8:00am Italy time
My view as I peck peck peck this out on my iPhone. Pretty cool way to wake up from a slumber party consisting of about 450 others.
International flights are interesting things. Encased in a huge metal tube slicing through the sky perched atop two bus sized engines, roles reverse. From the stolen sleep one can be lucky enough to coup, the sweet dreams begin upon waking. Less than 24 hours ago, I was flitting about my house in a last minute check everything frenzy. And now --- well, you saw that view --- and feet on the ground in Rome in less than an hour. And caffe normale. Pretty durn remarkable.
With a little time to kill before arrival , Marty does what he does best while I ... Ummmm.... should be, too, but don't because I want to show and tell a little about the dark hours over the Atlantic.
Sunsets are always an event, but from 35k feet, they're ringed with a little more "special". This one put on a fleeting spettacolo before sliding below cloud level to thrill a passing crew or two cruising the Atlantic.
As I squirmed and twisted and tugged myself into as much upright comfort as I could manage, waiting impatiently for the Tylenol PM to coax my eyes shut, I looked out. What a gift awaited.
My eyes rested on a silvery blue gray scene of ethereal clouds lightly layered over an inky ocean. Just enough cool moon glow allowed me to share the view that only the stars and moon and any other lucky fool at that altitude were privy to on this one night amongst eternity. An occasional orangey island would drift by leaving me curious about the souls sharing a different angle of this view with me as they manned their rigs. Did they see me; a blinking orb high above, carving the night sky with the constellations? I'll never know, but I am beyond certain that those middle of the night moments shared from my tiny portal were priceless.
Can't wait to see ya, Italy!!! ❤️🇨🇮
Arrival was pretty flawless. We mozied through the cattle chute of passport clearance, hunted down luggage in circle-the-wagons style, then sought out a train for parts north.
Signage leads quite easily to the Davinci Express - the straight through train to the main station, Termini.
Once in Termini, we spent our 50 minute layover in a fruitless exercise trying to secure a new SIM card, but oh well ... what else would we do?? (Hmmm.... Drink caffe, find a bathroom, drink more caffe, grab a bite, drink more caffe.....)
Alllll aboard and off we went on the fast train, la Frecciarosa, that would fling us nonstop through Italy with Venice being out final stop. What a comfortable ride!
Lunch onboard train - pretty cool!
My eyes are fighting furiously to close as jet- lag is forcing itself upon me here at 9:30 italy time. Marty has been snoring luxuriously for some time, and the Venetian street below is quiet. I'll post what I've drafted thus far, along with random pics , and let this "raw blog" be what I birthed it to be!
Feet on the ground in Venice brought relief, but a challenge not for for the unfit! About 115 lbs. of luggage had to be lugged to our destination on this bella isla.
Venice is an incredible place oozing with worn elegance and fading grandeur. Her buildings rise proudly 3,4,5, even 6 floors high as they stand guard over watery passage ways. A few here and there are adorned in fresh washes of color, but many sport only a reminder of their once vibrant hues, struggling to keep a carved facade from crumbling further.
And amidst these watchful domestic towers lay a labrynth of maze-like streets making its traversers feel sympathetic towards lab rats.
About an hour of twists and turns hauling bags through the narrowest of passageways and over multiplicity of bridges, we arrived at la porta verde
And were taken into the B&B abode run by the kind Mariagrazie.
The place was Venetian elegant and left me dumbstruck. How thrilling to call this home for a week!
We unloaded a bit, then lit out to find the school. A nice 10 minute walk, and the unassuming door of the Venice Language School was found. We sampled some wine at a nearby bar, assessed how many of the close quartered others might be tourists, then exited with a beeline leading to the small pizzeria we'd passed.
Five euros and a really great pizza is yours here, and almost anywhere in Italy. Just look for where the locals and/or kids frequent, and you're pretty much guaranteed a delish meal of a light crust, fresh toppings, just enough cheese, and a heartily offered "Buon appetite" to determine the course.
Buona notte e chi vediamo domani!