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Trip Report An Escape from Turkish Chaos to Everyday Venice

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It was too good a chance to miss: $110/person return full fare tickets to Venice from istanbul.

I had been there twice more, in 1967 as an almost backpacker with enough time to walk about four hours before catching the train to Milano. I have no memory of anything other than the Grand Canal and the train station. I probably would have remembered the girls of Venice if I had seen any.

Strangely enough I did not see any young women worth a second glance when I was in Murano checking on some chandeliers with an architect and the owner's wife for the new (at the time) Ritz Carlton in istanbul and then a few hours at and around San Marco square with the owner and his team, before being taken to a Board meeting of another company in Trieste.

This time around, there may have been some worthy women but I was with DW and either could not take my eyes off her (even after 38 years of marriage) or I was under tight scrutiny and had a short leash.

On the other hand, Venice was the best this time around. The cold weather did not disturb either of us even when we found that our room temperature was competing with the 40 F outside emotionally charged climate. So, I crawled under the measly cover with socks and a cashmere sweater over my pajamas, and DW left for a further walk around Ca' Gottardi to discover beads and such while the room heated up to the more acceptable 60 F.

Actually, the second day we managed to hit 67 in the room.

We arrived at about Noon and while gawking around trying to figure out whether to find the Number 5 bus or take a sea based route, another Turkish couple approached us and offered to share a sea taxi. Unfortunately, they took control and the price was fixed before I could negotiate. It was 85 Euro for each party to the hotel.

The main problem was that, although the ride gave us some photogray opportunities and we enjoyed the foggy view with overcast skies, the very long walk to the water taxi with a terribly disturbing knot inside my sock just over my third toe made the trip excruciatingly painful. Naturally, I blamed DW for placing it there and she said, It was not significant enough to start a war with Russia.

Arriving at the large, rusted, locked iron gate of the hotel with evidently slippery steps leading to it was not the most favorable first impression of our hotel. However, the child in me started immediately to make up a story with witches, golems, slimy things gettin up the canal at night and that the door would let us through and then lock itself after we entered a damp dungeon.

The taxi driver rang the bell, a number of times to no avail. DW asked me if we would have to pay extra for standing there all that time. While I was saying that we had already over-paid, the taxi driver called the number written above the door bell and a young man, not at all looking strange or dangerous, appeared and led us into the 'damp dungeon I had visualized, smiling all the time, and jumping over certain objects which could not have been skulls.

I shall continue.

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