April 17, 2004: We stepped out of the train station and were truly amazed at what we saw – water canals completely replaced traditional roads, buildings seemed to rise out of the water to form this magnificent city! It was very impressive. We had heard many negative things about Venice from friends and so didn’t expect much but we were sufficiently impressed! Straight out of the train station we walked over to the Vaparetto stop and boarded the Vaparetto to take a tour of the Grand Canal. Was astounded by the architecture of the city. Weather was perfect – blue skies, sunny, but not too hot. After an hour of the grand canal tour, we got off the vaparetto near the train station and set out to find our hotel.
Walking around a little in search of the Hotel, we realized we didn’t quite know where to go. This is where the cell phone came in handy – we called the hotel to figure out how to get there. And then learnt the hard way that addresses and road names have no co-relation in Venice. They all seem a little random. After searching a little more we found ‘Ai Due Leoni’ @ 565 Carneggio. I booked this hotel through www.venere.com and found it to be a very clean and neat place, nothing frilly or fancy just simple and clean. We had a quaint, two storeyed, one bed-room place.
We freshened up, left our backpacks and headed out in the evening. Just exploring the city is so much fun! We walked around little alleyways and took another ride in the Vaparetto. We had dinner at Caffe Saraceno right by Rialto Bridge. A glass of Chianti, with mixed green salad started off the dinner. I had Ravioli with spinach and Mozzarella while DH had Mediterranean style bass filet. Food was excellent and the view was perfect - we sat right by the grand Canal. We topped off dinner with some Tiramisu and coffee. Inspite of being so full we couldn’t resist some gelato on the way back to our room!
It was a wonderfully romantic and satisfying day!