We awoke early at 6.45 so we could be making our way to station by 7.30am. The temperature as we left was about 23 degrees so the perfect weather for a leisurely stroll to the station for an 8.30 train.
We had chance to stop outside the station for some croissants and some chilled drinks too. With breakfast inside us we boarded our train to Venice.Venice is half way between Florence and Milan so we could have gone from either location however going from Florence was cheaper but a bit longer. When booking we got upgraded to first class so we enjoyed our 2 hour train journey in luxury! Trains in Italy are really nice anyway but first class meant we were sat at a table the two of us with no one else and we had a lot more space which was good. Our breakfast meant that we didn't take full advantage of the free drinks and snacks though!
Stepping out of the station right onto canal grande was pretty amazing. It was exactly like the movies, just beautiful.
However within minutes we had come to discover the biggest factor of our day, the absolutely unrelenting and oppressive heat. The temperature was down at 35 degrees but it was insanely humid and so very uncomfortable.
We had a skip the queue ticket to St Marc's basilica for 12, an hour and a half after our train arrived. We headed towards the plaza but Venice is like a maze, there are islands and bridges everywhere and despite the fact i had a map it was frustratingly confusing. We reached St. Marc's square with just 10 minutes to go until our time slot.
It gave us just enough time to grab a slice of pizza and a Bellini from a local shop before our entry. St Marc's basilica was beautiful, it's easy to see why it's nicknamed the 'church of gold' and the whole square was full of amazing buildings however there was an astounding amount of tourists there which was just adding to the heat and we had to depart the square quickish.
As we had so much trouble finding St Marc's we thought we should try and find our meeting point for our tour later on. It wasn't too hard because it was by Rialto bridge so once we located it we decided not to stray too far away.
We went to a self serve ice cream place where I created a fantastic strawberry, raspberry and meringue creation which was very refreshing in the heat. Adam didn't have anything but was relived of the break from walking. We walked through a market and I also got a punnet of fresh cherries to eat walking around. My hands ended up stained purple. Other than that we just ducked in and out of shops trying to escape the heat.
The streets in Venice are very narrow and there were just so many people around. It was tiring walking around.
We met up for our walking tour at 2.45pm. We were given headsets and our guide had a microphone so he could talk without shouting. He guided us through the town and whilst it was good, it was informative and he was really funny, the heat made it very difficult.
At the end of the tour we had a half hour gondola ride. Adam said he didn't think he could handle it. He had a blistering heat rash come up and had started to feel sick from the heat. Whilst I felt awful myself I also didn't want to give up the opportunity to ride a gondola in Venice. In the end Adam said he didn't want me to go on the gondola alone and came on. In the end it was good because the gondola rarely left the shade however I still didn't manage to get a photo of Adam smiling haha.
Once the gondola finished we had an hour until our return train. I couldn't face the walk back to the station. It had taken us over an hour to get to San Marco and that was signposted! I decided to override Adams tight hold on the wallet and pay 15 euros total for us to get back by water taxi. It was so much easier, by that point I think I would have paid 50 euros!
So we got back to the station in one piece, just. We're soaked through with sweat, sore with chafing and heat rash and feel headachy and sick but it's a tick off the list, Venice done. Adam absolutely hated it and would never return. There were parts of Venice I loved, there were parts I hated.
At the station before boarding the train I got an Italian style lunchable, it had salami and crostini and was very nice and we got more water. We've drunk 4 litres each of water this afternoon yet neither of us has been to the toilet once which is a testament to how much we've sweated.
The train journey was an air conditioned heaven. When we got out the station I could hear someone calling 'Chelsea' but of course I didn't stop, then someone tapped me on the back. It was our guide from our cooking class, Elise. We stood and had a chat and then we continued on. What are the chances?!
We've returned back to the apartment for much needed showers. It will be about 10.30 by the time dinner gets put on but I'll be there with my white wine waiting for Adam to put it on the table :) tonight it's pasta with pesto and Italian sausage!