02 October 2013 Wednesday – Venice

This morning, Frank wasn't feeling good. He's got a cold; the same cold that I got on the airplane, and gave to Karen, who passed it on to Frank. It's mostly just a nuisance cold, and never really slowed me down, but it made our noses drip and gave us a small cough. Due to his cold, he and Mitzie slept in late. Of course, Kathy was antsy to go out and explore Venice, so she was a bit frustrated. Yesterday we all bought 72-hour all-you-can-ride passes for the water bus, so getting around was not an issue.

As it turned out, we needed to go back to the key drop-off point and pay for the apartment. So Kathy and I decided to go do that while the others were getting ready and eating breakfast. So Kathy and I trudged off and did that. Then we had to make our way back to the apartment to meet with Karen, Mitzie and Frank. Waiting for a bus and all, it took much longer than expected, so we arrived a bit late and I was very hungry.

After grabbing a quick bite, all five of us walked back to the water bus and got on. We rode the bus, taking photos all along the grand canal.

It was cold, but Kathy had decided to leave her coat in the apartment. She was cold on the water bus, but that was a boon for me; I got to cuddle with her to keep her warm.

Finally, we arrived at the San Marco's (St. Marks) square where we disembarked and walked around.

We spent lots of time exploring. We took photos of the big church from the outside.

I was annoyed that they were charging money to ascend the bell tower, money to see the treasures, money to visit another room; I truly believe that Jesus would be outraged by this behavior, but it seems to be standard practice here, so I wrote it off. Then we waited in line to get in to the church. Once again I found out that photos were not allowed. That's extremely annoying. As I said before, I came to Italy not only to see things but to take photos. If I can't take photos, I might as well have stayed home and saved my money. When we got to the entrance, I was told I needed to leave and bring my backpack to the baggage check. That was the last straw. I was pissed. I left the church and told everyone else to go on without me; the church could kiss my pagan ass!

While I waited for the others to come out, I explored the area. Children nearby were feeding the pigeons and playing with them. I took lots of photos.

When the others came out, they told that everyone was ignoring the obvious “No photos” signs that were posted every ten feet. They were snapping photos like crazy. That was also annoying; if they're going to make a rule, they should enforce it. If they're not going to enforce it, they should take away the signs and allow photography.

Kathy and I paid 7 euros each to visit the top of the bell tower. There was an elevator, so it didn't take much effort, and there was a fantastic view of the city.

I noticed that the manufacturer of the elevator was a company called “Scam” and we laughed. What a scam indeed. Here I thought it was supposed to be about God.

We went back to the pigeon area of the square. Kathy, Mitzie and Frank took out crumbs left over from lunch and we fed the overly-friendly pigeons.

When we were tired, we got on another water bus and made our way back. By then, Frank was getting tired because of his cold, so we returned to the apartment. Kathy and I went back out and took a stroll alone in the streets of Venice. Surprisingly, most of the shops were closed. We did, however, manage to find an ice cream shop, and ate a small bowl before returning home.