March 25, 2010

Maybe all I had to do was go away for a few days.  I went to Venice over the weekend to meet up with some friends, and the weather there was much the same as it had been here – low temps, lots of clouds, and some rain.  But when we got back to Koper, it almost seemed like spring.  Almost.

Piazza San Marco. In the rain.

Venice is physically close, and apparently it can be reached relatively conveniently in the summer by ferry.  As it was, I had to walk to the bus station (about 25 minutes) and take a bus to Trieste (about 45 minutes).  There, I had a choice: I could take the early regional (read: slow) train to Venice (about 3 hours) or wait an hour at the stazione for the direct train (about 2 hours).  Based on the assumption that forward progress is always better, I went with the slow train.  Then I still had to take a vaporetto (water bus) from the stazione to my hotel (about 20 minutes).  Feel free to do the math.

Is anyone else getting tired of pictures of me in this damn jacket?

Venice is, no doubt, unique and interesting, not the least in the sense that so much of Istrian architecture has Venetian origins.  But – like most mass tourism destinations – I can’t say that I really have any interest in spending more than a day or two there.  (I’m sure that there are people who would find that scandalous, but then again, those people would probably also be scandalized by my guerrilla-style day trip in Paris a couple of years ago.)  So, we spent a few days getting lost in Venice (on foot – the gondolas were too expensive for us) and also an afternoon on the island of Burano.

Burano. Cute and empty. Too bad the weather wasn't better.

My guidebook describes the food in Venice as mediocre.  I think that may be generous.  Our first night we had a ridiculously overpriced meal in which we  shared caprese salad, spinach ravioli, and a riosotto that copious amounts of salt, pepper, and grated cheese could barely make edible.  After that we got a little bit better about finding more local back alley cafe/wine bars that were a little less absurd.  I really hate to disappoint you foodies, but I have to admit that, after years of traveling alone, I have developed a preference for food bought from vendors and eaten from paper wrappings while people watching from a bench or curb.  Or, in this case, a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich cooked in a press until crispy and melty eaten while leaning on the Rialto bridge and taking in the sights right after I arrived.

The view from my lunch on the Rialto (the quiet side).


4 Responses to “”

  1. Betty Cocklin said

    I must correct your understanding of us foodies…eating something from a paper wrapper whilst watching people, traffic, local sights, or almost anything else is just peachy dandy to us. It’s the EATING part that counts (and the story that goes with it). Your sandwich made me salivate and you look stunning in the damn jacket. Alas, if it’s truly about to turn springy we may not get to see much more of it.

    Keep up the good work. XXOO

  2. Kelly said

    Some of the best food I ate in Norway was also from street vendors while walking and taking in the sights or from a store where you grab it and go! (Not McDonalds type restaurants though!)

  3. Troy said

    At least it is a great looking jacket…It’s interesting that my brother and his wife shared the same sentiments of Venice when they were there two years ago – strictly tourist, everything was overpriced (including the gondolas) and the food was a major disappointment. They still loved it though and said it was one of those things that you just have to do.

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