Going, going, Gondola

Trip Start Jul 27, 2013
Trip End Aug 22, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Sunday, August 18, 2013

It's another fine morning in Venice and we enjoy a olive oily breakfast of eggs and cappuccino to give us some fuel for the big day ahead. We set out early and start walking to toward San Marco to do some exploring and check out the famous Rialto bridge. We get a call from our fellow travellers who have gone to Venice and winged it, landing themselves a very nice hotel just around the corner.

We catch up with J and Mish in St Marco square and go pay our 16euro to go have a look around Doge Palace, which houses the old government offices, court room, armoury and prison. We spend a couple hours here, but could easily have spent a few more. The palace is amazing and their collection of weapons, armour and guns is fascinating. There is an old gattling machine gun there which dans favourite piece. Probably the most famous part of this place is the Bridge of Sighs which connects the government building to the jail. Tourists line up on the small bridge outside the palace to get a snap of this famous bridge, where prisoners would be led across from their jail cell to hear their sentence and would often sigh when they cross getting their last glimpse of freedom outside.

Feeling cultured from our Palace experience its time for another large lunch of pizzas, crepes, seafood and a few relaxing beverages. We then stroll to J and Mish's hotel, and then onto ours, stopping along the way for refreshments as required.

The idea is to grab a bottle of wine and go find a gondola ride. The going rate is around 2 euro every minute, although after 7pm they try to jack their prices up even further. It's now 7.15pm and we are not going to pay 100 euro for a 40min ride, so we haggle with a few until one agrees to do it for 80 euro which is around what we expected. We clamber aboard with the gondolier and his brother who is an apprentice gondolier, so he only gets a red stripey shirt. You gotta earn your black stripes.

The ride down the canals is beautiful and peaceful as the sun sets over Venice, nothing like the gondola demo derbies that we had witnessed earlier in the day. We thoroughly enjoy our boat ride and its over all too soon.

We then find a nice bar to have a few more cocktails and terrorise the other patrons. Finding an actual bar in Venice is near impossible so we were all pretty stoked with our discovery. By the time we are ready to go home, everyone seems to have lost their sense of direction and our journey home is a drawn out debacle that will require input from many patient strangers before we site the front door of our hotels again.
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blood13 on

Brings back soo many memories from 35 years ago, nothing changed much, except the weather rained the whole time we were in Venice

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