Riding Our Bikes Into the Golden October – RTB #6 – To Venice!

As I go home from Zurich (RISE workshop), the wonderful eight days before come to mind. The last leg was from Cáorle to Venedig and I enjoyed it just as much as all the others.

In Venice, the railway station was our destination. We were going to park the bikes and spend a few hours strolling through Venice.

My farewell to Cáorle in the morning consisted of a view from the balcony.

This Wednesday, the last day of our tour, also promises beautiful weather. And it is going to deliver, too.

Then we start. They say the way to Venice is around fifty kilometres. We plan to take the route through Jesolo. From there to the harbour and to the Lido with one of the bigger Vaporetto (a big one because of the bikes).

From there, it is only a few hundred meters to the ferry at Venice harbour. And then, it should not be too far to the railway station.

Again, we have no guide on paper. Consequently, we have to find our own way. It is quite easy: all you have to do is avoid the broad streets – and you will end up on the most beautiful narrow roads by default.

Everything is plane, the ways are beautifully paved and there is only light traffic. It is a very sentimental route.

We arrive around midday. The “Andrea”, a big Vaporetto with the destination Lido, is just coming in. Everything is perfect. The first “Ocean Cruise” starts.

Our lunch break is on Lido. A friendly-looking restaurant serves lunch. We eat our last Pizza on Italian soil.

We sit on the restaurant patio and look over the ocean.

The Levka Ori of Anek Lines is just starting her journey to Patras.

Memories creep up. In the past, we often took this ship wen we went  camping with the kids in Greece.

Then we continued towards the car ferry, which is to take us to Venice harbour. Not far from the railway station. Another wonderful ship cruise of a little more than half an hour through Venice.

In Venice, things get a little complicated. I cannot find my way to the railway station. As we try to get close to the railway, we end up on the dam connecting Venice to the mainland. There is no way out. We have to ride along the entire bank.
You cannot change directions. Adieu Venice! Finally, at a bus stop, almost at Mestre, a pedestrian’s bridge spans the motorway-like dam road.

There is even a lift. Of course, the first one we try is “out of order”. So what? We carry the bikes up the steps. At least, the lift on the opposite side works. Naturally, it is too small for the bikes. But at least our luggage is transported in the lift.

This maneuvre made us perspire. Now we go back to Venice over the bank. Well, we rode a few more kilometres than we intended on this day, after all.

Our second attempt to reach the railway station is a little cleverer. We ask the way. It turns out that, indeed, we have to climb steep stairs (there is no ramp for bikes, prams or wheelchairs). We finally made it. After another few metres through the Venetian squeeze, we see the railway station.

🙂 This is the world’s only railway station you can not reach by bike. We push our bikes to the luggage service.

The not very friendly luggage service person wants six Euros per bag. We have six of them, so we would have to pay 36 Euros. He does not accept the bikes. He says they can be parked at the opposite side of the bridge we just came from. Now we really get fed up with this. So we take both our bikes and our luggage and push them through Venice. Allegedly, this is forbidden. The policemen we meet, however, do not seem to care.

First and foremost, we quench our thirst. We sit down in front of a simple bar. The beer (0.4 litres) costs “only” 7.50 Euros. We try to drink moderately, but still need four glasses of beer. That is a total of 30 Euros. Just about the sum we saved when not using the luggage storage service.

Still, the evening in Venice turns out quite nice. We walk to the Canale Grande and spend quite a bit of time there just observing what goes on in the water.

Then we go and eat dinner. At a small public open space, we find a typical tourist restaurant with a typical tourists’ menu. First they serve Spaghetti, then Venetian Liver accompanied by a side dish of your own choice. You finish with dessert. It costs 15 Euros, all included. Now that sounds better than a glass of beer for 7.50 Euros, doesn’t it?

We sit down. It tastes delicious. The wine is also quite tasty. Next to us, three nice persons talk IT. Some way or other, that sounds familiar to me.

They are from AVAYA (“The Power of We”). Security is an important issue. The colleagues are from London, Rome and Frankfurt. We exchange visiting cards. Who knows, maybe something will develop from this contact?

We arrive at the platform on time. The train is already there. Everything in our compartment is fine. The night conductor is a very friendly lady. The bike compartment is right next to our sleeping compartment. It feels good to take a shower. Fresh clothes for tomorrow.

And we look forward to a good night’s sleep.

(Transtlated by EG)

Incidentally, this was the first time I slept truly well in a sleeping compartment. I slept soundly until five o’cock. Then the train alarm sounded. A smoker is already at it. The sensitive alram immediately sounded. That is truly annoying for all the other passengers. And then I found it impossible to go back to sleep.

In the morning, the conductor apologized and told us the illegal smoker had to pay a fee of 80 Euros. Well, that does not really help me, does it?

On arrival in Munich, I exchanged my bike and luggage for the business suitcase and took the train a few platforms on to Zurich.

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