Kiddle Family - November 2012

Monday, 4 March 2013

February 15

Day 46

Our day exploring Venice.

Venice is like no where else.  There's no way to explain it.   We had a great day exploring.
So, I've got so many pictures for here, I'm having a hard time figuring out how I'm going to share them with you...
So, I'm not going to do them in order of what we saw or did for here.

Rialto Bridge.  
It's one of the most famous locations in Venice.   Unfortunately, there's a lot of graffiti in this city and the bridge has suffered as well.  One side is worse than the other... so the pictures below are of the "good" side.

Basilica San Marco and square
We walked through this park the night before as well as this day.  We noticed that there are a lot of pigeons in the square.  A lot.  (actually, there's a lot of pigeons just about everywhere in Europe)

Anyways, the Basilica San Marco is beautiful.  Unfortunate that the outside has scaffolding on it (seems like there's a lot of that everywhere!)  No pictures inside, but we got some from the entrance area that looks a lot like the inside.   Basically the inside has a lot of gold.  Much more than any other church we've been inside.

You can see here the planks they use when they have Aqua Alta (flooding). In fact, they had a huge aqua alta a couple days previously where it was well over a metre higher than normal and flooded all of Venice.   So glad we missed that.   I'm pretty sure those planks didn't help with that kind of flooding.

Lots of gold inside the Basilica
Lots of pigeons.   A lady gave me some food for them.  I had four on my hand at once at one point.

Right beside the Basilica San Marco and square, we went in and toured Doge's Palace.  Once again, we weren't allowed pictures inside of the Palace, but if we were outside we snapped a few pictures.  Inside the Palace, we walked through where the prison cells were... so many! we actually got lost in there and somehow got turned around.   I couldn't imagine how nasty those cells would have been way back then.

Another famous landmark... Bridge of Sighs

We then went for a gondola ride.  I don't think you can visit Venice and not spend the big bucks and go for a ride at least once.   And quite frankly, it was 80 euro well spent because we loved it.  Our gondolier was very nice.  He said that he comes from a long line of gondoliers.  He's father did it, his grandfather did it.  And gondoliers are all native venitians.  It stays within the family.   I must say that we were very impressed with how well they can navigate those long boats through those small canals.  Every time we went around a corner, we came within inches of the buildings but not once did we hit it.  I asked him if he'd ever fallen in and he did admit that he had three times... but he's been a gondolier for 18 years, so I think that's pretty good, don't you think?

We then went for a walk.  More walking.   We found an old church to look through (which isn't hard cause our gondolier said there was well over 100 churches in Venice... one on almost each island) and we found a large park space (surprising, since we had gotten the impression that most of Venice was tiny with tiny streets, but this one island was huge and thus they could have a huge green space).  It was nice to see a different part of Venice... and in this part of Venice, we saw hardly any tourists.
I don't even know a name for this church
Beautiful inside to this unknown named church

The only street in Venice that we found that was big.  We were actually surprised. And there were hardly any tourists around here.

Dinner that night was eaten in a small restaurant on the edge of Venice.  When we were just standing outside trying to decide if we'd eat there or not, the waiter came out and tried to coax us in.  And when we did go in, we  were the only ones.   It's so strange to see the waiters waiting around, standing feet from our table the whole time.   I don't know how restaurants manage to stay in business.   The pizza/calzones that we ate here were so good.  Probably the best we had in our stay in Italy.
Nice restaurant.  This restaurant has been around for more than a hundred years.

And lastly, would you believe that the majority of my pictures from Venice are probably just random pictures we took while on our walks through Venice.   So, to finish off this blog posting, I'm going to just post some of the randomness of Venice.... because it was the small details and the small streets, canals and bridges that really made us love Venice.   The big touristy stuff I've posted about thus far, is cool, but really, it's the smaller stuff we love.
If you love to shop, you'd love Venice.  Lots of shops in buildings but lots in the streets like this.

I think the rooftops are cool

A "farmers market".  Lots of produce and seafood.

Narrow Venice street.

My feet hurt.  My gel inserts wouldn't stay put, so I was constantly fixing them. So, I made a face at Cam when he took my picture as such.

Graffit.  Graffiti.  So much.   This isn't even bad compared to some places in Venice. In fact, our first night, I think every street was covered in graffiti and it felt like we were walking down the slums of Venice... maybe we were cause there weren't any other tourists around most of the time.
Beautiful seaweed on the side of the canal
Down a side street.  Love all the clothes hanging to dry
A "virtual geocache".  One of the coolest buildings in Venice, though it's not the easiest to find because it was down a maze of small streets.

Well, good-bye Venice.  Maybe one day we'll be able to return.
Late that night we boarded another sleeper train heading for Munich, Germany.  This time we were happy to find that we had power and heat.
Oh, and one last story.  Speaking of sleeper train.... we almost missed it.  We arrived at the train station 15 minutes before it was to depart, thinking that that is more than enough time to get on.  Except, when we looked at the board, there was no train listed as going to Munich.  Uh oh.  So we asked some workers and they said "what about that one?"  Nope, it says it's going somewhere else.  "Did you look on the board?"   Yes and Munich isn't listed.   "Well, go way down there to the other side and ask at information."   Except by this point, we had only 5 minutes before it was to leave and it certainly wasn't going to wait for us.   In the end, we stopped another worker, who then said that our Munich bound train was attached onto another train and part way there, the trains would split and carry on to their separate destinations.   Oh.  Well, that explains why we couldn't find Munich, they only listed one of the two.   So, we hopped on and thankfully it was just minutes before it departed.   So close.  So, lesson of the day, don't assume it will be a quick hop on and come earlier.

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