Vikki: Yesterday after one of our shorter car rides we arrived in Venice. We are staying in a small campground just outside of Venice, with an easy bus ride to get into the city. Quite relaxed and laid back and great helpful staff.
Venice is lovely, great architecture and a serene feel to it. While absolutely packed with tourists, I think, because there are no cars, it doesn't feel as hectic or bad as you'd expect (and a cooler day today with cloud cover probably helps too).
We used the local water taxi's to get around, as well as wandering around the streets. While we didn't go into any of the "major tourist sites" just wandering through the piazza's and being amongst it all hit the mark. Our hope of some beach time was washed out with a thunder and rain storm, so perhaps tomorrow after a bit more wandering.
Raj: I'd heard some not too positive things about Venice from guests at our last stay - a small city which struggles to host its 20 million visitors each year. Heading into the city of canals and seeing 4 cruise ships, one which had its own (huge) hydro slide was a bit off putting; however I was surprised how relaxed and enjoyable it was to get around the city, with no fixed plans or sights to queue up for. Wandering (and getting lost) in the streets and travelling along the canals by foot and boat was fun, though I really felt the heat and humidity today. The late afternoon rain was a welcome relief; however it meant the beach was a no go even though we'd invested some time getting there are were only minutes away.
I also had a few bug**r me moments today - see below on the Raj Factor!
Harley: Today while we were in Venice I saw lots of canals with river taxi's and gondolas. It was strange riding around in boats instead of cars. Venice is also known for its Murano glass and in most shops we saw glass ornaments. When we were going to go to Lido Beach, all of a sudden it started to pour down with rain. While it was raining we had a gelato and mine was caramel flavoured, but in the end we didn't get to go to the beach.
Anouk: Yesterday we arrived in Venice. On the way we stopped at a beach. We were expecting the water to be cold and refreshing but instead it was warm. Harley saw a crab and I saw something skinny that looked like an eel. Today we went on a bus and a water taxi to San Marco Piazza. There was a palace that rich people lived in and a bell tower, a church and other buildings. When we were on the boat we saw gondola's with fancy fluffy chairs to sit on. We were going to go to the beach but it started to pour down with rain, so instead we found some shelter, had an ice-cream and then went home.
Today on the Raj Factor: You've been crying out for new material so here it is.
(#1) After a food break Raj discovered his sunglasses were not on his head and most likely were left where we ate. We went back to search without luck and figured some tourist was better off. A short while later we came across an optometrist and all tried hard to persuade Raj to buy some designer glasses which we all thought looked really good. But no, they weren't good enough for him. With 3 months more travel, he'll need something which means the rest of us will probably have to put up with visiting countless stores until he's satisfied with looks, cost and value. Really looking forward to that - not.
(#2) When we got home we needed some food supplies and Raj was adamant he should go alone to the supermarket and was confident to travel in peak hour traffic on his own. Well, he got there ok but coming back was another story. Heading on a different route on return he got confused (blames the GPS) when presented with a multi-exit 4 lane wide roundabout and cars rushing everywhere. He drove like an Italian cutting lanes, flooring the pedal and unfortunately took a wrong exit, ending up on a toll road to somewhere! He stopped on the side of the road (illegally), looked for coins, and then cut 4 more lanes to get to the correct toll booth, unsure of what lay ahead as the GPS was unable to plot a new path home. Luckily there was an exit soon after and the GPS kicked in (he later found out the "no tolls" setting on the GPS was the issue). So eventually he made it home without the ice cream melting too much and we still managed to eat dinner at a respectable time.