Friday, June 28, 2013

..... to Venice and back .... Wednesday 27th June

Today Deahna takes the prize for admitting to the most unusual habit - watching which way the water goes down the toilet .... guess we are not paddling her hard enough she still has tooooo much time on her hands. She also told us that toilets in Venice are the deepest she has ever seen .....

Our day started earlier than usual with an early breakfast and training session from 8 till 9 - kids really keen to get packed up and on the road to Venice by 10.

 An uneventful hour and a half trip along the motorway saw us following Finns downloaded directions right into the parking spaces opposite the train station on the mainland outside of Venice. Trying to find spaces for our two huge vans was an interesting exercise solved by Pavel who just parked in the middle of the rows working on the 'we are bigger than them' theory that the cars would do 97 point turns to get out around us. Lunch was eaten picnic style again in the car park - very pretty ....

Caught the train for the 10 minute journey across to Venice, walked out of the station and into the palazzo and the view of canals, gondolas, boats, beautiful buildings, cobbled streets, street vendors, sunshine and hundreds of people. Dale, Finn and Wendy have been to Venice but neither Martin nor Pavel had, nor had the other kids and so it could be said that everyone was blown away by a sight they had only ever seen in the 'James Bond' movies and 'The Italian Job'. Talked to the kids about Touts and pick pockets, bought them a map each, marked where we were and where we would meet them in a couple of hours in Piazza S. Marco , made sure they were in groups and equipped with a working cell phone and our cell phone numbers and let them loose.

 They were fantastic and had the time of their lives finding their way through the winding narrow streets, over hump back bridges, past courtyards and squares, buskers and beggars, tour parties of noisy orange coloured Americans, canals, gondolas and hundreds of tiny shops and markets. All of the kids except Robin, Jess and Deahna arrived on time at the allocated spot - we are sorry to say that Team RJD were eliminated from this stage of the adventure race having walked for two hours in a complete circle to arrive back at the train station - however they did see ALL the sights of Venice and did use their brains and texted us to say they would be a 'little late' to the meeting point. Italian ice cream was had by everyone, some many times, during the afternoon.

 Pavels predicted rain never arrived and those girls with strappy tops on got a bit sunburnt.

The famous Ponte di Rialto bridge was crazy full of tourists but the kids hung over the sides for ages watching the traffic jams of boats, water taxis and gondolas on the grand canal.

We made another meeting point for tea and did a bit of shopping on our way back. The kids were amazed at the rudness of some vendors especially when Wendy said 'lets keep looking' to Matthew in one shop and they were followed out of the tiny shop with the Italian cursing them for wasting his time .

We found a great wee restaurant on the side of one of the smaller canals and ordered genuine Italian pizza for tea. Fantastic atmosphere right in amongst the sights, smells and sounds of Venice.

Red roses arrived for Callum to purchase .... and the tout nearly had him convinced that he should fork out the money.

Quick walk back to the station, onto the train, into the vans and onto the motorway - very slick operation thanks to our drivers Pavel and Martin. The kids were absolutely fantastic and a pleasure to be with and very appreciative of the opportunity to experience a little bit of Italy.

Kids ready for bed - only one training tomorrow at 11am so a bit of a sleep in for everyone.

1 comment:

Susan Jane said...

with such wonderful prose I am there!