Thursday, October 30, 2008

By the Sea

Dateline: Thursday. Started our day with a nice little breakfast at our B & B (and invited one of the B & B dogs into our room for a visit - we're missing Oliver!):

Then, we set out on foot for the Basilica di San Vitale to see Byzantine mosaics – stunningly beautiful. Also popped into the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia for even more glittering beauty.

Thursday was sunny, and very windy (note the wilder than usual hair). Oh, and Denise, please note the photo with my new watch. Never mind that I'm wearing two pair of glasses below.

Ravenna is bicycle friendly to say the least. The middle of the pedestrian areas are smooth, light colored or painted bricks for bikes only. Meanwhile, us pedestrians had to walk on either side on a much rougher stone surface. People use their bikes to commute and are dressed in their work attire. Young and old, men and women, everyone peddles the streets and it is fun to watch it all. Even the mail is delivered by bicycle!

After much discussion and consulting of Rick, we decided we would head to Padova (English name: Padua) and establish a home base for the next three nights. Our plan is to venture into Venice without the burden of a car or luggage by staying outside of the city. To get to Padova, we went up the coast highway that runs alongside the Adriatic Sea. We stopped at a small beach town, which had essentially shut down and was completely boarded up, where we got out and touched the sand and the sea and snapped a few photos (and collected a few treasures!).

Back into the car and after an hour of driving, we stopped at what we thought would be a small town, but turned out to be quite big, Chioggia. We called it the little brother of Venice as it was filled with canals and little bridges.

This could have been one of the most scenic little towns we have gone through, but either they had a big party the night before and the clean-up crew failed to show up or they are all brain dead and don’t know how to use a garbage can. What litter it had.

The canals are really beautiful and where Rick Steves says that Venice’s local population is leaving or dying at a rate of about 1000 a year (and those left are mainly over 65), Chioggia had the feeling of a very alive and vibrant population even though it is the off season.

We arrived in Padova and got checked into our hotel, the Hotel Al Cason. The room numbers are printed in block letters on the floor outside of the doors - and when you enter the hallway, a series of lights turn on illuminating the way.

True confessions: We had dinner at McDonald’s and went back to our room to watch satellite TV in English! We needed a break from rustic, quaint, and old! The M & M’s are great. Hey Mike, still got that pouch?

As usual, Howard's comments are in italics.


Destree said...

The woman on the yellow bike (is she the mail-woman?) seems less than happy to have her pic taken....and what is that in the bottle? Very mysterious.....when are you all coming home?

Destree said...

Just thought of something else...did you already make arrangements to get your piece picked up from LaunchPad? I'm going this weekend if you need me to scoop yours up too, let me know. That's all....

Anonymous said...

Mom and Dad,

First Oliver misses you too, we decided not to show the picture of you cheating on him with another dog! The bike friendly city looks awesome...our dream come true. Mike still has his pouch, no Italian M&M's in it though. So, Mom, what did you eat at McDonald's, any true-true confessions of eating meat?? Mike wants to know how to say Big Mac in Italian?!

We love you. Thank you for keeping all of us so well informed of your adventure!

Love, Amy, Mike, Jackson, Emmett, Pesa and Oliver.

Dayna Collins said...

Amy, in response to your comments, here goes:
1) No meat, and if I were to eat meat again, it sure wouldn't be at Mickey D's. I had a Greek salad (go figure) and FRENCH FRIES. I needed potatoes and grease.
2) The mail woman actually laughed after her photo was taken and told Dad, "5 Euros." It was just a quick click and it appears that she wasn't happy. Dad said she was startled at first - wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

m & m's and italy!! how did you manage that? i was thinking about you the other day wondering if you were missing that favorite "lap" snack! the sculpture garden was AMAZING!! want to wiggle my nose, be there, and wander thru it. Vicki