Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th September 2022
The year 2022 has been very nautical in flavour: having spent almost three months on a narrowboat; returned from America on the Queen Mary and island-hopped in the Isles of Scilly we are now heading to Italy to spend 12 days cruising the rivers, canals and sea around the Venice Laguna with two of our regular TravellingHerd companions, Liz and Martin.
We have one night in Florence on our way to meet them and pick up our boat.
It seems Robert is back to his old tricks again and has booked a hotel near the station we will be departing from in the morning. Sometimes this has resulted in us staying in some rather disreputable areas. However in Florence we find we are just in the suburbs enjoying a balmy evening with the locals. After checking in to our hotel, a short walk took us to the Pin Up Beerstrò bar next to the Cinema Flora.
The charming waiter [seen in the background between us in the photo above] clearly had the measure of Robert. Having scanned the QR code so that we could peruse the menu, Robert found that the beer we both wanted to order was served as 0.3L and he asked if he could have a larger measure. He was told that this was the standard ‘Rome pint’ serving, so Robert duly ordered two. Regular readers will know that we had encountered the US pint earlier this year. The waiter then turned to Matilda to ask for her order, assuming Robert had ordered two for himself. We were reminded of our friend John, who will sometimes order two pints for himself if he thinks other people are not keeping up with the pace he is setting.
The following morning we caught a train to Bologna, then a connection to Maestre and finally on to Quarto d’Altino. There had been some lengthy discussions via text regarding buying some essential supplies and coordinating a taxi to collect us from the station, then Martin and Liz from their hotel [with the provisions] to take us all to the boatyard. As we would not have arranged the taxi ourselves, Robert decided to take matters into his own hands to ensure we would be recognised.
As it turned out there was only one taxi waiting and the driver seemed to have no trouble identifying the English tourists without additional visual aids.
When we arrived, the Captain (Robert, obviously) took his place in the queue in reception whilst the rest of the crew were invited to take the luggage and provisions on board.
Robert delegated the task of taking photos of the Caprice 601.
Having watched the safety video in advance the Captain and Co-Captain (Martin) underwent a briefing including navigational pointers and advice on the routes we could take. Many of the boats had been hired for a week, but since we have ours for 12 days we were told we would be able to go further afield.
All four of us had a session to familiarise ourselves with the features of Caprice 601.
We were advised that many of the moorings on the route south towards Venice could already have been taken, we agreed to turn left out of the marina as the adventure starts – see Video of the day – and head north for ten minutes to have a refreshing libation and visit the supermarket for a few additional supplies. The following morning we would then be able to start the journey proper towards Venice.
The mooring point was conveniently situated adjacent to the Osteria del Porto where the chairs featured playing card.
Having visited the supermarket, we ate at the Trattoria al Sile and took a stroll round Casier, where a festival had been set up next to the church [see Selfie of the day] before returning for our first night on board.