Trip Start Jul 17, 2007
Trip End Sep 05, 2007

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Flag of Italy  ,
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We wound down the mountain overtaking lots of racing bikes going up and the odd little old lady with her bike and basket going downhill with a big grin on her face. The mountains flattened out towards the coast and the holiday traffic started to build up. We had been told all the Italians go to the beach in August so we decided to see what all the fuss was about. Moving cars all but disappeared and were replaced by bikes and pedestrians and shops. We walked to the beach only to find we couldn't get on because of all the fences and shops on the sands edge. We managed to find a gap and sneak on only to find, you couldn't see the beach anyway because of all the umbrellas and deckchairs! Some serious sun-worshiping was going on, like you'd never see in New Zealand. In our shorts and t-shirts (and Shannon's leather jacket) we were WAY over dressed. But we can now say we've walked in the Adriatic Sea. And their icecreams weren't nearly as good as the rest of Italy! :(
It was again time to get on the road to Venice. The only real trouble we had was needing to fill up the car. Between 1pm and 3pm Italy closes down for siesta time. We pulled into the petrol station at half 2 and tried to use the self-service machines but it ate our money and gave out no fuel. We had plenty of time then to re-pack our cases and wait for the attendants to come back.
Returned the car (to the rental cars own parking building) and caught the water ferry. As soon as we stepped off at our stop, the streets narrowed. They were hardly 5 stones wide and you could reach both walls with outstretched hands! From the main street (all of 10 stones wide!) we saw a sign to our hotel (3 stars) turn the next corner and another sign (2 stars) on the doorway (1 star) its amazing what photo-shop can do to brochures, but we weren't planning on spending much time there anyway.
Shannon was excited to get out and go SHOPPING?! Not her usual style.
The maze of little streets, canals and bridges was really amazing and they were made all the more smaller by the tall buildings each side of the road that is a totally different style to anything we've seen before.
The next morning, we started off early to get to the main tourist square (San Marcos) before all the tourists got there. Except, by wandering and going into every second or third store, we managed to go in the totally wrong direction (twice) and by the time we had walked past the square (not seeing it) and around again, it was filled with tourists and pidgeons.
We did a lot of shopping and got most of the last gifts we needed and really had lots of fun. Next stop was to fly to Paris...
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