The Bubumoon – day 8, Europe Escape, 04.11.2019

04.11.2019 – gondola ride in Venice, Italy โค

Day 8 was our last one in Italy. We were up bright and early, ready for the next road trip – this time our destination was Venice, how exciting!! Venice, the ‘floating city’, ‘city of masks’, ‘city of bridges’, ‘city of canals’ – just to name a few.

04.11.2019 – On the expat explore coach! arrivederci Rome! ciao Venice! ๐Ÿ˜
04.11.2019 – beautiful sunrise as we headed out of Rome
04.11.2019 – the drive! Rome to Venice, Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

We left Rome straight after breakfast – at about 7.30am – for the 7 or so hour trip to Venice. After a couple of rest stops including lunch, we arrived at the hotel we were staying for the night – Quality Hotel Delfino, Venezia Mestre. It was almost 3pm.

04.11.2019 – itinerary for days 8 & 9
04.11.2019 – a tunnel on the road from Rome to Venice, Italy. We came across so many tunnels throughout the whole tour, we lost count!
04.11.2019 – on the road from Rome to Venice, Italy. In the tunnel!

After checking in and refreshing, we rushed out to a supermarket we’d seen right next to the hotel. We needed to buy an extra memory card for the camera – something we forgot to pack when we started out on the adventure – too much excitement, I guess ๐Ÿ˜ Unfortunately for us, the supermarket wasn’t selling memory cards. We found coconuts though but didn’t buy any ๐Ÿฅฐ

04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Coconuts on sale ๐Ÿ™‚
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy, curious much ๐Ÿ˜… checking out an old water well!

We then joined the rest of the group at a bus stop, opposite the hotel, where we caught a bus to get to the island. The scenery while travelling to the island was beautiful – I just love the smell of the sea. It was reminding me of home, a little seaside village called Tubusereia in the Central Province of PNG.

04.11.2019 – looking out to sea from the bus on the way into Venice
04.11.2019 – looking out to sea from the bus on the way into Venice

It is a good 15 minute trip by bus to get to the island from the mainland. And, me oh my! Nothing prepares you for the beauty of Venice – you can read about and see pictures of it in a thousand magazines, books etc – and still be completely awed by the unfolding charm and sophistication right in front of you. They say its man-made, but didn’t look it, well, not to me anyway.

04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Canals
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Beautiful old buildings
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Cobbled streets
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy, panaromic view of San Marco Square

For me though, if it wasn’t for the Swiss Alps – Venice would have been my numero uno i.e. top favourite place of the tour. And so began our tour of Venice, initially on foot. We crossed the 1st bridge and canal, in search of San Polo, our 1st stop.

04.11.2019 – Venice Italy. 1st gondola sighting ๐Ÿ˜„ couldn’t wait to experience that ourselves
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Squad ๐Ÿฅฐ
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! More cobbled streets
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Canals

It wasn’t too hard to find our way into San Polo. Just as Matt pointed out – there are markers on every building, showing directions. And he told us that just in case any one from the group wandered off. So what’s in San Paolo? It houses some of the most historic and beautiful churches and also one of the most photographed bridges in the world, the Rialto was in San Polo!

04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Canals
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! More canals

We zigzagged on cobbled footpaths, between buildings, over bridges and canals, on our mission to find Rialto bridge and all along the way there were little shops & big shops, selling souvenirs, jewellery, glass trinkets, clothes, food and masks! Lots and lots of masks shops, we noticed. Another thing we noticed was that there’s lots of churches in Venice as well.

04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Shops
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Church
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Church

During that walk, we managed to find a camera shop and bought a memory card straight away. We were set for Rialto bridge and beyond! We turned a final corner and wowww! the Rialto! Honestly I’d never heard of this place so I was completely blown away by it. And we took loads of pictures on both sides of the bridge, on it & beside it – it’s magnificent and has beautiful views of the Grand Canal.

04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Grand canal
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy. View of the Grand Canal to the west, from Rialto Bridge
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy. View of the Grand Canal to the east, from Rialto Bridge
04.11.2019 – Venice, Italy! Candids by the Rialto ๐Ÿฅฐ
04.11.2019 – Venice, Italy! Candids by the Rialto ๐Ÿฅฐ

We continued on our walk towards San Marco, home of St Mark’s Basilica and tourist hub of Venice. We didn’t get to tour the Basilica but we arrived just in time to witness a flag lowering ceremony, in the square, directly infront of the Basilica.

04.11.2019 – Venice, Italy! St Mark’s Basilica
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Flag lowering ceremony
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Flag lowering ceremony
04.11.2019 – Venice, Italy! Candids by the Basilica, San Marco ๐Ÿฅฐ

After the flag lowering ceremony, we had some time to spare before the next activity, so Matt, our tour leader allowed the group to venture out, explore some more and buy souvenirs. So we did just that, making sure not to venture too far from San Marco Square as we were meeting back there. Venice like all other Italian cities is a shopper’s haven! We bought a few souvenirs then rushed back to meet everyone. Then the best part of the day, gondola ride! What an amazing experience โค๐Ÿ™

04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Candids after the gondola ride
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Candids after the gondola ride! Beautiful family from Singapore who were part of our tour group
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! Selfie on the gondola ride, why not?! ๐Ÿ˜
04.11.2019 – Venice Italy! What can you do except gaze in awe at the beautiful scenery unfolding infront of you.
04.11.2019 – took a million photos and some! Sadly, I misplaced the memory card here in Sydney and am not able to find it ๐Ÿ˜’ All these photos in Venice and from rest of the tour were taken on our phones. Thank God for smart phones

After the gondola ride, we all met up again outside the basilica, this time to go for dinner, at a quaint restaurant in San Marco. It was lovely – I thoroughly enjoyed the fish, reminded me of ones back home, fresh & very tasty.

After dinner, we caught water taxis back to the central transport hub for the ride back to the hotel. That was day 8 for us, even though a little rushed – it was a day well spent in one of the most beautiful places in Europe! And if given the opportunity to visit again, I’d stay a little bit longer, pay a little more and stay in Venice rather than on the mainland ๐Ÿฅฐ

04.11.2019 – in the water taxi
04.11.2019 – Venice, Italy! Candids on the streets ๐Ÿฅฐ
04.11.2019 – Venice, Italy! Glass musicians ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽผ
04.11.2019 – Rialto Bridge, Venice Italy

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