With just enough time to eat we boarded our Lufthansa flight for Venice. Can I just say what a clean airline they are with comfortable seats and free drinks. The flight was just as nice with gorgeous views of the mountains covered with snow that would make you think we were on a trip in December.
Suddenly the mountains passed and flat land began to appear. In the distance I saw what I thought was Venice and as we got closer the images that I dreamed about began to appear. I could see St. Mark's Campanile and knew then that the Piazza San Marco was right below it. The Grand Canal, the road and train route leading over the water, boats skimming the surface going to and fro from Venice, it was all coming to life this trip of ours!
The Venice Marco Polo airport seemed very new and was quite the contrast from Frankfurt's dreariness. E. was carrying a backpack so she didn't need to go through baggage claim for her luggage. I had decided the night before that I could not do a backpack. I had really wanted to do this and had researched as well as asked a close friend of what she carried when she traveled. I bought the Rick Steve's Convertible Carry-on and multiple packing cubes that separated as well as made it easy to find what I wanted versus searching my bag for toiletries, chargers and camera items, undies, pants and tops. However once I had packed and repacked, attempted to cut items from being packed, I knew the backpack would be too hard on my neck. If I didn't have an iffy neck I would have 100% done the backpack. Down to the wire, hubby found a rolling carry-on bag up in our garage that would work just fine. For future travel with a rolling bag I plan on finding a lighter weight one as the one I carried was an older style that was quite sturdy but not that light. I choose to check it so that I would only carry one bag around that could hold my Canon DSLR camera, a small Gorillapod, a book to read, water in a bobble as well as passport and money.
Ahead of the trip we talked about how we would get to Venice from the airport and I found that there were two bus shuttles that could take us there. Based on blogs and research we decided to buy our bus ticket ahead through ATVO which we could catch in front of the terminal. E. and I strolled out front to find the ticket machine where we were to obtain our tickets. They were quite easy to find just as was written. We were suppose to put in our paid code/confirmation number and it allegedly would spit the tickets out, but no such luck. No matter how E. typed it in no tickets would come out. After spending quite a bit of time and letting others use the machine to buy tickets (watching how they were doing it and hoping someone else was trying to do a code/confirmation too) , seeing buses coming and going, we asked a driver that was standing by one of the buses how to obtain the tickets. Response was we needed to go back into the terminal and locate the tourist transportation ticket area inside to receive our tickets. For the record it is easier to buy your ticket there and whatever little we saved by buying ahead is not worth the waiting in the tourist ticket line. Buy your ticket outside by the buses like everyone else. The ATVO buses were very clean and they even load and unload your bag for you.
In looking at the one website that had been so helpful after we came back, I do see that we were suppose to go inside to get our tickets. Sometimes there is only so much information you can store in your head or write down and this was just one of our stumbling blocks of what I will call "we didn't know", aka WDK. For us it just added to the adventure and of our "flying by the seat of our pants"!
The bus dropped us off at Piazzale Roma where all the bus and car transportation stops are. To step off the bus in the parking lot wondering which way to go felt like the opening of storybook. We were here and ready to cross our first bridge. In essence we just started walking in the direction of the first bridge we saw, E. walked silently and I went over the bridge clunk, clunk, clunk, as almost every bridge in Venice has small steps. Benvenuti a Venezia!