stephen r king
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november 6, 2007 // 11:20pm

The other day, Vicki and I went to Europe. We went to a lot of different cities. First, we went to Rome. Then, we went to Florence. Then, we went to...


venice doesn't have cars, but it does have tourists. lots of them. cruise boats drop them off in the mornings and they flood the streets. at the end of the day, most of them march back to their boats and disappear. the next morning it all starts up again. this makes walking on the main streets a big congested mess. as soon as you get off the main streets, it's a beautiful and relaxed place.

the streets in venice don't seem to always have names. most corners just have signs that point to the nearest big thing. so, you'll see a sign that says "piazza san marco" with an arrow. it's easy to get lost, but it's also fairly easy to get back to one of the main spots.

I fed pigeons. I'd never dream of doing that in new york, but somehow it made sense in venice. it was a bizarre feeling, that first moment that the bird landed on my hand and started pecking at me. but it was a lot of fun for only a euro!

there was one lunatic lady who fed the birds by putting the bird seed in her mouth and letting the pigeons eat off of her tongue. she's a lunatic. if I knew how to say "you're a lunatic" in italian, I totally would've thought about saying it to her.


we took a "romantic gondola cruise & serenade" that was fairly ridiculous. we were picturing the standard image: two people, big boat, guy in a goofy shirt singing songs, cheesy romance stuff. it was kind of like that, except there were 12 boats, with 6 people in each, (with the last couple in the boat - us - not able to sit together,) and a singer/accordion guy in one of the boats. this fleet went through the canal, playing every stereotypical italian song romance you can think of. I said to vicki "I hope they play the Godfather theme!" and, sure enough, they did. it was definitely a tourist trap that we fell into since we let a travel agent set it up without knowing the details, but it was just bizarre enough that it was a funny experience.

I love the textures on the buildings in venice.

you pay more money at bars & restaurants if you sit down. even if it's not waiter service. so if you order a beer at a bar and stand, it's one price. but if you take that beer and sit at one of the many open tables because you've been walking around all day, then it'll cost you more. I don't like that.

on our last night in venice, there was a huge classical music concert in piazza san marco. the place was packed. we don't care about classical music, but it was nice to stand at the back of the square and hear some of the performace. then when we were back in the hotel, packing for the early-morning train to munich, we could hear the music from our window. a nice ending to the city.

I took pictures in venice. here are some of them.