You say, why don't those Arab countries do their share? Well, they are:
- Turkey--more than 2 million
- Jordan--almost 1.5 million
- Lebanon--more than a million (25+% of its population)
- Saudi Arabia--perhaps half a million
- Iraq--quarter million
Anyway, when you arrive in Venice, except for getting to and from the airport or train station (right), or need to go to Murano for their glassmaking, don't bother with any water transport. They are kind of dangerous getting on, off and just standing on the boat, and do cost about $10/trip. The stations are confusing and the boat is always full. You can get a 2-day pass for $30, but you'll hardly use it. Venice is made for walking, although there are a lot of steps over bridges. You say, how can the locals afford this? Well, they only pay the equivalent of $1.50. The gondolas, incidentally, cost around $100 for six people for 40 minutes. Some have professional singers, but the gondoliers also serenade.
So instead, I brought the assortment to the St. Regis and here is my picnic on San Clemente Island:
Even the blue bar pigeon followed me here:
This is what the water shuttle looks like, coming back from Venice.
Dinner is another truffle risotto meal, this time with the enhancements I suggested to the sous chef when I saw him a few days ago. I know they just hate to adjust perfection...but I'll see if any enhancements were honored.