Anyway, it was uneventful and arriving at Venice – St Lucia was very relaxing. No touts, no pressure, just walk outside at 9.00am and find the right ferry (vaporetto), get some tickets (really expensive but better to have flexible arrangements than none at all) and sit back, enjoy the view and realize that this place is famous for some VERY good reasons!
We stayed at Lido, the main island on the sea side of Venice, complete with swimming beaches which we had no idea about – we really didn’t expect we would swim at Venice but first day there we did! Surprise number 1.
Lido is quiet, tourists and locals alike are well catered for with cafes and restaurants, and not too much traffic. Our hotel was a great find, an old building beautifully renovated into quite a smart, modern little hotel.
Day 2 was cloudy with a small amount of drizzle but fairly warm. Pretty good conditions for exploring Venice. We took a vaporetto along the Grand Canal and then walked through the old city back to San Marco Square. It would be safe to say that at this stage we had already fallen in love with Venice. Plans of day tripping to Pisa and Verona were dropped and we planned how we could absorb as much as this island city as we could. Venice seemed to be just that little bit more special than any of the other European cities we had seen…surprise number 2.
Saturday morning we were joined by Troy and Tracy in Lido and headed back across to the main city, getting off the vaporetto near San Marco. After a little bit of sightseeing we found a very cool café with a hilarious waiter and sat down to enjoy wine and pizza, although Troy managed to disappear for some time.
We wondering whether he would make it back for the pizza and debate ng having a second bottle of wine when through the crowded café appeared Julia’s parents!! Surprise number 3 – the biggest by far!!
It was David and Rita’s 45th wedding anniversary so to celebrate they had decided to get out to Venice to surprise us and see us off on our cruise! There was also a chance to have some early Birthday celebrations for Molly and just catch up.
It is an amazing thing about Europe that a long weekend in Venice is so achievable and without too much cost. Budget airlines can make the travel ridiculously cheap – David payed 20 Pounds one way and less than 20 Euros back for the air tickets, flying into Treviso which is just an easy (and in Italy cheap) 40 minute train journey from Venice. It would be nice if there was a little city like Venice on the far South Coast of NSW……………
We had a nice celebration dinner – lots of Pizza and wine. The pizza’s seem very good but the pasta is perhaps not as we would expect it in Australia (or England, Austria or Thailand for that matter!). My aim was to test and re-test my theories on how pasta is served in different Italian restaurants in Italy but the pizza’s always seemed to draw me to them!
As for "how're we doin'?" Well, let's just say we are cruzin'..................