Tag: venice

Leaving Venice

Posted at 3:40 PM local time

With the exception of a few scattered dreams, I slept very well last night and when I finally woke up this morning, it was just about 7 AM. The skies around Venice were clear and blue and it was a bright, sunny morning.

I headed for a quick breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, bacon and some fruit, in preparation for a strength training workout. I also had orange juice and milk. The OJ was very sweet–almost too sweet, but I was thirsty. I didn’t like the milk. Maybe I’m used to American milk but this stuff, which looked as though it were in German packaging, tasted strange to me.

Shortly after breakfast, I headed up the the fitness center for my workout. I did a full arms and shoulders workout this morning, the whole thing taking me nearly an hour and a half. It was the best workout I’ve done in several weeks and I was very happy with how well I did and how I felt at the end. (Granted, I’ll probably be pretty sore tomorrow, but it just so happens that the first of my 4 massages are scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at 4 PM.) The fitness center is impressive. It is on the 16th deck of the ship, way up toward the front and is circular in shape. All around the outer edges, facing the floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views are the cardio machines, bikes, ellipticals and treadmills. They are all high-end machines with TVs on them, but who wants to watch TV with the view you’ve got right in front of you!

After my workout, I put on my swim suit and headed for one of the pools, Neptune’s Reef. I got there around 9:30 AM and found a perfect spot to sit. I brought along The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I put on sunscreen and proceeded to relax, basking in the sun until noon. Deck waiters came by to take drink orders and during that time I had two “Ultimate” Mai-Tais. It was awesome. They were playing good music and it was totally relaxing.

The ship left Venice at 1 PM and we had to gather for muster at 12:30. We did that and then people were encouraged to gather on the port (left) side of the ship to watch as the shipped headed down the big canal, past Venice and out to sea. My plan was to sit by the pool some more while people watched. I got the best of both worlds. Jason found us deck chairs way a the top of the ship with a perfect view of Venice so we could lay there, catching rays which the ship departed. It really was spectacular. The ship is so tall that we towered over Venice as we left and we could see everything. Jason took pictures and I will post some of his when I have a chance, because it really is awesome to see.

I sat up there on the deck until 3 PM (drinking one more Mai Tai), at which point I decided I needed to head back to my cabin, shower, post these blog entries, and rest before our 6:15 PM dinner. Jason and I grabbed a quick hot dog and I headed back to my cabin, where I am right now. The view from my window is amazing, the sea rolling by, blue as can be, with no land in sight (I’m on the starboard–right–side of the ship). We dock in Dubrovnik, Croatia tomorrow and we are planning on getting off the ship and walking the city walls there.

I’ve got tons of pictures to post, but probably won’t get a chance until I am in Rome, a week and half from now, because the satellite internet connection on the ship is too slow and the cost/minute to too high. So you’ll have to wait a while for pictures but these blog entries will continue. I’ll post more later tonight and also try and reply to some of the comments that I’ve gotten.

Venice Evening #2

Posted at 3:36 PM local time

After having our luggage delivered and unpacking (we’ll be on the ship for 12 days, after all) Jen, Jason and I wandered the ship. We decided to start at the top and work our way down. We didn’t get very far. We got a tour of the spa and Jen and Jason signed up for a couples massage. We also got a look at the fitness center, which is a pretty good one. We made our way to the “Sancturay” which is an exclusive pool/spa area for adults only, and which costs $10 for a half-day admission. It was pouring out, with thunder and lightening to boot. Jen and Jason and Mom and Dad had tickets for a gondola ride in Venice, but because of the rain, people were canceling and they did too. It was a shame because the rain didn’t last long and the skies cleared up. We made it down to the 15th deck and then stopped at Adiago bar (right next to Sabatini’s restaurant–a special restaurant on the ship that charges a $20 cover charge per person to get in). We ordered drinks. I had my first bellini and it was pretty good. Mom and Dad joined us for a little while. We decided to go into Venice for dinner–all except Dad who wanted to stay on the ship.

We met at 7 PM and headed down to deck 4 to debark from the ship. We all had water taxi passes and we caught a 7:30 water taxi to St. Marks Square. We then wandered Venice for more than an hour. Jen and Jason hadn’t been there yet and I led them along, twisting and turning down streets at random, but making my way toward the Rialto Bridge. We then headed back toward St. Marks square and found a little restaurant in which to eat, just west of the square called Restaurante Noemi. I had spaghetti and meat sauce once again (I can’t resist it) and this time it was even better than the place at which we ate last night. We shared a bottle of Valpollocello, which was okay, I suppose, but I’m not a wine aficionado so I’m really no judge. Directly across from the restaurant was a gelato shop and you can be sure that’s what we had for dessert. In particular, I had chocolate gelato in a cone and it was excellent.

After that, we walked back through St. Marks square one last time, listing to live classical music being played under the nighttime sky. Then we boarded our taxi and headed for the ship.

