Friday, May 31, 2013
Today, we left Pisa in the morning and trained 3 hours to Venice, Italy. We arrived in Venice about 1 pm and the headed to our hotel. Our first impressions of Venice were of frustration and annoyance. Who knew it could be SO hard and time consuming to go from one side of the canal to the other and find a ride to the hotel from the train station. Adding to our annoyance and frustration was that we had to deal with snooty French people for three hours on the train; we were carrying two backpacks (one on our back weighing 45 pounds and the other a stuffed smaller sized backpack on our front), plus we were starving because it was after 1:00 pm, and there was a light drizzle. Welcome to Venice.
Needless to say... we were not fun people to be with at the time. Thankfully, Zeb had more patience and a better outlook on the day then I did and he stepped up and handled the interactions with people and the navigation. Thank you, Zeb! We did run into some other American families who were also frustrated and annoyed, like we were, so we were not alone in how we felt.
Once we were checked into our old Victorian Venetian Hotel, we were off to have lunch and see the sights! Our first stop on our agenda was the famous Rialto Bridge. From there we fought the crowds and moved on to the next destination - St. Mark's Square (which was the opening scene of the Italian Job movie (for those of you who are movie buffs and I'm sure it has been in many more)). At the Square we posed for pictures, people watched, and Zeb played with the pigeons (classic Zeb).
We have determined that "our thing" is to go to the highest point of the city and admire the views. Keeping with tradition, we took the elevator to the top of the San Marco Campanile. We enjoyed the wonderful views of the islands and all the boats in and around Venice. We also toured St. Mark's Basilica and saw all of its beautiful mosaics.
After spending a great deal of time in the St. Mark Square, we were off to fight the crowds and do some more shopping. For those of you that know Venice, you know that shopping is in great abundance! Zeb enjoyed going into the Ferrari Store and I enjoyed shopping for hand blown glass pieces. We have determined that anything and everything can be found in Venice... for a nice price (Venezia is very expensive!!).
After our shopping adventure, we ended our day at a delicious restaurant in the more residential part of Venice, with the locals.
Tomorrow is the day we set sail for our Greek Isle cruise; it will be an action packed week of island hopping! This is our last night in Italy and our last goodbye, Italia we will miss you.