The next stop on our trip was Venice — what a unique place. We enjoyed three days exploring lots of the big and little sights of Venice, as well as some of the neighboring islands which are just as interesting.
Venice is grand, interesting, and beautiful, but it is also in decay; a city that certainly feels like its best times were many years ago. Despite that, it’s still charming and so unique.
On our first day we visited two islands near Venice: Murano and Burano. Burano in particular was a worthwhile stop, even though it’s a 45-minute ride on the water taxi from Venice proper. The buildings here are much brighter and possibly not restricted in the way that the building codes are in the rest of Venice. This picture on the left is one of my favourites so far.
We were staying at a hostel called Bed & Venice, which we would certainly recommend if you are the hosteling type. It’s at a great location just 5 minutes from the main St. Mark’s Square, and yet also close to areas east of the island that feel more residential and authentic. Our room also had air conditioning, which was a welcome relief after some very hot days in Germany and Austria.
We managed to avoid the large crowds by seeing the big sights early or late in the day (there’s a handy top tip if you’re a tourist) — St. Mark’s Square was particularly enjoyable at night, although you still had to contend with street vendors and the flashing toys they were selling, which sort of took away from the overall 18th century splendor of the place.
On our last day we splurged and paid for a gondola ride; something the girls were particularly interested in experiencing. I expect this may not be the last expensive gondola ride we pay for, considering that Switzerland is up next.
And despite rain & thunder in the forecast, we were lucky to have three gorgeous days — only on the day we left did it cloud over and rain. So far, so good.
Next up, it’s a couple of days of scenic train journeys through the Alps!