Monday, September 12, 2011

Water, water everywhere

Google Earth.....what a web site to visit.  So glad I did this morning.

I zoomed into Venice with my 3D setting on, swooped in close to see uploaded photos that travelers have posted (awesome photos!) and found that what I thought were little streets....well they are but lots of those little streets are small canals of water.

As I said before, E. and I will land at the Venice airport near 1:30 P.M. and I figure it will take maybe an hour to find our bus and get from the airport to the Piazza di Roma where the bus lets us off.  Our idea was to walk from there to our hotel which is just a block back from St. Mark's Basilica.  We figured we could use our map and cross some bridges but I also thought there would be a few main "roads" for walking on. 

Zoom....and I see lots of roads but lots of waterways too.  So many waterways that go this way and that, swirling around and under what looks like tiny bridges.  Like little veins that go who knows where or if one can even walk along the side of this building or not.  I now understand how one could get "lost" in Venice.

Oh E. and I think it will be fun to get lost...just not the day we arrive.  Or, at least I don't want to get lost with sleep deprivation.  Or God forbid, I need to use a loo.

{Did I tell you I am bringing a roll of toilet paper?  Yes, I find European toilet paper to be rather rough.  Very much like crepe paper.  Still will have to pay to use a toilet (1 euro = $1.36), but at least it will be my soft, cushiony toilet paper.}

E. and I talked yesterday about this subject of getting to our hotel.  She is quite confident that we will have no problem finding our way.   I am sighing in my head as she is young with good eyes to read the map if needed.  I think in my head that we are on an adventure and like all good adventures being cranky from sleep deprivation or needing to use a loo or being hungry never happens.  You live in the moment of what you are doing.  You laugh.  I may have to document our walk with my camera.  Facial expressions, large circle under the eyes (mine), and the view.....

I found this online about asking directions in Venice and thought it quite humorous....

If, by chance, you don't know "where you are going to get to where you want to go" you can also ask other passers-by, but first make sure that they, too, are not "foresti" (that is, people from other parts of the world): Venetians are used to giving tourists directions and are well aware of the problems facing those who get lost in this "serenissimo" labyrinth.

One more thing: the way some of the people react may be interpreted as bad manners but here are the explanations:
- if they stop to think before replying : they are only deciding which is not only the shortest but also the easiest way to explain;
- if they say "cross the bridge, turn right, then go straight on, then turn left, then ask again": it is not because they can't be bothered to go on, but the list of directions would be impossibly long and you wouldn't be able to remember it any way;
- if you ask a couple and when they reply they give you two different sets of directions that seem completely contradictory, they are not making fun of you, it just means that different streets take you to the same destination;
- if they "study" you before telling you how long it will take you to reach your destination, they are only trying to evaluate how quickly/slowly you walk: Venetians walk much faster than tourists!

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