This was partly a travel day as we left Venice and journeyed into the southern Alps to Italy’s largest lake, Lake Garda. But first, as promised the night before, we had to rise early for a quick (very quick) breakfast in order to get to the church service at St. Marks at 7:00 a.m. Unfortunately, we were a little late – we heard the bells tolling as we walked out to the square – when we arrived at the church, the barriers were up and the doors were closed – they tolerate no tardiness at St. Marks. Therefore, those of us who had the good intentions of attending services, formed a prayer circle in the middle of the plaza and Pastor Brown led us in prayer. We then retunred to the hotel and finished our breakfast.
By 8:00 a.m. we had our luggage downstairs, were checked out and headed back across the square to another water taxi which would deliver us to our motor coach for our days’ travel. The water taxi was another fun ride across the canals which Judy thoroughly enjoyed as she stood in the back open part of the boat. Our bus was on time, but we didn’t recognize it (pastor had the wrong name), so we left a little late for our three hour drive to Lake Garda. The first part of the trip was typical freeway driving, but the last twenty miles was in the mountains. As we approached the town of Riva, we were treated to some beautiful scenery looking down on the lake and up into the mountains. Traffic was heavy coming into town so we didn’t arrive until around 1:00. We unloaded luggage and walked several blocks to our hotel.
After we checked in and dropped off our luggage we went to eat in the hotel’s dining room – outside with a nice view of the lake. We ate lightly, splitting a pizza with others. Then we strolled around the lake front, stopping to view some dancers, a group dressed in what I can best describe as antebellum south – hoop skirts, etc. They were performing some dances that resembled square dancing – seemed out of place in Italy, but maybe our ancestors borrowed the style from Italy (?).
At 4:00 we were back on the bus and went about 30 minutes into the mountains to an old medieval town. It was small and we strolled the narrow streets for about a half hour before heading back to Riva. Just as we got on the bus, it started to rain and was coming down steadily when we got back to the hotel – got a little wet on the fast walk to the hotel.
Our room had a small veranda where we were somewhat sheltered and had a slice of a view to the lake. Some of our fellow travelers – the Smiths and Beavers – joined us for some fun social time. The rain refused to let up and we eventually decided to dodge the raindrops and go to dinner. We found a small restaurant next to our hotel and had dinner. Judy had a salad (only vinegar oil for dressing) and I had a hamburger (but it was served “naked” – no bun). But it was good and we enjoyed the time with our fellow travelers – again the Smiths and Beavers.
We are now back in the hotel room getting everything ready for tomorrow morning – another early rising as we are supposed to be ready to head to the bus at 7:00 a.m. We’ll see how that works out.