundown, and completely wonderful. Everything in Venice is old, the curtains in the windows, the trees in the tiny parks, the buildings, and friezes and pillars and columns. The algae on the boat’s anchors looks like it could be carbon-dated, and the crumbling plaster too. Every building is a photo-op, and oohs and aahs from ourselves and the tourists around us abounded. Everyone gets lost in Venice. It’s like a labyrinth of canals and bridges and alleys and buildings. Each nook and cranny filled with something to look at. For the first time in Europe we saw no bikes! And of course no cars, buses or trucks. Plenty of boats though. We walked for a while looking for S. Marco’s Basilika, and even though we knew it was coming, it was quite a sight to see the Piazzo S. Marco. Filled with people (and pigeons) and highlighted by the magnificent church and the bell tower, it certainly is a jewel.
After an anniversary dinner at Hard Rock Café, we all went for a gondola ride. And while our gondolier didn’t sing, he did paddle us deftly through tight little turns, where we enjoyed the sights from the water. While it may not have been the most romantic of events with all of the kids aboard, we wouldn’t have wanted to miss Spencer’s “‘Tsss, tsss, tsss’ hey does this sound like a sprinkler?”
After a decently priced breakfast at our hotel in the morning, we jumped back on the water bus and headed back to the mainland. One day is far too short to even begin to experience this magnificent city, but we’ve had a taste, and we are currently making our list of places we would like to spend more time in. While all six of us have different lists, Venice appears on each one…