Germany & Italy [2003]

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day 6 [] july 20, 2003 [] Venice, Italy

It is Sunday. We decided to sleep in. Much of Italy we were told slows down. We first visited Santo Stephano, a nice church, ornately decorated. We then visited Ca' Catarini Del Bovolo, a twirling stairwell up to an unimpressive rooftop, at least that's Lisa's impression. It cost money, so only Lisa climbed them, a feat, not so much physically, but psychologically, for her.

While Jon waited at the bottom, he observed these pigeons. There were 2 female pigeons sitting on a window sill. They would mill about on the sill until a male pigeon would perch on the fence just a ways below them. If they approved of the male, they would continue milling about but not coo. If they disapproved of the male, they would coo loudly. Oftentimes the male would still fly up to the sill afterwhich the females would attack him with their beaks until he left the sill. Hilarious.

Ponte di Rialto and the Rialto bridge was next for us. Signs directing visitors to Rialto can be found all around the city, so we figured it'd be pretty good. All of the sites with signs leading to them are good, except Rialto. We found a couple to take our picture. It's quite the small investigating project to find English-speaking tourists. There are German and French tourists all over, more it seems than English. We would walk through the crowds just listening for English. It gave a small mental image of Babel.

We stopped and ate a menu touristo, a 3 part meal. Ours were venetian chicken, lasagna, and salad & spaghetti, sirloin steak, and potatoes. Before lunch we had seen San Salvatore a church.

After lunch we forked over the bucks and took a gondola ride. It was very relaxing. It was fun to go under the bridges. People would stare and take pictures so Jon took pictures of them. We ask our gondolier what the rainbow "Pace" flags meant, and he said it was for peace in the Iraq war.

After our gondola ride we went to our new hotel, The Hotel Carlton; it's a 4 star hotel. Other than the fact that this hotel had air conditioning and was close to the train station, the Alegro de San Samuela was nicer. We slept and then got all dressed up, so we could could go eat at Harry's Bar.

Harry's Bar is supposedly where Ernest Hemingway commonly frequented during his years of writing. We walked into the restaurant, which seemed very small, and looked at the menu. A salad alone was €32 and other dishes were more like €58-100 or higher. Realizing this was way out of our price range, we searched for another restaurant.

Since we were wearing our nice clothes, we wanted to eat at a nicer restaurant than usual. Jon was suffering the heat in a long sleeve shirt and deserved a good meal. Sadly, the "nice" restaurant we chose by the Piazza San Marco turned out to be the worst meal we had on the entire trip. The food tasted like bad dorm food. The best part about the meal was the thin crunchy breadsticks called "Griss Griss," but they were packaged and not ultimately that good. We learned a valuable lesson about restaurant searching, make certain it's a restaurant with many happy looking people eating.

There were small string instrument bands playing in the piazza. We listened for awhile and then danced. No one else was dancing, and there needed to be dancing. After all, it was a song from the Godfather. Don't these people have any respect for the Godfather.

After that we took the waterbus near where the good slushi/gelateria was. Then we went back to the hotel and slept. It's enjoyable to simply sit on the waterbuses and take in the sights wherever it takes you.

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