Sunday morning woke me up at the break of day. There was something rattling in the hallway just outside my room. It turned out to be an open window which was being swung open and shut by the blizzard that was targeting the motel with snow and hail. The thick carpet in the hallway was soaked with melted snow and hail. There was a woman 20 meters down the corridor vacuuming the carpet. When she saw me trying to close the window dressed in nothing but my underpants, she hurried towards me. She gave me this guilty look which people exhibit when they are caught red handed. I couldn’t understand the Italian she was speaking, but it turned out that there was something wrong with the window locking mechanism. Why bother repairing it or at least signaling it to the frontdesk when you have more important things to do like vacuuming? Since I couldn’t discover a quick fix for the problem I left the woman to deal with the window, got back inside and started preparing for the day, cursing the weather gods. It was now 6:15 in the morning.
Breakfast was in the usual self service fashion that you find in those motels, with the slight variation that in this place you had to self-serve yourself at boiling the eggs too. Three to five minute would do, said the waitress. Since the water didn’t look like boiling to me, I decided to leave them in for 8 minutes. They were still not boiled when I opened them. By the time I had finished breakfast it was a little past seven and the storm had ceased. It had cleared the skies and there was now a timid sun trying to break through the morning dew. I paid the bill, got into the car, drove by the Lago di Como and by half past seven had already left Milan behind me on my way to Venice. The rest of the journey was pretty uneventful. Wide and straight stretches of nicely laid out motorway got me past Bergamo, Brescia, the Lago di Garda, Verona, Vincenza and Padova to Venice in two hours. Finding the ferry port was a bit more difficult, but I got there without even having to ask for the way. I reckoned I would be far too early, since the ferry boats usually leave at around 4 o’clock, so I just followed the flow of traffic, thinking that with a bit of luck I might even end up in the old part of town. I didn’t have a city map of Venice, so I had to rely on my intuition and a seizable portion of luck. At least one of both did the trick. The ferry port is in the old part of the town, or rather just adjacent to it. You just follow a long road surrounded by water which connects the mainland with the peninsula where the old town is located. If I had known beforehand that it was called “Mestre”… At the end of that road a signpost to the left was calling me to the old town centre while the opposite direction led to the ferry boats. I decided to check up on the departure times of the boats first and then later go back to the town centre.