So today was one late morning+train ride into the late afternoon. Something about european curtains leads Jane and I to believe it is still 7 am when it's really 10:15. So alas, we missed breakfast at the hotel, had to pack up, and headed for a brief stint at the outdoor market. Jane was looking for a skirt. She found two. Brilliant!
So, that didn't take any time longer than most trips to Old Navy and we were back to get our luggage and head for the train station. The train station was a hurry up and wait situation, as I did not understand that some of the trains we could not just hop in with our Eurail pass. No way were we going to stand in line to pay extra, so we waited an extra hour for a train to Venice. Jane bought us some McDonald's and we spent the time showing off our gin rummy skills to one another. I'm proud to say I won a lot.
The train finally came and well, I goofed. We got onto a second class car when I did pay the extra dough for 1st class passes, and sadly there was not much air flow. This made us both quite sticky in an uncomfortable way.
Arrival in Venice was pleasant as we discovered it was 5 degrees cooler here than in Florence. Just a little cool makes a big difference. As it was 4:30 PM upon arrival, we needed to get our act together for a place to stay and our walking tour. A hotel was procured, the Dolomitti (the Dolomitten mountains are where we head tomorrow so it was fitting), and we headed over to the Basilica of San Marco. Apparently, Mark the Gospel writer happens to be buried in Venice and there's a big church on top of him. They moved him here from somewhere else, but he's here nonetheless. We got there too late and couldn't go in. Bummer, but when you see too many over decorated churches you start getting uncomfortable in your protestant pants.
We then proceeded to get lost in the city, find a nice restaurant, and then do the kicker...the much anticipated Gondola ride at dusk...thanks to a very generous gift from our good friend Debbi Ricks. It was a little piece of heaven. Certainly one of the highlights of the trips thus far, and by far the most romantic. Our Gondolier sang and pointed out landmarks, including Marco Polo's house. This city is old! Plenty of pictures from the Gondola ride for all to see. Jane got off and said, "I feel like I just got a massage..." She was happy.
Once over, Gelato and the internet cafe called. And here we are again, typing for you all.
Oh, no idea about the internet capabilities in small town Austria, so maybe this is the last entry for several days. A pleasure as always...