Saturday, April 26, 2014


I had always wanted to visit Venice. I've seen it on so many travel blogs, movies and pictures growing up. The city of canals.

We arrived early in the morning, taking the bus to the edge of Venice where we all took the small public shuttle called charmingly the People Mover. Arriving after only two stops. The whole thing only has three stations, we moved after Betti. Snapping photos and falling quickly in love with every alley, bridge and bit of water we saw.

Venice is only a pedestrian city so all we had to worry about was staying out of locals ways and what the price of the cheapest gelato was.

The bell tower of St. Mark's. The tower dates from 1912. It is an exact replica of the previous tower which collapsed in 1902. The top of the tower offers great views of Venice and the lagoon.

It rests in St. Mark's Square which is dominated by Venice's main attraction St. Mark's Basilica. The photo below shows that the cathedral is under construction. I guess I will just have to return to Venice in order to get some nice photos of it.

The horses you can see above the arch are the Horses of Saint Mark. The ones pictured are replicas of the originals which in 1797 were taken to Paris by Napoleon but returned to Venice in 1815. The originals are located in the museum inside the basilica.

The above photo is of the Doge's Palace, which was the residence of the Doge, the Duke or supreme leader of Venice. It is right next to St. Mark's Basilica.  It was established in 1340.   The palace also was used as a prison and hosted Casanova

The Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge's Palace to the building that was going to be used as the New Prison. It is made of white limestone. The name supposedly comes from the convicts sighing as they crossed the bridge before their imprisonment, seeing Venice for the last time.  

After checking out St. Mark's Square and the Grand Canal we headed to a lace demonstration.  
 The woman showed us the different styles of Venetian lace and how it sometimes takes multiple people to complete the piece over a period of six months, each woman doing a different stitch. If one stitch goes wrong they have to start again.  This reminded me a lot of Carol and how she does lace but I don't think she does it as crazily as these Venetians do. I hope not anyways.

Up next we were treated to a glass blowing demonstration which was very exciting. The man molded the horse out of the glass, made it stand up and then tossed the poor little pony back into the hot kiln. I bought myself some new earrings and a necklace from the store.

We headed to take our gondola ride afterwards. Josie and I decided we would go with the South African boys and we hopped into the gondola and enjoyed the ride.

 It was definitely a fun experience that I won't forget. Seeing Venice from the canals was just a whole different side of it. Sliding under bridges, lightly nudging walls and getting out of the way of boats that actually had motors. It was very beautiful and the weather was just gorgeous.
 After jumping out of our canal, Josie and I took off and I quickly went through St. Mark's Basilica, no photos as it was not allowed. After we headed in search of masks, pizza, gelato and cat postcards. In no particular order. We found pizza first with the help of me asking a charming gelato server where the best pizza was. The restaurant was in the Campiello S. Zulian.

Josie and I were actually joined by the South African boys again as they had wandered into the same small square as us. We happily enjoyed our pizza which I split with Josie. We also tried crodino spritzes which were quite tasty. Josie and I parted ways with the boys and headed off in search for some masks as there would be a masked party at the hostel that night.

 We were able to find our masks in one of the gazillion mask shops that Venice has. There are so many to choose from the the pricing ranges from very cheap to very very expensive. The cat masks, though tempting represent male prostitution from the good old days.

We had to be back on the People Mover by a certain time so we worked our way out of the maze that is Venice, getting gelato and finding the cat postcards we had been searching for. I stopped at a store and bought this meringue below because look at the size of it!

After getting back to the hostel we enjoyed some downtime. A delicious home cooked pasta dinner. After the dinner, we got ready for the masked party and joined in the fun.  I enjoyed a bucket of delicious pink liquid, I believe it was Sex on the Beach but my memory is fuzzy.

Josie, Rebecca and I looked stunning in our marks. We enjoyed the party until we felt it was better to go to bed. Not anti-social or nothing, just bed is sometimes much funner than drinking and dancing in front of weird local guys. 

I had a great time in Venice. It was so beautiful. I can't wait until the next time I am there. I'll make sure to stay inside the lagoon. Go to St. Mark's and see the museum as well as enjoy the areas I did not get to. Until next time Venice. Keep being pretty and don't sink.

Upcomming posts: Vienna and Bratislava!

**Also, might be quality loss in photos. Trying to find a program to edit them to reduce page loading times. Hope to improve it when I move into my new place hopefully tomorrow. Will also do a post on that.

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