Venice 2019

Arrived in Venice at about 7.50pm local time on Monday 29th July after flying in from Southend, not on my list of airports to fly from again. A pretty unwelcoming place and the majority of the staff couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge you.

Flying Ryanair is an experience. Their tight baggage allowance keeps you on edge weeks before you consider flying. Don’t even consider taking an unbooked larger case into the cabin as they charge you just before you pass the check in to board the plane. On our flight alone I watched them charge around 10 people. Who didn’t look at all pleased at £25-£40 per case?

I can’t stress enough to check any hold baggage allowance on each airline. Nowadays cabin bags are not a standard size or price. One way budget airlines make their money back. I certainly won’t fly with them again. Although their cabin crew were nice just a bit pushy with selling things.

I have decided never to use Ryanair again. The added hassle spoils things and it’s done on purpose.

Once landing we discovered that for a larger airport though Marco Polo is very user-friendly and extremely well mapped out.

Lovely clean facilities can be found here. Leaving the airport to catch the bus connection to Mestre the heat hit us like a heavy humidity wall. There is a distinct smell from the warmth you only experience when you arrive in the Mediterranean.

The bus was easy to find as the routes are all signposted clearly. I am very impressed with how organised the Italian public transport is. The hotel is still being finished as it doesn’t open until August 6th so ongoing teething issues and finishing touches. It looks very impressive though.

30th July

An early start and a shopping trip to Spar to buy some food. Walking through a new supermarket everything bread looks tempting and with so many hams and cheeses to choose from it’s not easy to decide. Fruit wise the lemons, peaches and melons are all roughly double in size from the UK ones we get. We got enough to last a couple of days though as that’s all we could carry.

The day was spent in Venice. Catching the train from Mestre to Venice is dead easy. The number 1 takes you straight to St.Lucia and you walk straight out to the waterside where there’s a ticket booth. Opting for the 3-day card it was €40 per adult €28 per child. Allowing you to hope on and off all day.

We decided to go to Morano first. It’s very interesting and full of shops selling a glass of every design possible. Some are quite garish and in all honesty why would you choose them!

The photo above a glass model outside a gallery in Murano. With temperatures hitting 30 degrees it was crippling us and we spent an hour in the shade of a public park to stay cooler. Although still too hot for us.

After a couple of hours, we boarded to the boat and finished by going round the rest of the island via the stops. It’s very pretty but being exhausted you don’t properly appreciate it.

Once back to the main part of Venice we stopped at St Mark’s Square and walked around taking in the ancient architecture and the famous tower. It certainly is well worth visiting. The band’s that play outside the restaurants are very good and play some nice pieces.

After a pit stop in a side street hotel which was reasonably priced we decided to make our way back to cook pasta at the hotel and get an early night.

Watch out for mosquitoes and other flying bite things! All of us have been bitten by something. I need to watch them make sure they don’t turn septic as I know I can react.

31st July

Venice day two.

As we arrived into Venice Station the distinctive dark blue Orient Express was waiting to depart from the station. To be next to an impressive icon is incredible.

The passengers on board were settled and tucking into Tattinger champagne and getting comfortable. From the outside, it looks highly polished and luxurious. I hope the passengers enjoyed their experience. Once we left the station we headed for St Mark’s Square.

Instead of getting off halfway round to visit a market. From what we saw it predominantly sold fish, presumably caught today. Then went back to St Mark’s Square and stumbled upon The Grand Opera House and took the audio-guided tour. The staff here on the desk are not particularly friendly. Especially the lady sorting out audio guides! Customer service was not on their agenda.

The photo above is a staircase in the main entrance hall. The Opera House itself is very opulent and grand. With stalls seating and the rest of the seating is small boxed areas around the sides as shown in the photo below. Holding around 5 seats per box.

The tour guide is very interesting to a point. However, it repeats itself a lot and uses a lot of filling in the descriptions which becomes a bit pointless as you don’t want repetitive explanations. The stage in the photo is being dressed for a production of The Barber of Seville.

As we left the building the humidity was high and a few drops of rain fell and I was expecting to see a downpour and thunderstorm but nothing. It cleared back to the heat and blue skies.

We decided to visit the first museum with our museum pass. I would recommend buying one of these before leaving the UK as they are a lot cheaper than buying in Venice. It also includes Doge’s Palace. A trip for another day.

The first part of the museum is the Royal palace leading through to the Archaeological Museum. There are some interesting features especially the vast array of shields as seen below.

Along with the vast and well-preserved library. This room is temperature-controlled and dark to keep the books protected.

It might not be the most prestigious of museums but there are some interesting displays and the staff here are helpful if you need assistance.

Once leaving the museum we took the boat down the Grand Canal and stopped off at Rialto Bridge for a photo session and dinner. Restaurants here are ok on price. The quality of our pizzas was nothing special and didn’t taste fresh.

The photo above is the view from the Bridge.

1st August

Hotter day today and very sticky.

Making the most of our three-day water bus ticket. A trip to Burano and Lido were the choice of our day.

Firstly, Burano. It’s such a beautiful little island and the quaint coloured houses in the pictures below are extremely pretty. The Island is a must to visit. However, It’s a tourist trap and some clothes I saw in Venice are triple the price here and not worth the money.

Just to see the different houses and colours are worth the trip alone. There is a water fountain right outside the boat station which came in useful to refill our bottles.

Restaurants and cafes seem to be reasonably priced in the main. The one thing you have to watch out for is the typical €2 charge for the privilege of sitting at a table! Some restaurants include water and bread for the charge though. Others simply add it to your bill.

As the afternoon drew on after the midday heat passed we made our way to Lido and the beach. Where the girls enjoyed the cooler part of the afternoon swimming and lounging around in the sea.

Everything is about money-making for the Island’s though. €5 to take a shower after being on the beach is a bit steep. I understand it’s all they have to earn a living but it can feel pressurised into just paying out all the time.

The views from around the various Islands and the beautiful weather is certainly worth the trip alone to visit Venice.

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