Thursday, September 18, 2014

Colored Houses & Beach Cabanas

Day 6: Chioggia – Venice
A visit to the fish market at dawn is an absolute "must".  Pedaling along the lagoon, you reach Pellestrina: from here, riding on the cycle path you reach the ferry landing stage. A short ferry-boat ride takes you to Lido island, along the “Murazzi”, with a stop in Malamocco. After the final short ride you reach the boat which takes you to the marina in Venice. 

We finish our 30k ride tonight on Lido Island. The bikes are loaded on the barge for the last time and we are told to take showers and get ready for dinner before appetizers on the top viewing deck. Usually we have appetizers and beverages immediately after the ride and then get ready for dinner. I might be the only one who doesn't change clothes for dinner. I simply don't have enough clothes with me. 

I arrive on the top deck as the barge is approaching Venice. Cool, clear, and a light breeze. The sun is setting and shining on Venice.

The morning begins with a walk to the fish market of Chioggia. Every imaginable edible thing from the sea is for sale. Then we walk through the street fair on the Main Street and Carol finds an ATM machine. We walk back to the barge to sail to Pallestrina. We leave the 2 sisters behind because they get lost. A water taxi delivers them to our barge eventually. We get our bikes on Pallestrino and ride along a sea wall  to one of the "campos" with a church. It is pretty quiet and residential with colorful houses and lots of fishing boats and fishing houses off the shore. We have some water and explore. I meet 3 older women who are sitting together talking and do not speak English. Bon Giorno, I say. They see my bike helmet which I forgot to take off and I know they would like to be friendly. I say I am from Washington, DC. They look puzzled. I say America and they understand. Then I say Virginia and they look puzzled. So I say Obama and they all shake their heads, Yes. Of course, I am only saying we live near each other!
They want to talk more but I say I don t speak Italian. I ask them where they were born and one woman understands. She was born in Chioggia but the others were born on Pellestrina. I extend my hand and they do the same. A warm handshake. But I have to go because  it is time to get back on the bikes. The Italians have been very open and warm.
Take Ferry with our bikes to Lido, an upscale sophisticated island with fancy homes and lots of beach cabanas. Molly's chain breaks and we stop for quite a while as Martina tries to fix it with a compromised tool in her pack. Bjarne is a big help and it finally connects. We ride to a Gelatto stand and then to the barge.

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