Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 12 (Italy): Paluello - Viola (Venice on a bike)

today’s distance: 104km
total distance: 1207km
riding time: 5h and some pushing in Venice

The day started easy enough. Got rolling early and headed into Venice. Turned out that I had slept not far from a cemetery and when the warden came to open up at 8am, he eyed me with suspicion. The first person to visit turned around 100m before reaching the cemetery, I must have seemed like a resurrected as I was packing my things.

Getting into Venice was bad … there are no clear signs for cyclists whatsoever, cycle lanes disappear into nothingness, when they exist they are bumpy, and given that you have no choice you have to take highway traffic a couple of feet next to you. After reaching the city I discovered that none of my couchsurfing hosts were available, leaving me with the bike for which there is no place to park it safely. This meant that I had to push the bike through the streets and up and down the bridges.

Too many to count. Standing at one I encountered Alessandro, a Venetian who works in the Urubamba Valley near Cusco/Peru. We struck up a conversation for a while and eventually parted ways. It also seems to me that there are two faces of Venice, the one that you see on the main tracks and the other that you discover when you enter the little sideroads.

I was heading for the famous St. Marco Square, which was filled to the gills with people. Apparently it was quite empty though. Don’t want to know what this place looks like in the summer. Hung around for a while, saw a Chinese couple taking their wedding pictures and saw them again having their wedding film taken. The whole thing was quite amusing.

I was just sitting down to have a bite to eat from what I had in my bags still (you’re not allowed to sit down or eat in the square itself, so I hung out by the waterside), and all of sudden the whole entourage was right behind me - cameraman I, cameraman II, assistant I and assistant II.

Venice is nice, don’t get me wrong. It’s a cute city and has magnificent buildings and wonderful architecture. It is also a forbidding city (needless to say I had to sit down to take this picture):

I was glad to leave Venice.

Hoisted the bike over three more bridges to reach the ferry to Punta Sabione and pedaled on for another 60km aided a bit by a nice tailwind over the last 30km.

As always, there are more pictures on the flickr site - just go here.


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