Yesterday we arrived here in Venice by bus, plane, feet and ferry. Quite a lot to fit into one day, but thankfully it all went smoothly! We managed to find our apartment and get out in time to buy a few essentials just as the shops were shutting. We were pretty pleased to think that the next day was not a Sunday so the shops wouldn’t be shut like they normally are (we usually arrive on a Saturday and have to scramble to find food for the next few days). So we got just enough to get us through breakfast. Big mistake, today turned out to be a public holiday and though I walked to the supermarket three times it refused to open. Thank goodness for the cake shops – I look forward to visiting them a few more times. Luckily they seem to be close by to the cafes, so when Peter goes for his coffee, I can buy two cakes for the same price. Sorry Starbucks, cake wins out over coffee – in this corner anyway!
Aslan was close to our apartment.
I must confess to few moments of panic as walked to Piazza San Marco. There were crowds of people and I was clinging onto the kids as we were jostled about. I thought, man this has changed since we were here last (18 years ago). Then I remembered we’d come on a Sunday when everything was shut and hardly anyone was about! Still, with all those people I wasn’t sure I’d cope with 8 days of being here. Thankfully we made it through the Piazzetta (the square directly in front of the Doges Palace), though I almost suggested we go back to our apartment a few times, to the Piazza San Marco where the crowds thinned out (at the far end once we got away from the church and bell tower (the campanile).
Look at the crowds!
We walked around looking at the shops and searching for the tourist office (in the process we managed to stand in front of a five star hotel and felt the money walking buy, oops I mean by). The tourist off ice was closed of course! But it did open later in the day, so we planned to come back. We enjoyed the atmosphere of the small “orchestra” playing and then headed off to the already mentioned search for a supermarket. Much much later we returned to the tourist office and found out a bit more about the museums to visit. Which we will do tomorrow, starting with the Doges Palace.
Summary of the Rest
Well, I’m coming back to this blog now after three months. Venice was one of the best places we’ve been to so far, but I find it hard to get time to blog so now I’ll just give a summary of the highlights:
- Gondola Ride: Peter reluctantly agreed to a gondola ride, and although it was a overpriced, it was still a lot of fun. It was something I’d always wanted to do, and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t what I call comfortable because we had to sit in awkward spots to make the balance right for the gondolier to be able to steer the boat. It was pretty scary going out into the Grand Canel as the water was really choppy but it was pretty smooth going round the small canals.
The Grand Canal in a gondola – does Amy look worried?
- Doges Palace : The golden ceilings and decorations were really over the top! The history of the government of Venice was fascinating, personally they sounded like pretty scary people with all the power they had. Daniel like all the weapons on display. The torture stuff turned my stomach so I was pleased to leave that part.
- Walking around: The best thing to do in Venice was walking around. We did a bit of walking around at night too, which was a lot of fun.
One day Peter went slightly mad in the heat and thought he was a spy…
Take off the singlet..
Transform the singlet..
Watch for baddies…
…and the kids make it home with no more complaining about how tired they were feeling.
- the icecreams – yes we found a reasonably priced icecream shop just round the corner from our apartment.
- Playing treasure hunt in the rain. Daniel and I were a team, Peter and Amy were a team. We raced around Venice trying to find photos of about 10 different things, like a tourist from England, a five star hotel, people riding in gondalo (noone was out – it was raining), a coffee machine…It was great fun and kinda crazy as it rained really heavily! Best of all, Daniel and I won!
- The Leonardo museum. Heaps of hands-on models of Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions. The kids enjoyed trying them all out, especially the mirror room.
- The best thing about the Da Vinci museum was the coffee we had afterwards and this was because Peter got talking to a New Zealand lady who was on a cruise. She told him how little it cost for a week long cruise which planted the idea that maybe a cruise could be an option for us….(I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise but figured it would be something I’d have to wait to do till the kids left home!)
Venice was a fantastic place to visit, a real highlight! Can’t wait to go back..
next time on a cruise ship…
(Week 10B-11A: Tuesday 24th April – Wednesday 2nd May)