The Grand Tour, Death in Venice

You know, seriously? What kind of trip is it when what you take away from three days in Venice is three hours in a train standing in the aisle puking into a plastic bag because the toilets are in use? Not to put too fine a point on it but let’s just say that vomiting is only the upper half of the problem and the toilets on the train were far from sanitary.

We had to get up at 4 in the morning to get to the airport to catch the plane to Venice. (IntraEurope flights are remarkably cheap which makes me wonder about our US airlines and their money woes. We took a Vueling flight from Brussels to Venice and return from Rome and it cost $150). So far so good. We had rented a VRBO apartment from a forbidding woman who told us not to sit on the furniture because they were “real antiques” and to be fair about it, no one would want to sit on any of it because it was less comfortable than say, the toilets on the train though cleaner I suppose. The apartment, advertised as having WiFi did not. Nor did it have a coffeemaker. Or an oven, microwave or a juicer. Not that I’d have wanted a juicer or for that matter the oven or microwave. But no coffeemaker? No internet?? What was this? The middle ages? Where was I? Minsk?

Venice is gloriously beautiful. From top to bottom there is not a spot in Venice that is not glorious. We saw Titians, Tintorettos, Tiepolos and Canellettis. There was Basilica San Marco, Piazza San Marco, Restaurante San Marco. It was all radiant, glowing, wonderful and mesmerizing. And yet, at around midnight on Tuesday I knew what my fate was going to be. (Fortunately, although there was not microwave, there were 2 toilets.) I have no idea what we ate but by the time I laid down that night something was not right in my stomach and it turned out to be not only not right, it was very very wrong. By four in the morning I was in my own private toilet (and who knew that just a few hours later I’d be thinking fondly of that toilet) and beyond just the misery of the moment, I was well aware that at 8:30 I’d have a water taxi ride to the train station and then 3.5 hours of train ride.

Well you know what happens next but the outcome is that the smell of wine sickens me and the thought of food digusts me. There’s the take away.