Sunday, April 9, 2017

Hodgepode 162/365 - And . . .

I took the water taxi across the lagoon to the Marco Polo Airport this afternoon, found my hotel, and located on the map a couple of geocaches that were in close proximity. Great! A walk!

What was especially great about this walk was all the green: trees and grassy fields. Also the wild beauty of the marshland. I realize I've been missing the natural world, being walled up in cities these last two weeks. Parks help, but they don't cut it in the end. While I was out I spotted a bunch of shelducks, a tern, and, surprisingly, a swan, and I heard some glorious songbirds whose identity I do not know.

My walk took me down to the marshy edge of the great lagoon, with a good view of the airport runways and of the busy water taxi channel. On the levee path I encountered ordinary people doing ordinary things: walking dogs, riding bikes, fishing, plane spotting. (All right, plane spotting counts as odd, but I have to assume it was ordinary folks engaged in the activity.) One fellow donned hip waders and grabbed an enormous net, heading into the water for, I'm guessing, shellfish, or maybe some sort of fishy fish. A couple was gathering some sort of natural marsh delicacy—seaweed? pickleweed? I couldn't get a good look, but they were intent on their plucking and had several small plastic bags full.

Venice from a remove
I also realized I've been missing normal life, being walled up in cities with thousands of tourists, with not much to look at but touristic sites, these last two to four weeks.

On my way back to the hotel, I stopped for pizza in the little dot of a town, Tessera (the hotel's restaurant being closed Sundays), and there, too, I enjoyed the fact that it was simply the only restaurant open today, it wasn't trying too hard, and its patrons were normal Italians plus a couple of groups of Slavic-language speakers (Slovenians? Slovenia is not too very far away). I sat outdoors and listened to the traffic swish by.

And . . . I'm ready to head back to real life. Tomorrow bright and early, the long trip starts. And at the end of the super-extended day: hugs for husband and dog! And cats if they'll allow it! Can't wait.

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