Friday, March 10, 2006

Venice Part One

After classes (Church History and Systematics), the last bit of packing, a final dash to the shopping centre for necessary supplies (headphones and batteries for minidisc player and camera), it was off to the airport for the start of the big Venice adventure.

We had left about an hour to get around Dublin to the airport, and a good job too - an accident was making everything go very slow. But we made it to the fancy automated check-in with lots of time to spare. Through security (without beeping), then lunched on sandwiches at the departure gate.

The flight wasn't too bad, although June, wife of the Principal, and not a great flyer, was a bit uneasy, despite being well drugged on anti-sickness and sleep-inducing tablets! Thankfully I'm getting better at the whole flying lark, and don't notice the bumps and slight movements so much.

We landed in Venice in the dark (local time 1935), and in the rain. So not only would the 'streets' be flooded (as mum had so helpfully warned me), the bits above ground would also be wet. The bus took us into the city from the airport, but in Venice, wheeled vehicles can only go so far. If we were to go any further, it would be by waterbus or on Shanks' pony.

Having bought the travel value ticket, our introduction to Venice would be on the water, appropriately enough. The waterbus took us down the Grand Canal, past many impressive buildings rising up out of the water. The service was the slow one, which would have stopped at every hole in the hedge had there been hedges, but instead, stopped at every boatstop.

After about 25 minutes, we got to the stop we needed, and followed Alan, wjho took off at great speed down a tiny alleyway. At the other end, the alley opened on to Campo San Barnaba - an open square with an imposing church at one end. The church in question (San Barnaba, of course), is featured in Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail or as Alan described it, the one with Sean Connery in it. Seemingly Indie emerges from the sewer in front of the church before having a fight and dashing off. (I'll have to watch the film when I get home to check that!)

And just as Indie dashed off in the film, so we had a job keeping up with Alan who was away down another alley, then a sharp left down a smaller one (if that were possible), then over steps (over a tiny canal), and more steps to the right over the same canal, and there, we had arrived at the Convent we were staying in. The Convent is only staffed by a few nuns now, but they let out their rooms to female students at the university here, and have some rooms for tourists.

We had a few minutes to acclimatise in the enormous study bedrooms before heading out for drinks and then into a pizzeria for dinner. What a feast! I got a sort of a ham and mushroom pizza, which was folded in half with all the 'topping' inside - a bit like a Cornish pasty, only much bigger!

Then it was back to the room for some sleep before tomorrow's day of excitement and adventure as we go exploring, and meeting some of the members of the Anglican congregation.

1 comment :

  1. Any self-respecting Calzone Pizza would be most offended (or maybe just highly amused!) at being likened to a Cornish Pasty!

    It used to be my favourite type of pizza, but a bad experience here in Kosova (Restaurant Aviano) where I found an egg or two inside my Calzone, drove me to find a new favourite, which is currently a toss up between the Pizza Capriciosa in the Al Forno Pizzeria and the Pizza Al Capone in the California Restaurant.

    I had pizza tonight, but it wasn't as good as either of the above. It was delicious though, even more so because I hadn't eaten since breakfast.

    Glad you're having fun in Venice...keep it up!

    P :)