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TDE2017 – Day3: Venice, always nice…with less people!

Hi there, we’re back posting. The last few days were a real test for us… internet-wise πŸ™‚

In Switzerland we’ve gotten so used to CA’d-4G with (mobile) download speeds routinely exceeding 200Mbit and uploads around 40Mbit and FTTH slowly being the norm… until you leave the country, that is. The first three days in Italy really tested my patience with upload speeds in the low kbit region or just plain non-connectivity due to too many devices overloading consumer-grade WiFi equipment and grossly under-dimensioned internet links. Imagine waiting all night to upload 26 seconds of video! (Now in Slovenia, our Hotel reaches over 60Mbit on the uplink to my server at home via VPN, so all is good and blogging is fun again.)

Back to day 3 of TDE2017.

Our goal for today is to get to Venice quickly. I’ve been to Venice many times, but for my daughter it will be the first time – so I’d like to get through as much of the best spots as possible. What’s more, a large part of today’s roads will be in the pianura – a completely flat part of northern Italy. I’ve written about this part of Italy during previous trips here and here.

With a fully charged battery we leave our Agriturismo B&B and engage cruise control at 80+ kph.

80km/h cruise-control engaged

80km/h cruise-control engaged


 
The hills roll by and we’re overtaken by many incredulous Italian motorists asking themselves what exactly they are looking at driving at such a speed.

80km/h cruise-control engaged, part 2

80km/h cruise-control engaged, part 2


 
The last hills before 'la pianura'

80km/h cruise-control engaged, part 3


 
And as last time, without any warning, the hills were gone. No visual reference to us moving and endless stretches of road between small villages that all look alike.

No hills anymore!

No hills anymore!


 
Coming close to Venice, we not only took the roof off, but also were very happy to follow the signs proudly showing us to Venice.

Venice, here we come!

Venice, here we come!


 
Our GPS gave us an early view of the causeway and sea we would be crossing to get to Lido, where our hotel is.

The sea & Venice are close!

The sea & Venice are close!


 
And then, we zoom across the causeway with an extremely mean monorail in the right lane in which TW560’s tyres could get caught and break its rims – be careful!

Crossing the causeway into Venice

Crossing the causeway into Venice


 
After the causeway we headed to the ferry port linking Venice to the Lido island.

Why did I choose a hotel in Lido and not in Venice itself? Charging! Believe it or not, there are NO charging facilities available in the vast and massive parking lots just outside Venice, where everybody who arrives in a car and stays in the city has to park their vehicles… So the Lido was the next best option and I was able to find ourselves a reasonably priced (given the easter weekend) room in a villa to stay.

Venice - Lido ferry terminal

Venice – Lido ferry terminal


 
TWIKE pilots know how officials outside of Switzerland struggle with the vehicle’s ambiguous classification as anything between a push bike and a car. This time, however, this process took on an almost comic quality: Frantic calling to ever higher ranks, questions, more questions, more people arriving on-site, more questions, discussions between officials and phone calls back to HQ. I was creating such a line that they opened a second line just to route the traffic around TW560 during the deliberations.

My offers to pay the normal car rate were declined with the explanation that they didn’t want to create a dangerous precedent which I then could use to sue them (!) at a later point in time.

Bemused, we waited here a full 15 mins!

Bemused, we waited here a full 15 mins!


 
Well, in the end, after over a quarter of an hour, I was given the answer regarding which kind of vehicle type TW560 would be charged for.

A fitting choice! See for yourself. πŸ˜€

After this hiccup, we were allowed into the line and had to wait for the ferry, which, luckily, arrived just 10 minutes later.

TW560: pole position

TW560: pole position


 
It’s always interesting to do things like driving on ferries – so different to the usual commute!

The ferry crosses through Venice and gives us a first view of the town. My daughter loved the sights!

Being welcomed by Venice

Being welcomed by Venice


 
There are water-bound solutions for all needs here – be it the police, ambulances, taxis, food delivery … or transporting 40-ton trucks!

How trucks get ferried around

How trucks get ferried around


 
After arriving in Lido, we check into our villa and then head straight back to the water-taxi port in Lido and head to the first tourist spots.

The world-famous Rialto bridge

The world-famous Rialto bridge


 
One thing is immediately clear: easter weekend is a bad time to go to Venice. There are just too many people here!

Too many people!

Too many people!


 
But alas, this cannot be changed right now, so we make the best of it.

Prior to our trip she had compiled a list of things she wanted to see/do on our trip and this was one of her #1 wishes – happy to grant her this wish πŸ™‚

We are, however, not the only ones in a gondola…

Gondola-jam

Gondola-jam

We ask the gondoliere to change the route and suddenly we’re in the clear – much better!

Ah, this is better

Ah, this is better


 
Whilst on the water, we see an alternate option to get around Venice – we will definitely look into next time we’re here:

A less congested way to get around Venice

A less congested way to get around Venice


 
We get to cross off most of the items from my daughters list and I get to show her some less known things I remembered from visits in the past.

Venice remains one of the places I really like and would love to stay for a month or so, giving me the chance to get to really know the city.

We catch a late water-bus and after finding out that we will have to take the same ferry to the mainland because the smaller ferry to Edolo doesn’t run on easter Sunday, have some superb food in a restaurant on lido beach.

See you tomorrow!

TDE2017 Day3 GPS track

TDE2017 Day3 GPS track