22rd - 24th November Venice and Embarkation
Two fast trains to Venice via Turin where we caught the Frecciarossa (Red Arrow). Both trains were excellent although the Frecciarossa had a screen which showed great information, where we were, how far to go, etc. The Armed guards at the Turin station were a bit scary for someone that doesn't do guns. Still we managed two trains and a lunch stop without speaking the lingo.
Another long day. We made it to the hotel in Venice on foot in the rain - luckily the tide was out when we got to the hotel.
Forgot to bring our gummies. But the hotel and room that Alison had booked was simply stunning and according to reception the best in the hotel. Venetian in every detail - four poster bed with lots of trimmings - lavish fabric wallpaper - big bath with taps that looked like a movie set. Sadly, we're a bit too tired to really enjoy it. We had dinner at a place that turned out to be a good choice - I had a much needed veggie fix and couldn't resist the bread basket - the bread in this part of the world really is something special. And the world's largest pepper grinder (see pic)
Nov 23 Boarding the Pacific Princess
We woke to a cold and wet day and a high tide that covered the pavement in front of our hotel about 4 inches deep. Luckily it had receded in time for check out. Everyone has gummies as an essential part of going out.
Making our way to the ship we realised the only way to fend off the relentless porters was to hire one. Got to ship and checked in with only a medium amount of difficulty.
I managed to get my suitcase halfway round the world, halfway around the UK, on and off three trains and to the check-in of the ship only to have it trashed by the bag handlers taking it to our room - oh well. Our room is facing forward over looking the business end of the ship - which just means you can't sleep through the morning dockings because of the noise and vibration.
Nov 24 Cruise Day 2 - more Venice
Rather than buying two pairs of condoms (Italian for waterproof over-boots) we bought a boat trip around the inner lagoon and around Venice and although we didn't get to stand in the middle of St Marcos Square we did get to see some of the stunning architecture and local sights - all from a position of relative comfort, (mostly) out of the rain.
Got to have dinner with our new dinner buddies :- Shirley, Leonel, Melanie and Wade.