Jet Lag is for Amateurs – Dick Clark

Jet Lag is for Amateurs – Dick Clark

November 16, 2022

Elsa at Boston Market, Massachusettes, USA“Jet Lag is for Amateurs.” Karen and I tested Dick Clark’s theory when we boarded the planes to get us to Venice, Italy, three days ago or, was it four days? Anne picked us up early on Saturday morning, arriving in Boston on time. Our next flight to Lisbon, Portugal, about 5 hours later, was smooth as well. We left at 6 pm and, as we traveled, gained five hours, so before we knew it, it was early morning and time for breakfast.
The original flight from Lisbon to Venice on TAP airline had already been rescheduled for four hours later that afternoon, meaning we would arrive in the Floating City after sunset. But, when the notices started flashing that our plane was further delayed by 2 hours, we were not happy campers. We would now reach Marco Polo airport outside Venice at about 8:15 pm, and we still had to figure out how to get to the hotel in the dark. But we grinned bravely and made the most of a full day at the airport.
Portuguese Sardine Throne at Lisbon airport, Portugal
First, we posed on a large throne as Portuguese sardine queens and admired all the different canned varieties.
Pastel de nata, Lisbon, Portugal


Then, for breakfast, we sampled “Pastel de Nata” (custard pie), which reminded me of South America.

Bacalhau al Bras at Aeroporte Lisboa, Portugal

For lunch, we tested a traditional Portuguese dish, “Bacalhau a Bras” (salt cod scrambled with eggs and potato), served with a delicious local wine, Monte Velho.

Landing at Marco Polo that evening, we were pleased to see our luggage rolling out on the carousel and set off to find the Alilaguna Blue line Bus Shuttle Service as recommended by the hotel. We found the ticket office easy as pie and, wheeling our cases, set off on foot, trying to locate the path leading to the departure dock for the waterbus. After continuing into the car park, Karen remembered that the fellow behind the desk said that we had to go up a floor, so back to the main building we went. Voila! A moving walkway indicated that we had 20 minutes of plodding ahead. The ‘auto walk’ kept up our spirits by measuring the distance every 5 minutes. 

The waterbus was ready when we got there, and we set off into the pitch-black night.  We could not see anything through the windows and only saw a few lights when bumping into a few docks as we neared the city of Venice. By now, the weather had deteriorated to cold and rainy as well, and side-stepping the puddles, we dragged our unwilling cases along the uneven pathway. We had a map with instructions to follow the directions for Teatro la Fenice, but we could not see any signs in the dark.

St Mark Square, Venice, ItalyAt least, we recognized St Mark’s Square and bravely walked the length of it, away from the canal. The square was deserted, but a solitary stranger helped us type in our hotel name on Google Maps, and the GPS gave us walking directions. However, the darned thing recalculated as soon as we turned a corner. Finally, it thought we were heading in the right direction. By now, our cases were as drenched as we were as on we soldiered. Now and then, a wheel would get stuck in a groove in a narrow alley, and we would nearly topple over as well. We plucked up our courage to tackle the stairs of three romantic bridges over canals but were dismayed when every time, we had to negotiate the downward flight as well.
Teatro la Fenice, Venice, ItalyFinally, we saw Teatro la Fenice’s square, and as we turned into a narrow side street, we spied a door displaying the name of our hotel. Unfortunately, the door was shut tight, and there was neither a light nor a window. We looked for a phone number on our booking form but could not find one. My phone’s batteries had already died in Lisbon, and no chargers were available. Stupid me – my portable charger was locked in my suitcase. As Karen searched, I started exploring the places around us, silently thinking we may have to find other accommodations for the night.
Hotel Ateneo, Venice, ItalyJust then, a gentleman appeared, stepping out from an archway about twenty feet further. He hesitantly called out, “Dixon?” We enthusiastically responded in the affirmative, and he led us to the actual entrance of Hotel Ateneo. The two of us looked like tired, drowned rats, hair in strings with glazed eyes from lack of sleep and exhaustion. We gratefully booked in and sighed with relief when he carried our luggage up one flight of stairs.

We promised to be at breakfast by 8:30 the following day. However, our bodies dictated otherwise, and we both woke up at 11 am. Not too bad, considering I had no sleep for 46 hours, and Karen only had a few. Being intrepid travelers, we can probably claim that “Jet Lag is for Amateurs.”

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