Arrived in Venezia S Lucia station on a warm drizzly morning. Exited the train, bought a map to find the hotel I had booked the previous day online. We arrived at 08:30 and I decided to walk to the hotel, since I knew check-in might be after 12:00. What a wonderful sight first thing in the morning. Everyone was waking up, going to the coffee shops for a morning shot of macchiato, and a bun or croissant. The street vendors were accepting deliveries and opening shop. The store keepers were sweeping up the sidewalks and opening. It was a city coming to life in the morning. People were chatting and laughing, carrying umbrellas. Boats were delivering goods to docks, where the goods were transferred to carts, then wheeled to the proper location for delivery, barges/ boats were carrying toilet paper, laundry, beer, fruits, vegetables, wine, etc. The delivery men (I only saw men delivering) had modified carts to help them climb stairs over the many bridges. Everyone we asked for directions was very friendly and open hearted.
We arrived at our hotel after a relaxing stroll with several wrong turns- great way to discover a city- by 11:30. The hotel Ateneo let us store our luggage until 14:00 check- in.
We went to explore and have lunch. We bought a couple of small umbrellas and walked in the on again off again drizzle. We found a small cafe in a square and had panini sandwiches. I ordered a beer and ended up with a litre- a little too large for me.
Venice /Venezia is a window shoppers paradise. There are so many stores that sell so many items that it is truly amazing. Brightly coloured leather gloves, masks, antiques, high end clothing, breads, pastries, ahh just like other European cities- except there are no cars.
Liam had stepped in a Muddy smelly puddle in the woods in Sweden, and his shoes were stinky. So we went shoe shopping. After searching for childrens shoes we found a Bata shoe store. I bought a pair of shoes for Liam and Brendan. Socks were a different matter. I had washed their socks several times and they still smelled, so we bought new socks from a department store.
Back at the Hotel Ateneo the boys washed their feet, put on new socks and shoes, then Liam took his shoes placed them in a plastic bag and he trashed them at the first opportunity.
Dinner was very good at one of the many restaurants littering Venice. I had a scampi salad with red sauce, a pasta…name with a mushroom sauce, and a salad, complemented with Valpolicella wine. The boys each had a pizza which was very, very good…name of restaurant.
Oh ya, I picked up a sim card from Wind mobile when we arrived and it was finally activates last might for free mobile Internet service. Why is it I had no problem finding a contract free sim card in Italy while the Germanic countries are so strict?
London- just picked up a regular sim card for the phone.
Sweden- finally found sim card from a small store-major phone companies said they had no pay as you go 3G cards. This little shop took a regular 3G card and cut it on the spot for me.
Denmark -Was told I needed contract micro sim hard to get
Germany -most wanted a contract, but I was told that you ask specifically and say they have it in a drawer, and they will give you one – you need to ask the correct question.
Czech republic – quite easy to get a 3G micro sim card. Plan was good, however did not work in Austria.
Austria – sort of like Germany. Told you cannot get one without a plan. We were there one day so I did not look too hard. The boys were getting tired of me going to different stores in different countries and asking the same question over and over again.
Italy – 10 minutes after arrival I had a micro 3G sim card with phone service with Wind Mobile, which is good throughout Italy.