Thoughts on Venice

Note that I didn’t specify in the title that the thoughts were any good.

1. We forgot to bring a voltage converter so I ran the battery down on my camera and we can’t charge it again. We spent a good couple of hours tracking down electronics and camera stores in Venice, but although there were plenty of adapters, there were no converters. We did discover that the charger itself can handle the current here, but the cable that plugs it into the wall can’t, so we need to try to find a replacement cable. Florence will probably be our better bet for that.

2. There’s a certain sort of man that I keep seeing around that is slowly coming to represent the Venetian man in my head, whether that is true or not. He’s older, 50s or 60s, has curly brown hair going grey that he wears just a touch long. He has glasses and a short, neatly trimmed beard, sort of a leonine look. I’m now spotting guys that are almost like that, but are missing the beard, or missing the glasses, or are 20 years too young, and so on. There’s also a (non-Italian) actor who looks vaguely like that but I can’t remember his name. I haven’t yet formed a composite for the Venetian woman.

3. Yesterday morning was spent running around trying to find a voltage converter, and the afternoon was spent wandering through St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace. Because we are nerds, the highlights were me dropping my red Gyarados off at the Bridge of Sighs Pokegym—see photo for proof—and accidentally coming across the Calle dei Assassini and the Rio Tera Assassini. “Calle” means “street” and marks the narrow alleyways that were how the plebs got from place to place, the nobility and people of stature always taking boats. “Rio Tera” marks an old canal that got filled in and paved over. And apparently that was the bad part of town in the old days, where lots of murders took place.

4. Today we took a 3-hour tour called “Splendours of Venice” in which a guide took us through the Ca’Rezzonico, an old palazzo that is now a museum of the 18th century, and then through the Scuola Grande dei Carmini, the old headquarters for a confraternity. Lots of Tiepolo paintings.

5. Also, the apartment we’re staying in is on the island of Giudecca, just to the south of Venice proper, and therefore we take the bus multiple times a day. Venetian buses are boats, called vaporetti. And the bus stop floats, too—it’s attached to the island, but floats, I suppose to make sure it matches the deck height of the vaporetto you’re stepping onto, but we have found that even after being off the vaporetto and the stop for a while, we still keep getting feelings like we’re still on it, and are gently floating on the waves. We’re also getting to be old hands—the #2 vaporetto that takes us to the main island has a part behind a door where you can sit down, and a part that’s open to the sides with a roof to keep off the rain, where you stand. We’re standing, because it’s only one stop so there’s no point in sitting down.

6. Tomorrow we go to Ravenna. We booked the tickets yesterday and the guy doing the book clearly thought we were insane for doing so. I can’t figure out if it’s because it’s a 3-hour train ride (I almost said “We’re from Texas! We’re used to long drives to get anywhere!” or if it’s because we’re missing the festival where Venetians lash boats together to make a pontoon bridge that crosses the Giudecca canal. Because neither of us really likes crowds and while it would be nifty to walk across the canal, I have wanted to go to Ravenna for over twenty years and would regret the hell out of missing it when I had the chance, and I have not cared much about this festival.

That’s it for now. Toby may have things to post about, but he’s knitting and watching The Tick right now, so he’s got better things to do than talk to you.

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