Saturday, July 18, 2009

Venice, A Sweltering Menace

I made a slight operational error upon arrival in Venice. In order to receive our keys to the apartment we were renting, I was to call the company when we parked our vehicle at the Pizzale Roma before boarding the vaporetto. I kept getting a recording saying something unintelligible to me. There was no Plan B in the works. Doug was already thinking I was scammed. We decided to go ahead and take the vap to Sant' Angelo, our stop, and try calling again. Kate and I went into a (thank the Lord in CAPITAL LETTERS air-conditioned hotel) and they graciously called the phone number. Whoops, I had been calling errroniously all along. They would be there in 20 minutes.

I was not just hot in Venice. It was hot, humid, dripping, sweaty, did I mention breath-gulping, energy-sucking HOT! Even the locals were fanning themselves. Our escort arrived, and we dutifully followed him at the risk of being left behind. The apartment was about 10 degrees cooler, but was out of the sun. That was a big plus.

For those of us Yanks not conditioned to cities with waterways as means of travel, we three must look pretty obvious tourist. But then, in a city where just about everyone else is a tourist, we probably don't stand out. I haven't heard so many American accents here since I left the States.
The most amazing thing to me is comparing this to my last trip to Italy, several years ago. What I remember thinking is that I was equally hopeless and helpless in Italian and French. Now, after a few days pittifully struggling along, I realize that I "can" communicate in France.

From buying our vaporetto passes to figuring out which boat to board; reading the city map and negotiating the bridges narrow passageways; asking directions to the only grocery store; and waiting three days to access internet---things are never what we expect. As a sign in one store advertised: "Open Sometime".


Peggy said...

The sign with the hand and the bell -- what bells aren't you supposed to touch?

Bill Minckler said...

Hear any drunken German tourists singing at midnight?
I know it was hotten than hell but I really like the fact that there ain't no cars.
I did get a bit tired of saying preggo, gratzi, preggo, gratzi.
Kathy liked staring at the gondoleers.

Anonymous said...

I can tell Doug is hot just by looking at the picture, he has that "I'm boiling" look! I have heard Venice can be stinky- is that true?
By the way, I saw Peggy's pics of France and she did get a good pic of Lance, at least she SAYS it is Lance.
Preggo & Grazi,

North of Andorra said...

YOu are not supposed to touch the bells in the Campanille, which we didn't. We heard drunked tourists of all nationalities, but there were many more Americans than anything else. And yes, the canals can be stinky at times. We dindn't find them to be too bad on our visit.