Day 5 – Saturday 25th June, 2005
Itta – Venice, Italy
We drove for all of the morning and some of the afternoon, and made it to near Venice at around 3pm, where we caught our pre-arranged motorboat over to the city of Venice.
We broke up into small groups of the friends we’d made to go explore on our own for a few hours. Our aim for that day was to make it through Venice to the main canal where we could catch a water taxi back around to St. Mark’s Square. We ended up just wandering without knowing where we were.
So we made our way back to the Square, got there early in the end. Kirsten & I went to a shop on the edge of the square and bought a bottle of wine to drink on the gondola ride, then realized we didn’t have a bottle opener, so went up and down the square until we found one. We found Amanda and the rest of the people who were going on the gondola ride (some people actually passed on this!) and she walked us to the place where we would get on the boats. Kirsten & I nicked the comfy seats at the back of the gondola, and started trying to open our bottle of wine. We didn’t have much luck, and in the end our gondola driver dude opened it for us! So we relaxed back, started drinking and taking a heap of photos as we floated around there.
It was very relaxing, going around the canals. Towards the end of the ride, we convinced Mitsu to sing for us, so he started singing an Italian song. He has a really great voice, we’d already heard him Yodel a few nights ago, and he was just as good at singing in Italian. After the song (and nearly hitting his head on a few bridges), we tried to convince him to sing another one, but he realized the boats on our tour that were following us had heard him, and he wouldn’t sing anymore, even after we tried to pay him, and Kirsten & I gave him some of our wine – which was pretty funny, cos he didn’t like it much.
We got off after about 45 minutes going around the canals, and by this time the wine had started to take effect on Kirsten & me, especially as we each had half a glass which we downed because we knew we had to get off the boat in about 2 minutes. Those who were going to the optional dinner that night all parted off, and those of us who had opted to wander & find our own place split off into small groups and started walking.
Anyway I think it was Emma in the end who spotted a nice little restaurant with a decent selection on their set menu for only €16.50, including service charge. After we’d been there for a short time, but I think before we’d ordered, another few people from our group found us, so in the end about ten of us ended up at the same restaurant. Even with our drinks being expensive (about €5 for a coke), our dinner still only came to around €22 each, which was still cheaper than the optional dinner, and we’d had the fun of finding the place ourselves.
So after we finally convinced ourselves to pay and had the effort to get up and leave, we all walked back to St. Mark’s Square to meet up with the rest of the group, but we were pretty early, so I got some people to come with me because I wanted to go and take photos of the Bridge of Sighs, which wasn’t far away. It was getting darker than I’d thought by this time, but I hadn’t changed the camera settings, so my photos didn’t turn out too great.
After that we wandered back to St. Mark’s Square to meet up with everyone else for the motorboat ride back.
When we were off the boat came the first time we really started to understand what Amanda had said about loving the tour bus. It had been a relatively hot day, around the mid-30’s (Celsius), and a long evening by the time we all got off the boat. So when you see a comfy, air-conditioned bus drive up as close to the pedestrian area as possible, you really do just stand there wanting desperately to get on it as soon as possible.
From the boat place I think it was probably around half an hour to the hotel. I didn’t take a photo of this one, and actually I can hardly remember it. It must have had a comfortable bed because I know if I’d been awake, I would have remembered!