We were supposed to take the train from Ravenna to Venice at 11:30 am. But on Monday when I went to double check the train time, I found out that the train crews were going on strike. I've never really understood the scheduled strikes in Italy and France, but there has been at least one each time I've made a trip.
Anyway, the trains were going to be on strike Tue from 9 am to 5 pm, so our only train option was a 6:20 am. YUCK. I did a little searching on line and found a couple of bus transfer companies, but they were pretty expensive. They really stick it too the cruise ship passengers who rely on these transfers. Then I talked to the front desk at our hotel. The lady working there found us an 8 passenger van that picked us up at 10:00 am and was 1/2 the cost of the other companies. So keep that in mind when you are traveling. I love booking things on line but the locals can often find you a better deal at the last minute.
I was a little worried about all our luggage, but it all fit. And the van had a/c and was very comfortable. It was a 2 hour trip from Ravenna to Venice which was a lot shorter than taking the train and changing in Bologna. Venice was beautiful & sunny when we arrived. We got dropped off in the bus parking lot and had to carry out luggage over the bridge and down to the train station plaza. But what a wonderful sight, sunny skies & the Grand Canal. And it was busy, people & boats every where. We were a couple of hours early but our rooms were ready so we checked in and went to have lunch. It was really HOT and a bit muggy so we didn't search too hard. Ended up at a rather expensive and not so good place, but it worked out. We did have some better meals later in our trip.
http://www.venicewithaguide.com/ (we found her using out Rick Steves guide to Venice :-).
We learned a lot about Venice from her, and we ended up at St. Marks. She took us inside, it was nice to skip the long line and showed us around. The mosaics inside are really beautiful, all 90,000 sq feet of them. Mom didn't feel like walking but she and Mary took the Vapparetto over to St. Marks and met us there.
Thursday morning we got up and met at Brek for breakfast. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187870-d775192-Reviews-Brek-Venice_Veneto.html Then we bought Vapparetto passes and all went out to Murano. I really like all the glass shops and Murano is a lot quieter than Venice. It was a little overcast but muggy & hot. We spent the day at Murano and all went back to Venice at different times. But we met for dinner and had to say good-bye to Sachiko. She was going back to Seattle early on Friday morning.
Friday we all did different things. I ended up going back to Murano with Linda and Lowry. We got to see 2 glass blowing demonstrations which were very interesting. Then after lunch I wandered around the between the train station & St. Marks, just looking around. Linda had a nap, she has a bad cold. Lowry got over to the art museum and got some amazing pictures.