Wow, I hadn’t realised how long I had left it since my last blog! Oops! Life has been very busy with back to school, craft fairs and of course Christmas!
Seeing as its day 2 of 2017, I thought I would try to start the year as I mean to go on and be more organised. Time shall tell!
So, back to the procrastinating….
My last blog post was about our visit to beautiful Rome, which upon departing we travelled up through the centre of Italy to a little B & B on the outskirts of Venice – Eco B & B. This is a great place to stay if you are on a bit of a budget and can’t afford the prices of central Venice. The open plan kitchen and living area is modern with the luxury of a coffee machine and dishwasher – a real treat after carting our dishes across campsites for the last couple of months! A feature wall with an arial photograph of Venice provides a backdrop for the bedroom – an actual bed was another indulgence after weeks on camping mats. After a day of enjoying the luxuries of our apartment, we made the short walk to the local bus stop to travel into Venice.
The short journey across the thin connecting road to the Lido was quite surreal; as soon as you step off the bus into the last hub of usual transport, you immediately find a number of bridges, which upon crossing, you are immediately and obviously in Venice.
We hadn’t been particularly organised for our Venice visit and decided to wonder the streets and canals to see what we could find – assuring ourselves it can’t be that difficult to find your way around.
Street, after street, bridge after bridge, lead us to dead ends, narrowing walls or just open water. They do say that you ought to get lost in Venice – not difficult to do! We made many attempts at following our freebie tourist map but to no avail.
Eventually we managed to get our bearings and found the grand canal – beautiful, romantic, exactly how you’d imagine Venice to be.
We decided not to rush around looking for things book marked in our travel guide, but to simply enjoy meandering the streets and stumbling upon the sites.
We soon stumbled onto Piazza San Marco and were surprised to find it partially flooded. Being surrounded by water and walking across the submerged Piazza, it did feel a little like the city was sinking.
Obliging all touristy stereotypes, we fed a few pigeons before queuing to visit the Basilica San Marco. Again, the entrance to the Basilica was partially flooded so we walked along raised platforms to enter.
The whole interior is covered in tiny, golden mosaic tiles which make the walls glow beautifully. It is truly stunning. Unfortunately, as with many places so beautiful, cameras were not permitted, which in one way made you appreciate your surroundings better and really take it in – I did manage one sneaky photography though!
Next stop was the Doge’s Palace – again, no photographs permitted inside. For me the most interesting of the rooms in the palace was the“Scudo” Room. Huge maps fill the walls of the room and two giant globes feature Earth and Heaven.
As with much of our travels (must have been the time of year), the Bridge of Sighs was completely covered in scaffolding due to on going restoration work. This was a bit of a disappointment but at least they had tried to make is partially visible!
We debated a gondola ride, but couldn’t really justify it on our budget so we enjoyed watching the Venetian traffic jams and near collisions with the vaporettos – water taxis.
To finish our day we indulged in pizza slices and gelato before getting lost for nearly 2 hours as we made our way back to the bus station.
With more time and a bigger budget, I would love to visit Venice again, we spent such a short time here and I feel you need a few days actually within the city to get a real feel for the place.
The next few days were NOT as pleasant! We made a very brief visit to Vicenza, hoping to look at the architecture and explore a little but I became sick – like I had never before, it was awful. Looking back, we think it may have been our own fault for not properly boiling the water we were using at a campsite to cook our pasta. It did look a bit murky at the time but we were sure it would be ok! Oops!
In the days that followed Mr also became sick and we both felt pretty horrendous. We decided to carry on and travel up through Austria to Bavaria, feeling awful but determined to continue our travels!
Ciao for now Italy!
Live, Learn, Love