Haven't been able to download my photos yet, but I'll post them on Facebook a.s.a.p.
It is 11:59 a.m. Friday, April 1, 2011, and I, the never-grown-up Roger Margason, am sitting in the Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy, with my constant companion, the worldly and sophisticated (in his own mind) Dorien Grey. And now several church bells--including those in the tower--are just striking noon. I just descended from the tower (8 euros for the elevator ride up and down...well worth it) and can't imagine how deafening it must be for those standing under the bells. I'd still have been there, had my camera's batteries not, understandably, haven given up the ghost after taking so many photos on the walk to the Piazza. (I'd intended to walk to the train station and catch a vaporetto to the square but, with the luck reserved for Roger Margason, the vaporetti are on strike today, and there are no water busses running.)
So I walked. The way through the amazing warren of tiny streets and narrow passageways (some barely wide enough to allow for two people walking abreast) and over numerous bridges are all clearly marked with signs pointing to the Piazza, so it was easy (I did get waylaid once, but all I had to do was ask "San Marco" and be pointed in the right direction. The walk took less than 30 minutes.)
A four-piece orchestra, on a canopied platform in front of the restaurant at which I am seated, is playing familiar Italian songs--just finished "C'est Si Bon" and have just launched into Edith Piaf's "MiLord,"dd and I am again young and thrilled to be in Venice, Italy, and, in short, incredibly happy.
A white-coated waiter has just taken a photo for the people a couple tables away. I hope to have a photo that shows the restaurant, and I'll probably be returning here tomorrow with my friends Karl and Johan, who are coming down from Switzerland for a reunion. Can't wait to recharge my camera's batteries. Mine are already full.
Later, you can be sure.