Day 139, 140, 141 & 142
Venice, the mystical water city was a very different experience to any other town we had been to so far. In our quest for savings we decided to book a campsite out of Venice that was but a boat ride away. Yes it was going to be an inconvenience getting into town and back but at a third of the price of any place in town, we couldn't say no.
The campsite itself was fantastic, great cabins (despite their tiny tiny size), a restaurant, a beer garden, a supermarket and awesome. However we came across problem one when we tried to contact anyone in the outside world to tell them where we were and what was going on. Yes, the unbelievable had happened, we had stumbled into an area without wifi. We were lost, no idea what to do, we all had games on our phones sure, but what happens when we got bored of them. All jokes aside, it was a big change for us as we as never had a situation like this. It wasn't necessarily a bad change, it was just something we had to get used to. We ended up exploring the campsite a lot, inventing yet another card game and had a lot of chill time to just talk the 5 of us. Usually in the summer months the place is pumping with contiki groups but it had begun to get cold and there were no young people there other than us.
Venice itself was absolutely awesome yet getting there and back was more of an issue than expected. Whilst there was a boat that went every hour from the campsite to the island, they finished up at 6:30 making staying in town latish quite the issue. One night we decided to stuff it and ended up having to take a long train and cab back to our place. Not wanting go through that more than once, we spent a lot of time at the campsite. We didn't have much to do, so we caught up on a lot of sleep.
However the negatives were definitely outweighed by the positives as Venice was fantastic. Being exactly like I imagined, it was fantastic to walk around in a place I had seen so many pictures of. From the grand canal to the Rialto bridge, Saint Marcos Square and Zattere river we did some serious walking around. We explored the whole
Island venturing in every direction finding places such as the Jewish Quarter, the most expensive hotel in Venice (prices starting at 900 euro per night) and the Massive Ferrari shop. We found many candy shops, my now absolute favourite ice cream shop called Grom and even a place that made the most delicious crepe creatively name 'The Chocolate Kebab.'
I know someone's going to ask this so I'll get in first and say no we didn't fork out the cash for a gondola. Whilst they did look fancy and relaxing 80 euro (just over $100) is a heap of a cash for 15 minutes. Not to mention getting into a gondola with 4 other boys is not quite what I had in mind for my gondola experience. The huge traffic jams of Gondolas in the canals helped our decision too as we constantly saw boats lining up to get past the next bridge.
As this was Aidan and Zacs very last country we did a lot of souvenir and present shopping. Whilst I only ended up getting gifts for the most important person in my life, we were constantly in and out shops, trying to find presents for the final few on the boys lists.
Whilst Venice was awesome, you get a bit sick of walking, eating, looking at canals and shopping all day long. So on our last day in town we decide to go on a tour to the surrounding Islands. Murano, Burana and Torcelli were the places we went and they could not have been more different from each other. Starting at Murano the world famous island for Glass, we went to a glass blowing demonstration that couldn't have been cooler. We were impressed when the guy made a vase in front of us but he was just getting started. Next, even more impressive he made a red tinted horse right in front of our eyes. It was amazing to see. The 40 minutes we had left on the island were spent walking up and down the river looking at all the glass you could buy.
Island 2, Burano was one of the most beautiful places we have been. Up there with Santorini, it was like Venice with pretty coloured houses. Known for their lace they offered a tour through a lace museum which we decided to pass on. Instead we just walked through the streets, up and down the canals just looking at the houses and finding souvenirs along the way.
Our third and final Island Torcelli was the strangest of them all looking like an abandoned village. With an apparent population of about 15 people by the time our group got there we were all alone. We walked along one long canal finding a small town at the end. In the 30 minutes we had there we walked around the entire town, took some pictures and just sat around. It was definitely one of the more random places we have been.
That pretty much sums up Venice for us. We loved the actual town but couldn't really hang there as much as we wanted due to transport. The campsite was fun being a bit different to the norm but I think it would have been much better in the summer.
Time to get our shopping on in Milan.