I headed straight for bed.

Venice Day 2 and the Emerald Princess

3:30 PM local time

I’ve been posting the local time in bold because my browser is still set to eastern time and the times on the posts may be misleading. If you want to know what time of day it is when I post, look at the bold text above*.

I was up at 6 AM this morning after a pretty good night’s sleep. I threw on my gym clothes and headed down to the fitness center. It wasn’t the greatest fitness center in the world, and I didn’t like the ellipical machines they had, so I ran on the treadmill and got in a decent workout. Then it was back to the room to shower and by the time that was done it was 7 AM. I wasn’t meeting Mom and Dad for breakfast until 8 AM and I was going to spend that time in my room reading, but then I thought: heck, I should go out and explore the city. So that’s just what I did.

(Link to flickr pictures of Venice and the ship coming later.)

Read more about Venice and boarding the ship

An evening in Venice

View from my hotel room
Originally uploaded by jamietr.

9:18 PM local time.

We did some roaming around Venice this evening. I met Mom and Dad at 5:30 and we headed out into the streets of Venice. It’s really so cool. I’ve never been in a city quite like this. Lots of people everywhere and a labyrinth of wide and narrow passageways. I had this image in my mind of running through the city on a night when the entire city was deserted.

And speaking of images, I have posted a set of pictures from Munich and Venice for those interested in checking them out. (The pictures are on my Flickr account, so feel free to post comments to the pics.)

I was eager to see Piazza San Marcos since vickyandnorm had built it up so much in my mind. I was not disappointed. It was exactly as they described it, full of people and pigeons and music from the sidewalk cafes. I wanted to go up in the Campanile, which is the tall tower in the piazza which gives a birds-eye view of the city, but I decided to wait until tomorrow to do that. Instead, we wandered about the maze of canals and passageways, taking photos, window-shopping (Mom, anyway), and delighted in the fact that I was in a city as old and famous as Venice. (Shakespeare wrote about Venice; he never wrote about New York*.)

After wandering around the city for a while, we came back to the hotel and then decided to go find a place to have dinner. We wandered a short distance from the hotel and finally settled on a quiet, canal-side restaurant called Restaurante da Raffaele. We sat outside and had a great meal. Spaghetti and meat sauce, bread sticks, and an Italian beer called Sans Souci. I had ice cream for dessert and I managed to clean my plates.

We came back to the hotel and I was pretty wiped out at this point. I came up to the room, posted pictures and now, I’m about to read myself to sleep. I’m beat and I need a good night’s sleep so that I can be ready for a full day tomorrow. We board the cruise ship at 1 PM-ish but the ship stays docked in Venice for 24 hours after that so we still have time to explore the city. And he11o_sunshine and jkashlock arrive tomorrow as well.

* Steve Martin might say Shakespeare wrote about Los Angeles, but I’m not sure I believe it.

2 hour nap

5:30 PM local time

I got in my 2 hour nap, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but my time is so messed up right now that I kept waking up having no idea what time it was. I kept feeling as though I was going to be late for something. And I also didn’t hear when housekeeping buzzed and at one point, I woke up and there was a woman in the room. When she saw me laying in bed, she half-shrieked, apologized, and headed off.

After 2 hours, I felt completely disoriented, but it was nothing that a good old Starwood shower couldn’t cure. The bathroom is really very nice in this room, although I have no idea how the bidet works. For that matter, there is a complicated array of towels above the bidet and I’m not sure if they have anything to do with it either.

I feel much better now. I’ve showered, changed my clothes and I’m heading out to roam around Venice for a while.

No time to respond to comments at the moment. More later.

In Venice!

Yes, I am in Venice, and finally in the hotel room. I have a ton of pictures that I took, which I will eventually get posted (this evening) but for now, I really just need to nap for a while.

Our flight left Munich on time–in a twin turboprop aircraft that reminded me of the Saab’s that I used to fly up to Santa Cruz. Up over the Alps we went and down into Venice. When we exited the plane, I was dumped into the baggage claim area which confused me because there was no customs. I picked up my luggage and never had to declare anything and this I found unnerving–until it was explained to me that because I came into Italy via the EU (Germany) and had my passport stamped there, another stamp wasn’t needed upon entering Italy. Okay.

Mom and Dad were already there. We had a van meet us and take us to a privately chartered water taxi. What a cool ride into Venice from the airport, especially once you get onto the Grand Canal. After a 35-40 minute ride, we finally arrived at the hotel. We checked in but our rooms weren’t going to be ready until 2:30 so we headed to a canal-side bar/restaurant in the hotel and had something to eat. Caesar salads and drinks. We killed some time there and I just got into my room, which has a very cool view of old Venice.

I promise to post a ton of pictures tonight but I need to get some rest. We are planning on meeting in 3 hours to walk over to San Marcos square and do a little exploring.