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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 9
Europe 2007
London, Tuscany, Paris


Day 17
Venice - Paris

Slept until seven, showered, packed, threw open our windows over the Ponte Accademia and watched the Venetians begin their Friday while we enjoyed breakfast in our room. Met M&M at 9:30.


We spent some time visiting with Luciano, one of the owners of our hotel, who lamented about what is happening to Venice. Venice has 60,000 inhabitants and 20 million tourists, and the ancient city is not able to cope with the post-9/11 influx of tourists. Luciano expressed hope that the city government will find a way to limit the number of tourists.

Luciano, our Concierge
Huge cruise ship just outside the Grand Canal

M&M wanted to visit the Guggenheim Museum and Carol and I wanted to visit the shop of Loris Marazzi, an uncanny, creative, unique woodcarver. We had stumbled onto his shop in 1999 and were in awe at his skill at creating everyday articles out of wood - shorts, shoes, hats, scarves, ties, all out of beautifully shaped and polished wood. We met the artist and he explained his technique to us and showed us a photo album of his works around the world.


After visiting with Loris Marazzi at his shop, we walked back and sat in the shadow of the Accademia Bridge and had finger sandwiches and cappuccino as we watched the never-ending boat traffic pass by.


Met M&M at 12:15, walked to the dock for the Ali Laguna boat/taxi to the airport. Enjoyed gelato and people-watching as we waited.


Waiting for the water taxi to the airport
The water taxi

The Ali Laguna taxi/boat ride to Venice's Leonardo da Vinci Airport to an hour and a half and made several stops along the way including The Lido. It was a very relaxing ride, with cool air coming in the open windows, and we saw more of Venice and its surrounding areas such as Murano.

Farewell to Venice

Arrived at the airport to find out that our MyAir flight to Paris was delayed by two hours. We checked in and passed through security and sat and had lunch at one of the airport restaurants.


As we sat at the gate in the Venice da Vinci Airport, announcements were made that our MyAir flight to Paris was delayed. It turned out to be delayed by seven hours - too late to fly into Orly Airport. Several of the Italian passengers translated announcements for us. One gentleman, an Italian wine producer, had just had lunch with Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona. I have to mention here that we found the Italian people to be warm, generous, helpful, friendly, charming and fun-loving. As a group we turned the delay in to a rather fun event. So at 12:15 a.m., after a ten-hour delay, we finally were in the air for the one hour and fifteen minute flight to Paris' massive De Gaulle airport.


Our plane to Paris was a little late

Prior to the flight we befriended Georges, a Frenchman and a true "angel." He is a computer designer (very special computers - click here for information) and quite charming fellow who spoke very little English. Thanks to French-speaking Muriel and Carol, we were able to communicate. Je sui desolet - je ne parle pas Francais. George is a warm and generous human being and offered to drive us from Charles de Gaulle Airport, far out of his way, to our hotel on Rue des Ecole. We arrived at 5 a.m. Carol slept for a few hours, but I was too jazzed about being in Paris, and even more jazzed about seeing our friends Mike and Annette. So off I went, dead on my feet, at 9:30 a.m. to rendezvous.

Carol, Georges and David
Georges, Muriel and Carol
Carol, Muriel, Marc and Georges making the best of a long wait

Our hotel in Paris was Hotel Familia and M&M's was Hotel Quartier Latin, very close to each other.

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