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ITALY | Tuesday, 14 October 2014 | Views [273]

We'd booked a flight a while ago, it was nice not to have to organse transport...we got up early and found a patisserie gab had been eyeing off and had brecky by the ocean :) got our bags, caught a bus to the airport, where I accidentally tried to smuggle yoghurt through customs :S twas pretty funny...it was a quick flight and we landed on the mainland of Venice about an hour later..a bus over the water and we were amongst the infamous canals!! As beautiful as expected..if not more so..we lugged our bags up and over the many bridges until finally finding our guesthouse, which was tucked away in a labyrinth of streets..a cute guest house, nice and close to a canal and in a sweet peaceful suburb on the island..we dumped our things and went to a cute little cafe recommended to us by a Venetian for lunch..explored the southern part of the grand canal (the bottom of the 'fish', as Venice happens to be in the shape of a fish)...loads of little shops, meandering cobblestone streets, no cars or motorbikes, gondolas..a very romantic and enchanting city :) then gab found her dream shop, where you could fill a plastic bottle of quality wine for just over 2€ :P so we got some red wine, bought a takeaway pizza and went and sat at the quiet dock near our guesthouse to relax the night away...
After enjoying our free breakfast we made our way to the northern part of the fish to meet a free walking tour..a good four hours later (long bloody walking tour!!) we'd learnt a lot about Venice! How it was somewhat poorly built, hence the uneven surfaces..how it's slowly drowning and the people of the city have to deal with this (like placing tables around for people to walk on when the city floods)..how it has always wanted to be independent but Napoleon gave the city to Austria and hence Venice had to join Italy to gain allies..how the founders built the walls around the perimeters to be the highest points (although there wasn't high tide in those days)...how masquerade balls began so as for that short time you couldn't differentiate between classes..how the creepy nose mask originated from the doctor's outfit during the plague..and so on! Needless to say we were pretty buggered..we didn't get to see saint mark's square as it was flooded..so we had a bite to eat, strolled around some more, caught the traditional gondola across the canal (for 2€ instead of 80€), bought some veggies for tea and walked around to see the beautiful city at night...
Today we'd organised a blabla for later in the day so we still had plenty of time to explore..we went back to saint marks square and although it was a little flooded we still went, although ended up a little wet with gross feet!! Elle and I went in to the cathedral whilst gab minded our bags, 'twas stunning with tiny gold tiles everywhere..we walked to the edge of the island to see the academia building but enjoyed more so the quieter streets with beautiful architecture..we could also see one of the other islands from the edge..treated ourselves to an aqua bus ride along one end of the grand canal to the other which was pretty cool...such a unique place and such a bizarre way of living, with the main entrances to the palaces etc only reachable by boat..a bit cold and wet we retreated to our favourite little cafe for a bit before stocking up on wine, grabbing our bags, sat in the open square for a bit (Venice's version of a park) where I made a picnic then caught the train to the main island to meet our blabla car lift...off to Florence! We all fell in love with Venice and I'm sure a little piece of our hearts will be left in the romantic, magical city of water...

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