Venice - Italy

Trip Start Oct 30, 2007
Trip End Nov 20, 2009

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Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Wednesday, October 8, 2008

(Note :  All entries from now until Perth in November are way
shorter than they should be, as all out text got stolen, together with
our laptop, all our valuables, and almost our whole campervan, when it
was broken into and trashed in Rome at the end of October.  Have a look
at that entry if you want to have a look at the damage the bastards
did.  The next month or soŽs text is written 6 months later, so we may
have forgotten some bits!)

Despite our potential hiccup with our failed brakes, we arrived on time as planned in Venice the evening before KarenŽs birthday, which weŽd planned to do since weŽd been in Czech.  We stopped in our Žusual placeŽ late evening, just over the bridge from Venice island which weŽd used back at the beginning of this trip and also our campervan trip in Ž97.  We love Venice and were rapt we were able to celebrate KarenŽs birthday there.  We had the most fantastic day - we wandered around the canals, went back to our friend with the local wine shop, chatted to him and bought some more of his lovely wine, wandered to the little local trattoria place we found back in May and had the most awesome spaghetti vongoles, and got chatting to the barman, who brought us out first the local distilled spirit (check out the pics of Karen trying it!) and then a  drink of Venetian origin we hadnŽt had before, Aperol spritzers.  On a warm afternoon, sun shining, in a lovely piazza, they were just perfect (to those alcohol-ophiles amongst you, ie. nearly all our friends!) its about 20% Aperol (like Cinzano but much much nicer), 40% white wine (an Italian frizzante is perfect, but any dryish, unoaked white wine will do), and topped up with a lemonade/fizzy water combo, and a slice of lemon on top for good measure. It became our drink of choice for the rest of the trip.

We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon there, then wandered through the alleys to St Marks square, where we saw the sun set over the gondolas and Karen received birthday phonecalls from friends at home.  Lacking a glass, but full of inginuity, we cut off the bottom of a small water bottle to make a wine glass, and sat on the steps of the square, drinking the wine weŽd bought earlier, next to people at the cafes paying ridiculous prices for wine not half as good as ours.  We were a little messy by midnight, but virtually had the whole place to ourselves.  The cafes had packed up, the tourists had gone home, and it topped off one of the best days on the whole trip. 
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