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13 July 1998

            On our last day in Italy, we caught the train to Venice.  There is a bridge going out there for the road and train, however parking costs an arm and a leg, so the train is the best way to get there.  Then we got all-day tickets for the water buses, so we could hop on anytime we wanted without worrying about tickets or lines.  We caught a water bus and went all the way through Venice along the Grand Canal.  We went first to the Naval History Museum.  Right after that, we got ice cream cones.  I had the berry-est strawberry and the richest chocolate ice cream, and George had a fabulous lemon and a chocolate.  It wasn’t till after I had finished, that I saw the three drops of chocolate on my favorite white tee shirt.  We went looking for a restroom or even a water fountain where I could wash it out.  The restrooms we finally found were 20 port-a-potties.  No water.  We only found one water fountain in all of Europe, and it wasn’t in Italy.  It took at least 45 minutes and a lot of walking before we accidentally bumped into something sticking out with water dripping from it.  You won’t believe this, but every bit of that chocolate came out within a minute without any soap and with only dripping that water on and rubbing it with my fingers.  I was sure it would be stained beyond wear!  By them I was tired, but considerably cheered up.


These stakes mark the navigable waters, Bridge of Sighs, one-way canal, & a waterbus stop.


Water water everywhere, St. Mark's Square, side streets, & Museum of Naval History.


2 views in the museum, glass blower, pedestrian bridge


Venice's Arsenale, city of the dead, Venice's famous gondolas

Then we caught another water bus out to the island where all the glass blowing is done.  We watched some and were totally unimpressed.  I’ve seen them several times before and thought they were beautiful.  These weren’t.  The shops were full of fancy and perfect items.  But the stuff they were making, you had to ask what it was SUPPOSED to be.  We think the rest was either molded, or made in Japan!  I couldn’t find much I wanted.  There was a dancing ceramic doll that was pretty.  I just laughed when the salesman said it was a million, twenty.  It took me a few minutes to realize he wasn’t kidding.  That was well over $500.  There was also a beautiful pink and gray necklace that was $150.  It was a choker, so I knew it wouldn’t fit my big neck.  I finally found a simple pair of earrings I liked in the tenth shop we went to.  On the way back to the main island, we passed by another walled city, the city of the dead, the cemetery.  We decided to stop and walk around.  It was very neat and attractive, but we didn’t see many stones from the 1800s, and none from before that. 

Back on the main island we stopped to look for t-shirts for the boys.  The signs read NO SELF SERVICE and DO NOT TOUCH THE MERCHANDISE.  A salesperson actually had to come and show you each item.  They weren’t that picky in the glass shops!  We took several boat rides so we could see more of town without having to walk everywhere.  We went through the naval shipyards and through the biggest canals.  Once, we heard someone next to us speaking English, and met two American couples.  You wouldn’t believe it, but they were both there celebrating their 25th wedding anniversaries, same as us.  We all had a good laugh.   We took a walk through some of the streets late in the day.  We were passing one shop, when George glanced in and saw they had large sodas.  Their canned sodas were only about 9 or 10 ounces.  Then we noticed they even had the 2 liter bottles.  We got two of the biggest, and I had mine finished by the time we got back to the train station.  That was the first time since we got to Europe that I was not thirsty.


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