Venice! So exciting to see the city on water! After getting off the train and while waiting for our water transportation we got things figured out. The buses were the big boats with lots of people. Taxis were the smaller, private ones. The gondolas were the limos or maybe the Central Park carriages tourists take for ambiance!
We had been warned that Piazza San Marco was crowded with tourists. It was, but could have been worse. I'd already made our reservations for St. Marks Basilica so we were able to walk right in instead of waiting in the very long line.
We took a quick walk through, admiring the ceiling's gold mosaics. Next door we walked through the Doge's Palace and everyone loved the extensive armory collection--more swords, armor, and weapons than I had ever seen before. And of course never appreciated it before I had three boys. Actually, with Dan included in the enthusiasm, lets make it four boys. Definitely not to be missed if you've got boys. The cells were also cool.
Nick was dying to climb the Campanile for the hike and the view of the city. Courtney and Marty wanted to skip and we agreed they could wait for us below. But their consciences got the better of them knowing Nick likes it when we are all together. Just as we were about to buy tickets we noticed the elevator. No stairs here, just an elevator to the top. That ruined it for Nick and he wasn't interested anymore.
As I lay in bed during our usual 6:30 rest time, the city bells have started to ring. As we were getting ready to leave Florence, at 8:30 am, bells rang across the town too. Beautiful. I wish we had bells in Holladay.
The streets of Venice are narrow and without GPS I wonder how you'd find your way around. Makes me think of a corn maze at Halloween when you realize you can't see any landmarks and have no idea if you're going the right way or not!
We have felt a little deprived of fruit and were thrilled to find a fresh fruit smoothie shop near our hotel so we won't come home with scurvy.
A funny thing today at the Doges--Imagine how everything is old and well preserved. And we've walked through rooms of weapons and paintings and buildings all preserved from the 1500's. As I peaked through the small four inch window in the door of an old jail cell, sitting on the floor was a cardboard box with the Apple computer logo. Anachronism.
We took a water bus to dinner and enjoyed seeing the action from the Grand Canal.
Walking home from dinner the city is quiet and everything is shut down. We've heard many things aren't open on Sundays. Maybe everything just closes early. Including us. We are ready for bed and are planning on sleeping in in the morning.