Contiki Day 8 - Venice, Italy

Venice Travel Blog

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The Brisge of Sighs

We were up early this morning, had a quick breakfast and hopped on the bus. Magoo was driving us to where we had to hop on the boat which would take us to Venice, as there are no cars on the island. We walked along the dock and let me tell you it was a prett rickety dock!! We hopped on the boat and it was really hot already, the temperature had really increased as we were heading further south.

The boat ride was only about 20 minutes and before long we could see the floating/sinking city! It was quite impressive. We walked to St Mark's square and JB told us that our meeting point for the day would be the bell tower. Our first stop though was to a lace making demonstration, kind of lame, but some the the lace was really beautiful.

The Rialto Bridge
  Not many people bought anything from here.  We then went straight a glass blowing demonstration and watched the glass blower make a glass cat within seconds.  The glass pieces in the shop were really nice but REALLY expensive and I think only one guy bought something for his mother, though it was really good to walk around, and it was air conditioned which was a bonus.

JB then asked if the group wanted to go for lunch together as he knew a really nice pizza place not far from there.  All of us went of course, because JB knew more about the are than we did.  The pizza place was quite small in a tiny alley way, and it was the nicest pizza we have ever had!! It was so fresh and we ordered two between 5 of us and we had to order a third because it was just so nice!

After lunch we were left to our own devices.

markets and stalls on the Rialto Bridge
  Bree, Liz, Julia and I decided that our first stop would be the Rialto bridge.  We knew geographically it was only about 5 minutes away, but we also knew there was every possibility that we would get lost, and we definitely did get lost!! Our maps were no help because many of the streets have similar names and there are so many bridges and canals you cross that really do lose all sense of direction.  It is really like a maze in Venice, but that is the fun of it.  So, it ended up taking us one and a half hours to get to the Rialto Bridge, we must have been walking in circles!! The brisge was really busy and full of markets and stalls, nothing different to what we could have bought in one of the street stalls, but the brisge is beautiful and it was a great photo op.
The bell tower

After the Rialto bridge, we decided to head back to St Marks square to meet everyone at the bell tower. We were hoping there would be enough time to have a look at the basilica as well as walk across the Bridge of Sighs, but the line was really long and we only had half an hour until our meeting time.  So instead, we went to the top of the bell tower.  From the top you could see views of all of Venice, it was beautiful, and you could really notice how cramped the living situation in Venice is.

We headed back down the bell tower and some of the group were already there waiting for JB. We saw an Italian guy in pink hotpants and Bree and I couldn't help but take a sneaky photo of him. Bree pretended to take a photo of herself, the end result was quite funny!

When everyone had arrive, JB began walking us to where we were to take our gondola ride.

views from the bell tower
Bree, Lix, Julia, Peter, Adam and I were all on the one gondola and Bree and I got the prime seats! It was really pretty and it was a definite must when in Venice, it shows you a perspective of Venice.  We also saw a group of American guys in a blow up boat singing "That's Amore", quite funny.  The gondola ride went for about 20 minutes and we basically did a full circle.  I was last hop off the gondola, so there was no weight keeping the boat steady.  Every step I took, the boat would swing in the direction where all my weight was, so I decided to hop off as quickly as I could, but I tried to step on the wrong landing and almost fell in the water! Luckily The gondolier and Adam caught me just in time otherwise I would have probably smelt for days of the dirty polluted water!

It was late afternoon by now, and we had 45 minutes to spare before our optional dinner.

more views
We decided to slwly make our way to the bell tower.  We walked past all the expensive shops like Prada and Dolce and Gabbana, I couldn't help but look at the sunglasses, I was dying a for a good pair! There were alot of guys selling fake brands of bags, purses and sunglasses on the street for really good prices and they looked pretty good too, but I wasn't sure how to bartor and get the best price so I decided against it.

We then walked to our dinner, it felt like it was so far away because we had all been walking so much today and it was getting late, but the dinner was close to our water taxi so that wasn't bad.  Dinner was ok, there were a fair few courses, but definitely not as good as the pizza from earlier in the day.

The group all met up at the Bridge of Sighs to wait for our water taxi.

the main square
  I was talking to Shiv, who was telling me what a great price she had gotten from the street vendors selling fake brands, so I asked her to bartor for me.  She was able to get me a vendi purse and chanel bag for 30 euro, pretty good effort, thank Shiv!

We hopped back on the water taxi and finally got home about 10pm.  Bree and I were pretty tired, so we went upstairs, did some washing and repacked our bags ready for tomorrow.  It was a great day, but a long one at that!

 

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The Brisge of Sighs
The Brisge of Sighs
The Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge
markets and stalls on the Rialto B…
markets and stalls on the Rialto …
The bell tower
The bell tower
views from the bell tower
views from the bell tower
more views
more views
the main square
the main square
Italian guy with pink hotpants LOL…
Italian guy with pink hotpants LO…
view from the gondola
view from the gondola
all of our contiki group lined up …
all of our contiki group lined up…
one of the many canals in Venice
one of the many canals in Venice
view from the Rialto Bridge
view from the Rialto Bridge
Bree and I on our gondola
Bree and I on our gondola
Venice
photo by: asturjimmy