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Arriving at Venice

Arriving at Venice (click to enlarge — all photos)

Okay. If it was all predictable, it wouldn’t be adventure, right? And with all the buses, taxis, and boats we’ve traveled on during the past couple of days, there was plenty of opportunity for unpredictability.

Picking up where we left off in the previous post:

  • Bus to Heraklion – check (after tearful goodbyes)
  • Ferry to Athens – check (and quite pleasant, in spite of bunk beds)
  • Bus to Patras – check

We arrived at the Patras ferry terminal at about 11:00 AM Saturday, checked in, and were told that we would be able to board Corragio, our Venice-bound, two-night ferry around 9:00 PM that night for a midnight departure. It was going to be a ten-hour wait, but we knew it was coming.

So far, so good.

We endured the wait, imprisoned by our own bags. The ferry terminal – in most ways quite modern and clean – offered no storage for luggage, so like persistent unwanted relatives, our bags went wherever we did – which, given the heat and the bags’ weight, wasn’t far.

Dragging bags, we trudged to a nearby cafe for lunch. Ordered big, with reorders of beer, to extend our stay. As nothing else was nearby, we eventually had to trudge back to the terminal. Metal chairs; no sleeping. Played cards. Read. People-watched. Louise beaded an entire bracelet. A co-ed, teenaged, hormonal Greek scout troop provided entertainment, as did a ballroom dancing club, practicing on the balcony overlooking the (vacant) ferry dock.

At a quarter to nine and no ferry in sight, we inquired about the 9:00 boarding time. “The ferry is late. It will arrive at 1:00 AM. There are too many people between Patras and Venice.” Try as we might, we couldn’t parse the meaning of that last sentence as it applied to our tardy ferry, but we had five hours to contemplate it (in addition to the nine hours we had already spent there).

The ferry arrived at 1:00 AM Sunday morning. We boarded at 2:00 AM and slept until 11:00 AM Monday. Contrary to our expectations, two days on the luxurious Greek ferry was more like a continuation of the time spent at the terminal: monotonous and lethargic. More reading. More cards. More beads.

Arriving in Venice Tuesday, we wandered in Italian heat for two hours, lost, dragging bags over interminable bridges, trying to find our apartment. It’s 6:00 in the evening now. We’ve napped and we’re ready for exploration – just like the good scouts we’ve become.