Frankfurt, Germany-Venice, Italy
Theresa was arriving today. I had been in Germany for 3 days with Megan and we were excited for T’s arrival. The three of us had been friends since high school and we’d had plenty of adventures together. With us, it was a guarantee that something interesting would happen. You had Megan, the level-headed one; Theresa, the culturally naïve one; then there’s me, the one who tends to act without thinking. The 3 Musketeers we were not, the three stooges, more likely.
After meeting Theresa at the Frankfurt Airport, we caught a bus to the Frankfurt Hahn Airport to catch our flight to Venice. We learned quickly that it was first come, first serve with Ryan Air. It really was unlike any airline we had flown on before. Other than trying to find 3 seats together, we had a pretty uneventful flight. We got into the airport outside of Venice and caught a bus into the city. We found our quaint hotel, settled in, and made our way to the Grand Canal.
Few cities have made an immediate impact on me at first glance. The larger cities tend to have similar qualities—amazing skyline, tons of tourists, etc…, but it’s the smaller ones that leave the larger imprint on me. I took to Venice immediately, even before we got to the Grand Canal. It was a place unlike any I’d ever been in and I was in love.
We made our way to the Canal. We walked along it for a little bit, took some pictures and decided to find someplace to eat. We opted to eat at a “nicer” hotel right on the water. We figured this would be our big meal of the trip. Being excited for real Italian food, we sat at a covered table right on the edge of the water and ordered—lasagna, pesto pasta and fish of some sort. We got a crash course that night on the major difference between Wisconsin restaurants and Italian ones. In Wisconsin, entrees come with at least a potato, but usually a soup or salad or both. You get a lot of food for your money—quantity and quality—yeah, not so much in Italy. We got some bread prior to the meal, but that was it. Once our food came, I was greeted by a large plate with a small piece of lasagna on it—all for 20 euros or more. Our second crash course came when we started to eat—American Italian food is not Italian Italian food. I’ll just say I’ve had better lasagna across the pond.
The final crash course of the evening came in with the high tide. Our fine dining experience was half spent ankle-deep in the water. Welcome to Venice folks. Welcome to Venice…
After eating, we contemplated a Gondola ride. We all wanted to take one, but decided it would be better to take the next day. Instead, we hopped on a water bus, with all intent purposes of getting off half way down the Canal. We ended up staying on it all the way out to open water and riding it all the way back to where we started. The guy working on the water bus did nothing but laugh at us. We didn’t really care, we were taking in the view. We’d get more in the next day when we toured San Marco Plaza and got in our gondola ride.
Or so we thought…
Moral of the Story: If along water, learn when high tide comes in, or at the least, wear galoshes.