We set off on the train from Salzburg to Venice. The scenery is beautiful and the trip is entertaining as we have a young Austrian couple and their son in the carriage with us. The wife has been to Australia so she is eager to chat about it and tell us of her experiences there. I had some souvenirs in my bag and give the little boy a Kangaroo pin. He is delighted with his gift.
The train left Salzburg at 11:10am and after a few minutes stopover in Villach we continue onto Venice and arrive there at 16:46 pm.
I can’t explain how amazing this is. Here we are in Venice on a public gondola, heading to the Piazza San Marco, where we are staying at the Hotel Torino. The hotel is set in a 16th century building and is only approx 300 metres from St Marks square.
We arrive at the hotel and are taken to our room. Uh oh, this won’t do. They have given us a double bed, well this won’t do at all, we had specifically booked a twin room.
So off we go down to reception to see if another room can be found, and sure enough there is a room at the top of some rather steep stairs. It’s almost like climbing up a ladder. There is a heavy gold coloured rope adorned with red braid, with which to haul ourselves up. Lots of fun and good exercise.
The view from this room was over some dodgy looking rooftops. But really we are so exited to be here that it just doesn’t matter. And at least we now have a bed each.
We dropped of the bags, freshened up and set off sightseeing. Some of the tales we had been told about the smell didn’t eventuate. Although we are visiting in the height of summer, there aren’t any nasty smells at all.
There are so many lovely shops to visit as we stroll along the streets that are paved and have arched verandah areas on either side. We head down past the shopping area towards St Marco. There is just so much to take in. Just being here is exiting, I feel like I am going to burst with the sheer joy of being here.
And there at the other end of the Piazza stands The Basilica di San Marco (St Marks Basilica), in all its magnificence. We cross the square weaving in and around the tourists, Venetians and the extremely large population of pigeons.
We took a quick look around to get our bearings and decided it was time to go for dinner. We strolled past a number of shops up a side street, and stopped to look at some of the beautiful masks in a shop window.
As we continued on we were ‘accosted’ for want of a better word, by a young man outside one of the restaurants. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name. It was cosy and clean and we took our seats and were handed the menus. Paula ordered the veal with a pesto sauce, I ordered fish and chips. Well, this was my first trip away and I was expecting fish and chips as it is in Australia. Instead I received a plate of what looked like whiting or sprats that had been deep fried, no batter and didn’t look as if they had been gutted either. I took one look and said to Paula ‘I can’t eat these.” Nowadays I would have no problem as my taste buds and sense of adventure in the culinary field, have changed entirely. But back then I was pretty rigid in what I would eat. So we swapped plates, not that I was interested in eating the pesto, in fact I had never had it before. So I scraped it off the meat and just ate the veal, which was a bit dry. So not a good start to my dining experience in Venice. But nothing could take away the sheer pleasure of being here.