Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Innsbruck, Austria to Venice, Italy

Sunday, September 28

We switched bunks last night mostly to share the burden of the bad one. We think the pillow may be full of wood-chips, even folded over 3 times it felt terrible. We were not sure of the check out time but house keeping came knocking on the door to shoe us out rather rudely. Heather still had her hair in a towel and neither of us were dressed but we made in out in under 10 minutes before we got another slap on the wrist.

The walk to the train station was all down hill, woo hoo. Charlie said many times he'd love to live in a mountain town like Innsbruck. Innsbruck hosted the 1964 and 1976 Olympics, taking it from a very small town to a thriving city. The waters here were the same bright turquoise as in Switzerland. We made a stop at the laundry-mat to check our email (being the ONLY free wi-fi we could find in town). Getting an other 10 cent gelatto was on both of our minds but we decided a lunch might be a better choice.

The train ride from Innsbruck to Venice was beautiful (like they all are). We passed under 2-3 mountain tunnels that kept us in the dark for several minutes. This train was all cabins, three seats on each side that faced each other. Everyone was quite until the cougher got on. We hope we didn't catch anything from him.

When the train got close to Venice we got out of our seats and watched out the window in the hall. It looked like a city floating in the middle of the sea.

First order of business after getting off the train was to find our hostel, actually it's called "Francesca's Bed and Breakfast"... but stay tuned for more. The walk was very nice, almost too much to take in. We had been in two canal cities before this: Bruges and Amsterdam, but nothing like this. No cars on the streets, not even bicycles just tons of people walking and pushing their way along. Our directions were not the best so we got lost once, an older italian woman who Heather deemed "Sofia Petrillo" from the Golden Girls gave us a very very long winded directions in Italian... we just kept nodding like we had any idea what she was saying no matter how loud she spoke. A few more turns and we found the place... urrr maybe!?

The ground floor was exposed brick, and not the pretty kind... dirty with cement steps that were uneven with 100s of years of smoothing down from shoes. We made our way upstairs and found Francesca to be a married asian couple. Hmm that's sort of different. Our room if you can call it that, was merely a hall way between rooms with a curtain we could pull around the bunk bed. We thought, oh well they must all be little icky rooms like this.... oh no the next morning we learned different. But the place did have a computer to use for internet but no wi fi.

Our first attempt at exploring Venice was kept pretty close to where we stayed. Venice is unlike any city we'd been to, getting lost was unavoidable. Venice is uncommonly romantic so just strolling down the streets, and up and down canal bridges was really amazing. It was nearly dark already so not a great time to get pictures. Typical Venetian food consists of sardines, vinegar and onions... we will try to avoid that. We had dinner in a open square with an italian man playing piano (mostly American love song covers). Our first meal in Italy!! Heather had gnocchi with gorgonzola and Charlie had an artichoke pizza. We toasted our first meal with italian wine and enjoyed every last bit. One tiny fact about pizza in Europe is it's never cut, you just eat it with a fork and knife.

Yes the traditional gondola guys were around but the rides are so expensive we thought we better think about it a little more... besides it's still a romantic city.

Off to bed at our crazy little place.


Amy said...

I'm proud that you are budget traveler's like me and are skipping the gondola rides. I've been yelled at for it before - but DANG! It's a rip off!

Bonnie L. said...

Well, I am so hoping that you found a kind-hearted gondola tour guide with a strong tenor like voice like Luciano Parvarotti, who takes pity on two poor travelers and doesn't charge you an arm and a leg for that romantic experience in Venice.
Loe, MOM

Cheddar said...

Nope we skipped the gondola ride all together, maybe another trip! We have a fun just walking around looking at the city. There is no lack of romance in Italy on land or water :)

Lindsay said...

.. as they say in the movie TWINS "my pillows lumpy"!
Did anybody get nervious going under the tunnels? yikes i think i would have!
CHARILE - artichoke pizza.. be still my heart! YUMO!.. once again getting hungry!
dont worry heather i didnt go on the gandala ride at the Venetian in las vegas.. it was like 7$ (how did that compair to the price that was the real deal!?)

Cheddar said...

if you ride the gondolas in Venice it's about 70 Euros so multiply that by 1.45 ... so over $100 easy. Trust me we didn't need the ride on the river to know we loved each other :)