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Published: November 23rd 2008
The Canale Grande
We've made it to Venice. We can cross another 'must-see' city off our list.
We booked a hotel room in the city of Mestre as cheap accommodation in the city can be hard to get. Mestre is just across the pond from the city and was only 15 minutes away by bus. By the time we checked into the hotel it was already dark (it's getting increasingly harder to arrive in a new city before nightfall) but after some food we were itching to explore Venice.
The first thing you notice when you cross the big pedestrian bridge across the Canal Grande is the lack of vehicle noise which is always constant in big cities. It is remarkably quiet especially if you get off the main tourist routes. We're not usually the type to follow the crowds so we went off on our own in search of the Piazza San Marco. There are signs everywhere that 'supposedly' lead you towards the famous square but we later found out that these signs don't necessarily put you on the most direct path. After about an hour of following the signs we gave up and asked a local to point out our
One of the many canals
whereabouts on our little map. We were a long way from where we thought we were which was surprising seeing as how we've pretty much mastered the use of street maps in Europe. Venice is a whole new ballgame! The cool thing about Venice is that the entire city feels safe so you can just roam freely without worrying about ending up in the wrong neighbourhood. We managed to find our way out and back to the bus stop before the last bus so that's all that mattered.
The second day was slow going as we were trying to organize accommodation and travel to Slovenia the following day. By the time we made it into Venice it was almost getting dark again so we quickly made our way to the square to snap a few photos in the daylight. Venice is not the same during the day though, it's one of the few places we've been that's actually better at night. Having seen the Piazza San Marco now our sole goal was to get as gloriously lost as possible. It's amazing how quiet the city can get when you avoid the crowds. We found a place that sold wine
One of the many gondolas
by bulk so we filled up a water bottle we were carrying around and just enjoyed the night in a quiet little square.
I wish we could have stayed in Venice for a week but it was time to move on and the following day we were headed for Bled in Slovenia.
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