Tuesday 11 Sep
Its official: I could live here (though I prob couldnt afford it)
Our first 'real'breakfast in ages, and bellies full, we went back to the rooms to chill out cos we didnt feel the best. I went exploring the city on my own, visiting St Mark's Square (the main/only open space everyone's familiar with from pics of Venice). There were people and pidgeons everywhere, who's worse I dont know.
The beautiful and magnificent St Mark's Basilica is a stunning feature of what can otherwise be a bland St Mark's Square. Gold features, mosaics, elegant arches, loved this church. Sat and listening to the musicians playing in the square. There are several of Venice's most famous cafes that line the sides of St Marks Square. For 8.70€ you can get a cappucino and listen to classical musicians playing live. Yes, thats 8 euros. Almost 15$ AU. Ridiculously extravagant. But for some, its a nice way to pass 20 mins nursing the most expensive coffee they'll ever drink (by the way, espressos are 5€).
I has such a pleasant afternoon getting lost in Venice's streets - everyone gets lost, it's inevitable, but doesnt have to be a drag. Slept for ages when I got back to help shake my head cold, then walked the city streets for ages. We jumped on a ferry boat to get back home - Venice's public transport system.
Next day we switched hotels, then walked to St Mark's with Ante. Noticed there's no cats in Venice, which is weird cos they are everywhere, everywhere else. There were soooo many people in lines to visit the Basilica and other spots, so we just grabbed some lunch and headed back to Hotel. Took a gondola ride thru Venice's very quiet local canals. Geez they are overpriced. But they are part of the typical Venice package. And they are actually a very enjoyable way to see the city from the water. Our gondola man sang in Italian the whole way which was lovely. We saw heaps of homes and alleys I guess we wouldnt have found on foot.
At night we walked to St Mark's square, sat and listened to classical music on some nearby steps (without paying a fortune for coffee!), then took a ferry ride home via the Grand Canal.
Here's some Venice stats for ya that I found fascinating:
- over 400 bridges
- 117 seperate islands make up the city of Venice
- there are over 450 gondolas
- 150 canals
- only 3 bridges cross the Grand Canal
- houses were built on sticks that were placed into the water, then added mud, then stone, then the foundations were built
- 120 churhces (told you there were a lot)
- everyone is inevitably going to get lost in this city
What I'm grateful for:
- Spending time on my own walking the streets
- seeing St Mark's Square... but sooo many people!
- afternoon naps
- all the laneways and bridges
- peaceful gondola ride
- seeing local life
- chocolate granita mmmmm
- ferry trips