Friday, April 28, 2006

Here's to chasing D through Venice after a conversation the night before with a traveling Canadian who couldn't quite grasp the layout of the city and became a little bored hanging with the pigeons in St. Mark's Square, thus making me happy to follow D's expertise. If you asked me to take you there now, I would still be undoubtedly lost. Which, I think, is a great way to know a city. And no, we did not ride in a gondola. I did, however, wink at every gondoleer I saw, as if to say, "I know what's going on here" or "we'll hang out later at the bar to tell funny stories about the tourists in this place." In reality, I was quite busy keeping track of D's zip through the alleys to know what was going on at all.

Most impressive were all these hidden paths and small streets along with little courtyards gated off with full gardens one could barely see. The canals made it interesting, sure, but judging by the ease illegal street vendors were able to out run the police, this seemed like a great place to keep a secret.

"Make Venice your travel destination: the one place in Italy where you can't be killed by a scooter."

So 10 games on sand in four days really works you in shape, and I'm almost back into the condition I had at the Zoo. Our 10 man team finished 7th out of 48, having had a great time in Rimini despite some poor team performances in important games. And even though I won't be in D-land next year, I hope to make it out to play with them at Paganello again. It was one of the most organized tournaments I've been to, with daily newsletters, nightly parties, and a slew of sponsors offering free and/or discounted services throughout the weekend. All this running smoothly for the 1500+ players in attendance...

We saw Bologna on our first night in Italy and our last day before getting back on our plane to Frankfurt. It was election day when we arrived, and we hung out in the main courtyard that night as left-wing supporters gathered around a radio, waiting for the results. Gathered around the supporters were about twenty members of the police, completely prepared for trouble with their paddy wagon. Much to D's disappointment, however, nothing happened on a night with no real political resolution anyway, and we rode the bus back to our hotel.

Our second stint in was as uneventful, walking away hours before our flight back to Frankfurt. After the tournament, there were a ton of ultimate players waiting out flight times in Bologna (that person standing to the left of me is about to catch a disc), including most of my team. We used the occasion to get a few final tastes of Italian ice and cappacinos, and also climbed the 452 steps of the Torre degli Asinelli for a hazy view of our surroundings. As if our legs had had enough on the beach...

So we're back in the M-bach these days, still reeling from overindulgence in the food. Not much on the travel calendar these days except for a couple quick May events in Frankfurt and Rotterdam. Look for reports on German spring in the coming weeks on Dotde.


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