Day 106 - Venice

27 March 2022

We sleep in. The alarm wakes us both. Shower and pack. Walk to the station. It is quicker to head back to Milan and catch the fast train to Venice from there. We have a fifteen minute change over at Milan.

The fast train is great. We get coffees from a mobile espresso machine and order pasta for lunch. The trio to Venice seems to take no time. We booked first class for a few extra euros. The conductor comes through checking tickets. If you are not in your booked seat, it is the walk of shame to the correct carriage.

“Corner Seat

Suspended in a moving night

The face in the reflection train

Looks at first sight as self-assured

As your own face - But look again:

Windows between you and the world

Keep out the cold, keep out the fright;

Then why does your reflection seem

So lonely in the moving night?”

― Louis MacNeice

I had every intention of checking in and grabbing some sleep. As soon as we arrived we both wanted to get out and see the city. Shell has always loved the French city of Venice. The floating city and its gondolas. Imagine her surprise when we arrived and Venice is in Italy and we are here.

We walked and took in the sites. The place smells of the ocean. There is no garbage like in Rome. Seems UNESCO listing comes with sanitation. We get lost in the streets. Soon realise I left my wallet back in the room. Head back, grab my wallet and make for Piazza San Marco.

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.” ― Truman Capote

A few decades ago Barry was here in the square. It feels appropriate that we come here about forty years later and stand where he did. I doubt it has much changed. Maybe more people. Piazza San Marco is pretty spectacular. The symbol of Vienna is the lion. It is symbolised everywhere as a griffin. I like to think it is a griffin and somehow the Griffin family is linked here. I am talking nonsense.

“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” ― Aldous Huxley

We head back. Stop for an Aperol Spritz. There is no spritz in the Aperol spritz. But it does not matter. We are sitting on the water in Venice. The sun is setting and the evening is starting to get chilly. Shell looks radiant in the setting sun. I am aware that if it wasn’t for her I would be here. I wonder if Shell would be in France looking for Venice?

The room has no kettle. Shell has an evening ritual of tea. I make them. She usually waits until I have sat down and asks for one, every hour or so. We check at the front desk. No, they cannot provide a kettle. The first time we have heard this. How about some bowls for breakfast. No. She seems very keen not to help us.

“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.” ― Fyodor Dostoevsky

Next door we grab some foil bowls and wooden spoons. Cereal and milk. Dinner is some bread and cheese. We get to our room, the windows are open but it is still warm. Mosquitoes are getting in. We can’t adjust the air conditioner. Call front desk. Same woman. Can we adjust the room temperature? No. Of course.

“If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.” ― Jack Kerouac



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