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Annie's Beyond: Soggy Venice, Sunny Normandy, and Simply, Soulful Paris.

Annie's Beyond: Soggy Venice, Sunny Normandy, and Simply, Soulful Paris.

Old Mar 13th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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Annie's Beyond: Soggy Venice, Sunny Normandy, and Simply, Soulful Paris.

Alas, I have finally succumbed to my technological ineptitude and have given up on trying to upload our pictures to any of many sites I have registered in and attempted to conquer. My deepest apologies to those whom I promised pictures, and my unfailing awe to those who manage to do what they say is the “simplest” of tasks. I will have to rely on words only.

To continue, this is the story of a trip that began almost 12 months ago (I was late when I started and made even later by my reluctance to admit photographic defeat) starting in Zagreb, and driving through Bosnia to Dubrovnik and then up the coast to Istria before visiting Venice and ending in France. The Croatian details are provided, in a hopefully not too mind-numbing way, in an earlier trip report here:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...#comments-open

As background, we are two middle-aged souls who love to travel and wander…the farther off the beaten path, the better. This invariably means we are often lost, which through the years we have discovered is a wonderful way to find the true soul of any country. We are not foodies, or boutique hotel snobs, and prefer to find good food, at a modest value, and a comfortable place to rest. Like everyone, we love a “deal”. We drive almost everywhere we can (this is the best way to get lost, after all), and are really bad at public transportation, especially trains, but rely on it almost exclusively, and somewhat testily, in urban areas.

A note about trip reports. I love them! And, as you have probably already figured out, mine aren’t short and petite (although “I” am) little things that list where we stayed, how long we were there, where we ate, and how we left. But, I will try to provide details and reviews since, that’s exactly what I end up picking out of every trip report I read. It is surprising through the years, how many of those little one-sentence details have panned out into lovely experiences. This was especially true of our stay in Venice. So, as to length, you’ve been warned, and have either clicked off already or are here for the duration. To the stalwart; welcome to my world.


ARRIVAL IN VENICE….OR THE LAST HOURS OF OUR VENETIAN SUN.

After an early morning start in Opatija, an unforgettable bus ride to Trieste, and a relaxing train trip to Venice, we collected our luggage and walked across the canal on the new and beautiful bridge. A quick, easy jaunt through Santa Croce and we soon found ourselves in Campo San Toma. We knew that we would grow very familiar with this area and our first glance of the Campo gave us a quick reassurance that yes, this was indeed, the Venice we remembered from a few years past. Children playing, people shopping, others just sitting and enjoying the view. So different from our isolated deck overlooking a pristine lake devoid of much activity beyond that of birds, fish, and the occasional boat or canoe.

Our stay at B&B Al Campaniel (70E w/ bkfst) near the Campo San Toma was perfect. A little room with a private bathroom just across the hall and a great breakfast. After our last trip to Venice, when breakfast consisted of dry vacuum-wrapped pastries, we swore we wouldn’t come back unless we could find somewhere affordable that actually “served” breakfast. There’s just something about hot coffee and not having to hear the rustle of plastic right away in the morning. We began each morning in contemplative quiet, re-living the previous day and making plans for the present, many of which included where, exactly, were we going to eat that night.

Our obsession with Venetian food on this trip could be attributed to our earlier experiences with food in Venice. They were less than stellar and far below anything we had experienced in our month elsewhere in Italy. This time we were fortified with our own Google map of numerous restaurants gleaned from wherever I found a recommendation. The only thing we had to do was find them, which proved to be harder than we would have guessed.

We spent the evening of our arrival getting lost (fortunately, we could still do this without a car) and finding out that our first three choices for dinner were closed for various reasons. Now what? Maybe Rick Steves would come to the rescue…yep, the Cantina Do Mori was busy, and the cicchetti were surprisingly good. By the time we were done there, we were too tired to stay up late and ended up just picking a place to have dinner -- no more map hunting tonight -- close to Al Campaniel. A late-evening stroll to acquaint ourselves with our new neighborhood, far different from the Arsenal area we stayed in last time, and then off to our little room with the comfy bed. Fortunately, we slept unaware of the fact that a week of gloom would begin the next morning.

--Annie
anniemackie is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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nice start Annie,

having trapsed soggily round vienna last summer, I'm looking forward to reading your experiences....nothing like a spot of schadenfreude!

keep it coming,

regards, ann
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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 02:15 PM
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Annie, looking forward to more and to resurrecting your previous report. This is good. I sympathize--and empathize--completely with your difficulties in getting your photos on line. What's easy to some eludes me as well. Each trip I vow that "this time" I'll get the photos up and every trip I try and then figure I'll wait until the next one before I commit my life to conquering the "easy" software and fall back on words to convey the impressions. Looks to me like your words will do the conveyance job just fine. Can't wait for the rest of this.
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Old Mar 15th, 2010, 03:04 PM
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Glad you liked the Al Campaniel, I think for the money its hard to beat. If you walk back over by the church there are a couple of good low key places to eat in the area. And if your dying for a salad the brek near the train station is good for that, last year and they had the 1.5e cappuccino stand up bar with roll runs between 2.5-3.5e.
Also for interesting gifts, the 1euro store (us.99 cent store) is just a quick 10 min of so walk from there heading toward P San Marco.
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Old Mar 19th, 2010, 11:46 PM
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You've piqued my interest....and???
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Old Mar 20th, 2010, 02:51 AM
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You've left us hanging! More please!
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Old Mar 24th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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My apologies, everyone, for starting this report and then stopping. We had unexpected company that has decided to hang around through the weekend. After that, I'll be out of the kitchen (and the laundry room) and back to the computer! I'm looking forward to re-living our soggy days in Venice. And Paris is always calling!
--Annie
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