Another Day in Venice and a short trip to Burano!

Venice Travel Blog

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Our Hotel in Venice

Well our night wasn't all that great after we got to the hotel! The hotel is a four star hotel. But it didn't feel like that at all. Our beds were so uncomfortable, there was a barking dog outside all night long, then some drunk guy singing and cheering himself on (which I must say was pretty funny and was better than hearing the barking dog). And we were able to hear everyone who had a connecting wall or ceiling to our room. Our room also faced their bright huge lights that lit up the parking lot where the tour buses were parked. The bathroom was very small. The staff was nice and friendly though. But in the states I probably would have considered the room a two star room. The hotel was Albotros.  Which I don't recommend to anyone. It is also very far from actual Venice.

The bathroom with the weird turnstyle and men and women exited from the women's bathroom with this turnstyle
Even though it has a Venice address.

So we didn't really get much sleep, but we got up around 7am and headed back to Venice for our Gondola ride. This was an optional excursion you can purchase through the tour. You can't go to Venice and not do a Gondola Serenade at least once.

Before doing the Gondola ride we all figured we better go to the bathroom. Which you must pay for 99% of the time while in Italy. But I saw something new. We paid and then we then walked through what looked like someones backyard. We then had guys on the left side of the "yard" and girls on the right side of the "yard". So the girls stood in line and as you finally enter the actual bathroom you see an exit door with a turnstyle. I guess it is to be sure no one tried to sneak into the bathroom through the exit and not pay.

Our gondola serenade!
But the even weirder thing is...that's the only exit so even though the guys are across the "yard" they have to come into the women's bathroom to use the turnstyle and exit the bathrooms. I took a picture of course!

The water was very choppy though. We were all hoping we kept down our breakfast. Thankfully it was choppy in the main waters but when we got inbetween the buildings and bridges it calmed down a lot. So if you find yourself in that situation you will only have the choppy water for about 10 mins. So still do it!!

Only two Gondolas were able to have the live music by the local troubadour. And I was one of the lucky ones. It was very nice. Even though it was the four single girls riding together we had a great time.

After the Gondolas we met back up with the rest of our group and met up with a city tour director who took us around Venice to give us the history of the town.

one of my favorite pictures of the Gondolas..apparently he had a little too much vino the night before!
  We went into St. Mark's Basilica which was very pretty. We were rushed through it quickly though. I wish we had more time to admire the work. It was also high tide so we had to walk on what looks like table tops through the a lot of it so we were not standing in ankle deep water the whole time.

We then were able to go see Venetian Glassblowers in action. They made such beautiful pieces. And very pricey pieces! I loved everything they had, but couldn't afford any of it. They had pieces for 6000 up to 25,000 Euro. I don't even want to convert that into the US Dollar!

After the local tour guide's tour we had some free time to shop and explore.  After about three hours we met back up with our tour for another optional excursion. Those that chose not to do this excursion continued to shop and explore Venice.

And the end of our gondola ride. Pretty fitting!
  But before meeting up with the rest of the tour group my friend and I became very lost in the maze that is Venice. We went to the far end of Venice and thought we knew how to get back (we even have a map) but we continaully ran into dead end after dead end. We asked for directions and would be told take a right after the next two. Well I don't know if that means something else to those who live in Venice, but we took it as take a right after the next two streets. Well we ended up at more dead ends. So soon we found we had 10 mins to get back to where our meet up was or we were going to miss our boat ride to Burano. So now we were running through Venice like crazy freaks trying to get back to make the boat up and down bridges over and around fountains. I don't know how we made it but some how we just barely did.
St Mark's Bell Tower
And that was the day I got my first blister (due to running :( ) Luckly I brought bandaides with me and was ok for the reset of the trip.

So now all hot and frantic we get on the boat to go to Burano. Which is known for its hand made lace. Burano was about a 45 minutes boat ride from Venice. I enjoyed Burano a lot. I wish we had more time there. It was almost like a smaller more quiet Venice. Where Venice had about 10 cruise ships that had left off that day it was very crowded and noisy. But Burano was very easy going and laid back. They paint their houses in very bright crazy colors. Which was quite charming. It carries the same old legend or joke that I had heard while in Ireland with their colored doors in some areas....they did this so the drunk guys would know which house was theirs.

Bridge on the Grand Canal
I recommend checking it out if you ever find yourself in venice. The public boat ride from Venice to Burano was only a couple Euro.

Here is the funny part. Even though my friend didn't find it funny at the time. We went with two other Cosmo's tour groups. My friend had either misplaced her camera or someone just plain stoled it when we were still in Venice. Our tour director stayed in Venice to go back to the place she last had it to see if he would be able to recover it leaving us in the hands of the other two tour directors. So he stated we would meet back at the boat at a specific time to head back to the mainland.

My friend and I went walking around together looking at the little shops and house. Some how about 10 mins before we were set to leave Burano she and I got seperated.

I soon just headed back to the boat and figured I would see her there. Normally we are able to pick our seats on the boat, but this time they were telling us you go in the front you go in the back. There were four different areas that were to the boat and you can only see the area you were seated in. Well I go sit down and hadn't seen my friend yet. I asked around to see if people saw her outside and mostly people just boarded and didn't pay much attention. The tour director knew how many people we started with and he came around and recounted everyone and said yes he have everyone I think the # was 52. So I figured she had to be in the back in another part of the boat. So we have a long boat ride back to our bus (not Venice) I get off the boat and start to walk to the bus and still don't see her.
Burano and its brightly colored houses!
Well turns out she never really made the boat ride. So I don't if the director could not count, if he miscounted, if he really only counted his group and not the others. But regardless he left her behind. which at the time wasn't too funny but now it is hilarious!

She had called our hotel to get our tour director's cell phone #. She called him and told him "they left me on Burano." His reply "Oh, Mamma Mia!" HAHA that's one of my favorite lines now I can just hear him saying it to her. So she had to take a public boat taxi (which is why I now know they are only a few Euro) back to Venice then too a bus back to the hotel. She made good time though. It was only an hour after we got back that she came walking through the hotel doors.  Oh and not shockingly he did not find her camera in Venice.

So not only was the poor girl left on Burano she also lost her camera (which she barrowed from a friend back home).

The other two single girls and myself were headed out for some dinner. We went to a local restaurant that was close to the hotel. The food was good. But I waited forever for everything I ordered. My friends ordered wine and Coca-cola and I ordered a bottle of water. They got theirs. Finally after 15 minutes of me still waiting I asked again. She finally brought it. They ordered pizza I ordered pasta with just veggies. They got their pizza and ate the whole thing and I still hadn't received my pasta. It's service like that, that annoys me when you are forced to pay a service fee. I don't feel I had good service at all yet I each of us were charged 2 Euro service fee. And there were only 3 of us but we were charge a service fee for 4 people a total of 8 Euro. At least when I got the pasta it was very good!

But we still had a great time sharing stories. One of the girls is from South Africa and the other was from Canada. So we had a great time learning about one another.

Then we walked back to the hotel to get at least some sleep. We knew we had a very long boring day ahead of us.


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Our Hotel in Venice
Our Hotel in Venice
The bathroom with the weird turnst…
The bathroom with the weird turns…
Our gondola serenade!
Our gondola serenade!
one of my favorite pictures of the…
one of my favorite pictures of th…
And the end of our gondola ride. P…
And the end of our gondola ride. …
St Marks Bell Tower
St Mark's Bell Tower
Bridge on the Grand Canal
Bridge on the Grand Canal
Burano and its brightly colored ho…
Burano and its brightly colored h…
photo by: asturjimmy