Jammin' with James


European Trip Journal - Day 5 & 6

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European Trip Journal - Day 5 & 6
Hello to all from Venice. I type this at about 7:15PM local time (GMT+l). Sorry I could not post an entry yesterday. We were in transit all day from Salzburg. I did not think I would be able to post today because the hotel does not have Internet. I am sitting in a "Cyber Cafe" in Venice. Very romantic.

Lots to tell, but I will be brief because this is costing me 2.50€ for each quarter hour. The train ride was interesting because we went through a blizzard on the way. You don't think of snow when you think of Italy but it snowed almost the entire trip to Venice. There were many stops and we had to take a transfer in Innsbruck. We are here now and I will get to Venice in a minute.

I thought I would provide a look back about Salzburg and Southern Germany while it was fresh on my mind. 1 was actually more impressed with Bavaria than Salzburg. I guess that is because I enjoy mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers. Even though it was snow covered, it was obviously extremely beautiful. I enjoyed how everything is very intimate in proximity. I can only imagine how beautiful it would be in the springtime or summer. I suppose we were a bit disappointed in Salzburg. There is certainly a lot to do, but mostly surrounding history and the arts. We enjoy a combination of that and shopping. The shopping was all the same. Very expensive things and Mozart memorabilia. By the way, I don't have access to a spell checker so you will have to live with all my mis-spellings. Walking the streets of Salzburg you get a sense of true histo1y; where things really happened long before America was in existence. That is the exciting part of the area. I thought the city was neat and clean. If I ever came back it would be during the spring or summer. lt also didn't help that we happened upon it during the worst week possible (Mozart's birthday). All the activities were already booked (except the tours). All in all, very enjoyable.

On to Venice. I have heard people tell me that I had to visit and others say it smells and is dirty. Don't go there. Well, I have to side on the former. This is one of the most spectacular cities I've ever stepped foot in. I cannot explain it. Venice is probably one of those love/hate cities. We love it and wished we had left Salzburg one day earlier. The hotel is small and quaint; but beautiful. We did not take any tours but rather guided ourselves around with me being the tour guide. I will tell you it helps to read up before you come here. There are a lot of hints you will get and even proper ways of doing things (etiquette). Public transportation is amazing. The city is the most unique city I have ever seen. I have taken lots of pictures of everything so I can capture the essence of the city. It is simply breathtaking. Thank you Glenn for helping me decide on this particular route.

We got started this morning at about 9AM. We were not on the water side of the hotel so we had no sense of light or dark; so we overslept a bit, but at least we slept. We had a very good breakfast in the hotel (Hotel Antichce Figure) right on the Grand Canale. We took a water taxi (provided by the hotel) to Murano. Anybody ever heard of Murano Glass? Well, this is the place. Side note: if you travel, you might consider using Expedia.com. You get special treatment; or at least that is what we have experienced. Back to Murano. This is the actual Murano Glass factory where the blow the glass and everything else. They take you into a showroom for some spectacular merchandise. I won't tell you if we bought anything, but I will give you one clue: Darlene was with me...

We left there and headed back to Venice. We walked from Fondamente Nuove through many winding streets (more like small walkways of no more than about 10 feet wide) to Piazza S. Marco. This is where one of the more famous churches is located. It is beautiful. We did not go in because they will not let you take any bags, camera, or anything else. From there we took a water bus number 82 around to Rialto. We thought we would make it all the way to Accademia but they made us get off the boat. Oh well We got back on the number 1 back to the train station exit (Ferrovia). We checked our train situation for in the morning (heading to Cannes, France via Milan, and Nice), then sat down in a very nice romantic restaurant. Guess what we had to eat? PIZZA!! Wow, was it good! Darlene had a full (375ml) container of Chianti (sp.) wine and is somewhat plastered. Glenn, she says you would enjoy this wine. After dinner we are walking around some shops close to the hotel, and yes, spending a bit of Euro! We ran across this Cyber Cafe and it is very comfortable. I sent her off shopping (always a big mistake) to fetch me in 30 minutes. Well, she is already back and I'm up to 35 minutes now. They just started my 3rd quarter hour charge. Uh Oh. I better wrap this up. I hope to send something from France, but this will be it for now. We are having a wonderful time in Venice. Wish you all were here. I know you will enjoy the pictures and all the stories we will have to tell Peace to all!

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