Unlike Milan, which at some places looked like a ghost town, Venice was teeming with people which made my progress to the hotel slow. After a wrong turn and incorrect Google maps address we finally reached the hotel reception door at 1915 hrs only to find it shut with a phone number written on a piece of paper. Now not only would I have to pay the extra charge but also make calls while in international roaming. Again the same lady answered and said someone will be there in ten min to handover the keys while the paperwork would have to be done tomorrow. Nothing to do as we waited, Swati and I had a good laugh over the obstacle race which we had just lost pathetically. 30 min and many mosquito bites later (yes there are mosquito's in Venice) no one had turned up so I was forced to call the lady again. She seemed surprised no one had turned up and assured me some one would be there in next 5 min and this time she was proven right. We were escorted to our apartment and given brief information about the apartment and the city. The apartment is new just 2 years old and had everything a traveler needs.
It was 2000 hrs by the time we freshned up. There was still daylight outside so we decided to explore the neighborhood at leisure this time. Just outside our hotel ran a small canal which up ahead connected to the grand canal which is the jugular vein of Venice. Many tourists were driving their own boats while many had hired water taxis while still others were enjoying gondola rides. There are no road vehicles in Venice. On the banks of the canal were infinite number of cafes mostly serving sea food delicacies. Among these canals and banks were nestled churches and chapels of all sizes. I have imagined of coming to Venice since the days I saw amitabh romance zeenat in a gondola to the very recent Daniel Craig starrer James Bond movie. I must say Venice didn't disappoint. It is a beautiful unique place.
After satiating our eyes and souls over the beauty of Venice it was time to satiate our hunger. We peeped inside one of the many cafes displaying various delicacies and ordered for a vegetarian focaccia. The cafe was run by Bangladeshi immigrants who in time we would come to know had almost swarmed the place. On our way back to the hotel Swati stopped regularly at various shops and flee markets more excitedly than at the previous one. I pleaded her to keep the shopping for next day which she agreed to and so ended our first day in Venice with my brain still humming 'O'More Mitoooo ........ Ya hai mohabbat, ya hai jawani'