This morning was a very early start …. 6am start which after the last few days of sleeping in are really bloody early. So it was an early start for our walking tour of Venice and not only was it early it was also really cold. See a theme here, I am always complaining about the early starts or the cold. The good news about the cold was that it was also a frosty hazy start so the whole of St Marks Square was hazy and almost romantic to just stand there with your breath fogging up as you waited in the quiet.
We did the walking tour, which was good; the guide was interesting and asked us to picture Venice back in the merchant days as a mix between the New York stock exchange and Las Vegas. There were Casinos, bars and theatre, 6 weeks of Carnival, lots of parties and lots and lots of money. (Speaking of Carnival have a look at the masks - Amazing) There are also 448 bridges and 177 churches and after 3 days here I swear I have walked over at least half of these. See I don’t know if you have heard about Venice being compared to a maze but there are no landmarks. Nothing you can see over the roof tops so if you take one wrong left instead of right you end up on the other side of the island and there are no straight long wide paths to get you bearings … everything is small little winding alleys that are almost impossible to get to know. I have been told you never ask a Venetian how to get somewhere because they know where to go but ask them how to do it and their response is “Good Luck”. Saying that whenever we try and navigate the streets we start of by reciting Nat Geo’s catch phrase … lets get lost.
We also did a tour of the Doges Palace and to be honest I felt a bit sorry for the Doge. They are elected by the people but are not kings, they cant say no if they are elected, they hold office until they die and in order to remain incorruptible they are never allowed alone with another person without someone else being witness. Also, in order for them to know their place as “non king” their Palace consists of 3 small rooms where they reside and then the rest of the palace is public. Interesting right … it’s the one office you really don’t want.
Now obviously yesterday we mentioned we had had enough churches but today we visited St Marks Basilica and what is so different with this one is that it has eastern European influences in the architecture with the design showing quiet a Byzantium feel to it.
Obviously one of my items on the to do list involved love, romance and my husband so late afternoon we went on a gondola ride. The gondola in front had a small band singing and it really was lovely … Romantic? Not really. You did get to see Venice from a totally different perspective and the peace and tranquility of this form of transport made it a must for me … so no romance there for me but don’t despair … read the title of you don’t believe me.
So after one last Italian dinner we walked back through St Marks Square and here is where hubby earned major brownie points. Dragging me into the very center of the square we danced as the orchestra played Mozart and I can safely say … I am still very much in love with my husband.
Oh yes – speaking of loving my husband we ended up buying five of these amazing Murano Glasses. Dishwasher safe, really cool and totally wacky. Also totally impossible to carry all the way back to Australia but hey … everyone loves a challenge.
Another bloody early start tomorrow and it’s off to Paris … only 11 more days of travel and its back to the real world and the house. I hope you have been enjoying hearing about the trip, I have to say it’s made my trip so much more special is a major understatement.