In the morning I board my 6 hour train trip from Zermatt to Venice, with just one transfer near the beginning of the trip, so most of it is spent comfortably in the high speed train going from Brig to Venice. It is a nice train, and my Eurail pass gets me first class seats which are even better. I finally get a few hours to just spend working on Splody so do not notice much of what the train passes by, though a lot of it is in tunnels or through uninteresting urban areas. In the afternoon I am greeted with my first sight of Venice, and the city is covered in clouds, and being rained on, which I later deduce must happen a lot of days in the early afternoon, but it is pretty clear by the time I get off of my train, onto the city, and walk a bridge across the Grand Canal.
I settle into what will be my new home for the next couple weeks. It’s not as cozy or well furnished as the one in Zermatt, but it has a balcony which is nice when the weather is good, and it’s fairly spacious. The “queen-sized bed” is really two singles next to each other, so can’t actually sleep on the middle of it, which feels odd.
After settling in, I head back to the station to get rid of my Swiss Franks, get some Euros, and explore a bit. I have the first of many Italian Gelato, and after the first 5 or so in Venice, I think this one was the best, I will need to find that shop again… or perhaps it is just because I am tired from traveling.
Right near the station, I wander into the church of Santa Maria di Nazareth. It is gorgeously made out of a few different kinds of marble, ornately carved everywhere, and breathtakingly beautiful.
Walking around Venice, it’s hard to decide what, if anything, to take a picture of. Everything is beautiful and interesting. I pass about 5 churches on my way to most destinations, all giant and majestic in different ways. Alleys are interesting. Every few blocks I walk across a small river and it’s really neat. Shops are obviously very touristy, but sometimes have very interesting stuff. Masks, presumably for Carnivale but sold year-round, are spectacular and sold all over the place. I totally didn’t notice the “no photos” sign on the mask shop until I was editing these pictures… oops! There are even kid-oriented “paint you own mask” places that tempt me =). I find a cafe along the Grand Canal, have perhaps the richest “hot chocolate” I’ve ever had (tasted like they just served me melted chocolate with a bit of cream), and do a little work on the computer.
Across the street from my hotel is a little grocery store, so I stock up on some bread, cheese, and fruit again to serve as meals in my room. No place I check in Venice has Mtn Dew, so I try some other drinks, eventually settling on a mix of some super sweet “pear juice” (from the ingredient list, it appears to have a decent amount of sugar added though) mixed with Pepsi, since I think a little caffeine is a good idea for me.