25 Venice


25 Venice 

Ahhhhhhh Venice!  How exquisite to wake to the shore line of such a unique and beautiful city as Venice.  Many many pictures taken from our balcony. Enforce we even were out of our robes!  This was such a treat.  We noticed immediately the cooler temperature and dampness in the air.  Cunard has a special speaker doing commentary from the bridge starting at 7 am.  We could not hear it well in our stateroom balcony, but loved the sights and sounds of Venice.
We followed a cruise ship in to port, it took a few hours it seemed.  It turned out to be 5 ships in port this day.  Crystal Serenity, Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas, NCLJade, and an MSC ship and ours.  The Queen Elizabeth seems the grandest to us.  The red stack, black hull and very imposing sight of grandeur.  We are proud indeed.
I pay my Cunard cruise bill and exchange some of my USD for euros.  We get a map of Venice and ask a few questions about how to get around in this city of water.
Our plan today is to do a trial run to find the train station for me and how to get Penny to the airport.  Venice has unique transportation issues and we are unsure how to navigate it all.  Today is Saturday, tomorrow is Sunday and less services available, later schedules are also going to be hard to work with.  We found out that we could walk from the ship to the People Mover monorail and did so with little difficulty.  Penny is good at navigating and has a great sense of direction and no fear of getting lost.  She learns quickly from experience and I know I am in good hands with her.  I have total confidence.
When we arrive at the train station in Venice we notice a few things, there is a cost to use the WC, and there is a line up (queue for my English friends) for most everything.  I get in line to confirm my train ticket I bought on line in Canada and find out it is of no use to me here.  I have to purchase a new train ticket for tomorrow.  The pleasant man helping me hopes I can get a refund when I get home.  The benefits of having all inclusive trip insurance, I will be sure to call in a claim when I get home.  Although I also think this is a small price to pay for the learning to travel independently.
I also notice that locals have no problem with butting in the queue in front and pushing their way to get service first.  What is that?  Is it a behaviour common in this country or location?  Or just some people feel more entitled to be first?  Anyway, off I go with my new ticket and a bit lighter in my wallet.  
We also purchase a bus ticket to the airport for Penny and we check the schedule for the earliest bus.  Then we do some walking and purchase a 12 hour water bus pass for each of us for exploring.  We take a few false starts and get overwhelmed easy with the crowds.  We find some bridges to walk over, take many pictures and stop in the occasional shop, purchasing nothing.  We want to explore and yet find the crowds challenging.  I have heard that Murano is beautiful so we find a spot to take the vaparetto to the island of glass.  It was almost deserted and sidewalks sparse with people.  We enjoyed the shops and had lots of time and space to enjoy.  What a beautiful area and surely it was once a very busy and successful artisan Mecca.  I find it very odd that on a Saturday it is virtually deserted and profits must be slim indeed, if at all.
We each buy Murano glass rings as a momento we can wear and travel with.  So many beautiful things, and the shops very interesting and different.  We watched a demonstration open to tourists.
Also interesting to us is the doorways to waterways.  The parking lots full only of small water craft, and an absence of motor cycles or scooters.  
With plans to return after dinner, we take the vaparetto back to main Venice, and find our way surprisingly easily to the people mover and back to the ship.  Not before buying Penny a pair of socks to wear home in her boots, an Italian flag for grandsons (maybe the only one I saw all day in my search) and a few stickers for my suitcase indicating Venezia and Italia.  

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