Where in the world are Raime and Kate? travel blog

A Venitian 'street'

A church (we can't remember which one it is!)

A Venetian 'crosswalk'

That boat is a metro car in Venice!

The madness of San Marco square

Venice from the campanile

From the campanile again...

The pigeons in San Marco sqaure-there are even more than there are...


Kate and Kathy at the edge of Venice

Had to get a classic Venice tourist shot..

On the island of Murano-Raime took pix while Kate and Kathy checked...

Murano-the biggest of the 3 islands we visited

Murano again

Burano and its multicolored houses

At Burano


Checking out the back streets of Burano

A corner of Burano

An attempt to push up the leaning tower

7th century church at Toricello

The baptistry of the church?

The church once again

Sunset from one of the canals in the old Jewish ghetto of...

The saddest piece of rock in the world...

Lucern from the top of the still-standing medieval city wall

In Lucern

Raime and the 'best map ever'!

Kate and Raime working on the map puzzle contest!

Well, internet was hard to find in Venice, which is why we've been away so long. But the city was amazing. It ws so neat to be completely away from cars and motos for a couple of days. The wonders of Italy (rude people, terrible crowds, etc) persisted, but we were better able to ignore them in this crazy lagoon setting. Venice is a wonderful maze of canals and tiny winding streets, so finding our way was a bit tricky at times, but it was all part of the experience. The day we arrived Raime and Kathy took a stroll around the winding streets and then we all had dinner at a fabulous Indian restaurant. Who would have thought you could get great Indian in Venice? And we even got to sit right on a canal! The next day we strolled down to San Marco square, which was the epitomy of tourism, it was really a bit much. We vowed to come back in October or April sometime when we won't have to dodge so many people to get into the cathedral. There are also more people than pigeons in the square, and we're not exaggerating! Crazy, stupid tourists even feed them and let them eat out of their hands and let them sit in their hair as they take pictures-yuck! At San Marco we did go to the top of the campinile which gave us great views of the city and surrounding islands. That afternoon we took a boat tour to three of the islands in the lagoon (thanks Holly!)- Murano, famous for its glass, Burano, famous for lace and brightly colored houses (so fishermen could spot their houses as they returned from the sea), and Turicello, famous for the 7th century church built there. It was great to see all the small islands and the people who live and work there. Our next day in Venice we strolled around in the morning (Kate shopped for Murano glass jewlery and Raime was very patient!!) and then Kate and Kathy took the vaporetto (the Venetician metro - a boat! very cool) down to Peggy Guggenheim's mansion to see her art collection, which was great. Lots of very different pieces from sculptures to a Pollock exhibit. That evening we walked around in the old Jewish ghetto of Venice.

Yesterday we spent most of the day on the train, which sounds boring but it was actually amazing. The ride north from Italy into Switzerland was spectacular. We rode through lots of little mountain towns and past huge blue lakes. We arrived in Lucern around dinnertime and had a chance to get gouged for our meal (everything here is insanely expensive) and then take a stroll by the lake and gaze at the mountains. The mountains aren't far off and the lake is so clear, it's really wonderful. Today we saw all the sights of Luzern in a matter of a couple of hours (it's quite a small city), including the lion statue dedicated to soliders who died in the French Revolution, the medevial city wall, and a very old 14th century wooden bridge. We spent the entire drizzly afternoon at one of the best museums any of us can remember ever visiting, the Swiss Transportation Museum. We saw old cars, planes, pretended to be air traffic controllers, rode in a flight simulator (it's now official that Raime will not be pursuing a career as a fighter pilot!!), and learned about all the train lines in Switzerland-including all the ones that go straight up 3000 meter high mountains! We even saw a really cool IMAX movie about Austrailian wildlife on Switzerland's biggest movie screen (we had headsets with the English translation!). The coolest part by far was the huge map at a scale of 1:20,000 of the country of Switzerland. Raime could have stayed there all day! The map was made from 7800 photos taken from planes and pieced together. It was really incredible. Kate's favorite part was a contest they had to find parts of the country to win a prize! Kathy had fun but spent lots of her afternoon waiting for the kids to play with maps and flight simulators-what a good mom! Tomorrow we're off to Interlaken where we'll hopefully find some outdoor adventures to pursue. We're quickly falling in love with Switzerland for its order and predictablity after Italy, but also for the beauty and the people here (although we're not so crazy about the incredible cost of everything from a pizza to a pack of gum!). More from there and pictures too we hope. Keep in touch! xoxo.

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