City of Canals

20 Aug

We came back last night from a wonderful weekend away in Venice, the city of canals. Mark and I hadn’t been away for a while so it was time that we get back on the travel horse and schedule some trips. The first being Venice. Neither of us had yet had the opportunity to go and both wanted to very much so after working out it would only be a 4.5 hour drive from our place in Munich we decided that we would head out early on Friday afternoon to miss most of the traffic leaving the city and make our way down to Italy.

Apparently the drive was beautiful and what I saw of it it really was. All the mountains and fields are just gorgeous and really makes driving a pleasure but up to my old tricks again I probably only was awake about 1/2 of the drive as it is as though someone rocks me to sleep when we hit the highway. I have no control. Arriving in Venice was all pretty straightforward as we took the car over the bridge onto the Island and parked in one of the stations there, hopped on a waterbus and got off near our hotel where we weaved through small alleys to reach our accommodation for the weekend.

What a beautiful city! They’re not kidding that there are 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges, such a pretty place. Mark likened it to Disneyland, a 100% tourist destination and he is absolutely right. I think the only locals that might have been there were those working as the place was chockas full of tourists and even though that’s exactly what we were we hate being surrounded by them. Anywho, we dumped our stuff off at the hotel and put in a complaint about the poorly functioning air conditioning in our room. The temperature was about 32 degrees the whole weekend so it was a necessity that it get cranking in time for sleep or Mark would have died. It wasn’t and after 2 complaints, the receptionist taking out the batteries and banging the remote and him believing it was actually quite “fresh” in the room (who says that?) it absolutely was not but they weren’t buying our argument so we just made do. We took off for dinner hoping that it might be cool by the time we got back and wandered around trying to find a restaurant. It wasn’t hard to find a restaurant as they’re in abundance and there’s not much between them menu wise – pizza, pasta pretty much – but how do you know what makes a good restaurant when the city is full of tourists. On our second attempt we remained seated at one restaurant down a little path which I found the be quite nice. The pizza, however, coming out had almost 2 tablespoons of oil just sitting on the top of it, vomit, so I just poured it off and got into it. Mark ordered a trio of fish Venice style and he wasn’t so impressed. Luckily he was able to wash it down with 1/2 a litre of wine so the taste didn’t remain for long.

After dinner we walked to St Mark’s square and had a look around and took many many photos as the place lit at night was just magnificent. There are all these guys trying to sell you these neon lit flying toys and lasers and roses etc and some of them get right up in your grill trying to flog them. Mark in his pissed state pulled out the MJ Thriller move and roared at them all which was bloody hysterical and they had no idea what to do but to walk away. Fab! Mission get-out-of-my-face accomplished. After a bit more walking around we finally made our way back to our “fresh” hotel room which was anything but.

Saturday sleep in!!! Favourite part of the week! We got up and went on the hunt for some breakfast. I had looked up a bunch of restaurants and pasticcerias that were ranked quite high on the list of places to eat so we went in search of one which even with a map was a puzzle to find so we threw in the towel and got some fruit and pastries from some little shops that did the trick. By 11am it was scorching hot but we decided to spend the day walking around all of Venice and investigating the different parts and taking some happy snaps. Since we had slept in and it was stinking hot we thought it best to go on a Gondola on Sunday instead. We passed a theatre which was having a Vivaldi concert performed that night so we bought some tickets in the event of getting in some culture to our trip that evening and then kept going on our merry way around the canals and over the bridges. We stopped to have some lunch and grab a deliciously super creamy ice cream from La Boutique del Gelato before returning to the hotel quite exhausted and taking a nap. When we woke it was time to get ready for a somewhat early dinner before our great cultural experience. Dinner on Saturday was in this cute little restaurant called VinoVino where we sat in this courtyard at the back and the waiter and food was lovely, much better than the night before.

The concert was wonderful. They played Four Seasons and it was a bunch of 7 guys all playing string instruments for an hour and a half long concert. One guy was getting right in to it and I thought his head might just fly off but it was great to see how passionate he was and how into it he was getting. That’s all you can ask for I suppose and you’re getting what you pay for. It was bloody hot in the theatre and everyone was fanning themselves with their programmes but despite that it was a wonderful experience and I’m glad we chose to go and do that whilst we were there. The rest of Saturday night we walked around a bit more to some different areas, and some of the same, and then it was time to hit the sack.

Sunday we were up early (8:30am – I know that’s just luxury to some of you) and I finally found a place to get my Nutella full croissant I’d been focused on since we arrived. We walked it this pizza place called Rossopomodoro and the lady behind the counter happily helped to fulfil my craving. She grabbed one of their regular croissants and a bottle with a nozzle that was full of nutella, then jabbed the nozzle in the under side of the croissant and squirted….oh yeah keep going, fill that baby up. Yum! It was soooooo good and hit the spot. Virtually skipping now we found a Gondola booth to get on for a ride at 10am before the heat got too much to bear. So for 80 Euro we got a 35 minute paddle around Venice which was great except for the fact that our guide was on the phone yapping away the entire time. We had seen some people get opera singers on theirs over the past couple of days and all we got was this bloody chatty Cathy. Check out this vid of one of the cooler Gondola rides we saw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siQsawPx79E&feature=youtu.be
The ride however was beautiful though and you just can’t go to Venice without doing it even though it does burn a slight hole in your pocket.

Once we got off the Gondola we intended on seeing yet another section of Venice we hadn’t yet discovered but after 20 minutes of walking and the place being even more packed than the previous two days we decided we were content in what we’d seen and threw in the towel because I would have gotten to the point of punching people if we had hung around…I’m not good with crowds if you haven’t been able to tell. We grabbed our bags from the hotel and jumped back on the waterbus to pick up our car and away we went back to Munich. We arrived around 6pm and went to pick Rocco up who was being looked after by a friend of ours and she’d taken him to Lake Starnberg for the day. We got there and the sun was still out and the water warm so we went in for a dip and grabbed some dinner at the Beer Garden restaurant that was there and then drove the final 40 minutes home.

Great weekend to end a good week. This weekend we are staying in Munich but we have a few activities planned so it should be a fairly busy one with water-skiing/wake-boarding on Saturday weather permitting; dinner out with friends on Saturday night; and a Segway tour of Munich on Sunday afternoon – you know one of those two wheeled self-balancing personal transport mobiles..oh yeah we will be rocking it and hopefully find out a bit more about Munich that we don’t yet know. Mark is off to Zurich tomorrow night and I am heading out to see Magic Mike with some girl friends – so excited to see some naked hot bods, bring it on!

Right well, on that note I’ll leave you to it. I know I’ve put quite a lot of photos up this week but if you don’t want to look at them, well, you don’t have to. Have a good one and catch you next week.

Till next time…..xx

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