That’s been the theme of today. We’ve made it to Venice!
We left Ferrara yesterday in a fairly strong headwind but battled along the flat cycle track beside the Po fairly well. Not a huge amount to report on that stretch really, although we were amused to be following a small van along the path as it stopped at each picnic area making repairs and building benches. We were relieved to find that they had finished the benches at the particular spot we decided to stop at for lunch, though two men were still putting on the finishing touches on other benches nearby!
Our destination yesterday was Chioggia, a port just south of Venice. We arrived having completed another 111k day (weird how the mileage was identical two days running) and were pretty tired. There’s lots of campsites in Chioggia but unfortunately they obviously all decided the close of season date together, and it was before we arrived…
Turns out Chioggia is the Blackpool of Italy, with fun parks and tourist restaurants all along the beach side strip, not somewhere we would have chosen to spend a night. But beggars can’t be choosers and with the sun starting to set, we settled on one of the first hotels we found. I’ll be honest and say I think we’ve both been feeling a bit travel weary of late and arriving into a strange city at night and having to change accommodation plans at the last minute is fairly stressful. We ate dinner in a nearby restaurant and went to bed a bit worried about what the next day would bring.
Of course we needn’t have been concerned! It’s amazing how quickly your mood can change while you’re travelling. Our cycle to the ferry this morning revealed that Chioggia actually has a charming old town that we had completely missed in our previous evening’s accommodation search. The boats were running frequently and fitted our tandem on fine and the tickets were cheap.
We headed for the mainland just north of Venice. Getting there involved the island-hopping alluded to in this post title. After our first ferry hop, we cycled 10k up a very narrow island (just a few hundred metres in places). We were shocked to miss the next ferry by seconds, but checked out a little fishing village and sat in the sun. Then another ferry hop to cycle up another long thin island (this one a suburb of Venice with marinas, swanky shops and a golf course).
Our final ferry hop was on the smallest boat so far. The skipper seemed a bit aggrieved at squeezing Thorina on, though his crew was impressed by the ‘beautiful bike’. Towards the end of the journey John pointed out a safety notice translated onto 4 different languages. The English read ‘on hearing the warning signal passengers should put on their warm dresses and gather at the assembly point’. We had a good chuckle at the image of everyone on board struggling into a dress with sirens going off in the background…
We found a campsite by the sea, and headed into Venice for dinner and a walk around. It’s wonderful!
Tomorrow, we head for Codroipo.