Finally, the final stop on our Mediterranean journey. After a wonderful time in Croatia, we had an “At Sea” day that ended with a fantastic dinner, went to sleep and awoke to Venice! Mimosas were served out on the deck that morning as we drove past the lovely buildings and bridges throughout the city.
We could see the Piazza San Marco and the crowds starting to form as we drove by.
When the boat docked, we took a shuttle to St. Mark’s Square with some of our fellow honeymooners.
There were pigeons everywhere! I felt like I was in the movie The Birds.There was a very large puddle (understatement of the year) that kept us from entering the basilica. Our friends whipped off their shoes and proceeded to walk through it. I, on the other hand, was worried about what kind of diseases I would get. I did not want to walk through that water. But our friends were jumping off the cliff, so we did too. And I was dying in my mind the entire time. Relief! We made it. The inside was just as beautiful as the rest of the historic cathedrals we’d toured on our trip. We climbed to the balcony to catch the view of the square from above. We had lost our friends by this point, so after awhile we decided to walk through the rest of Venice. There were lots of shops with colorful Venetian glass items to peruse. We wanted to eat lunch at this restaurant that our travel book recommended, so we did our best to follow the map to get there. This was quite a task…have you seen how crazy the streets are in Venice? They wind, they turn, they come to dead ends. Everyone on the boat kept telling us “You WILL get lost in Venice. It’s okay, it’s not that big. Just keep walking. You’ll find your way back to St. Mark’s eventually.” So we took that to heart and just kept walking., enjoying the beautiful scenery. It wouldn’t be Venice without gondolas! We were saving our cash for a sunset ride.
We crossed the Rialto bridge.
And admired the view of the Grand Canal. We stopped at every church we could find on the map that was even remotely along on route. There are a lot of churches in Venice!
Somehow, we finally found the restaurant from our guide. Trattoria da Fiore.
We went inside to find out that they hadn’t opened the restaurant side yet. They still served food in the bar. Of course, none of the menu was in English and we didn’t even recognize any of the words. I asked if they had any pasta without meat. “Vegetables?” the lady asked. I said yes, with vegetables. And ended up with a plate full of clams. Have I mentioned that I hate shellfish? After walking for hours to find this place, lunch was a huge failure.
We decided that we didn’t want our last meal in Italy to be a bad one. So we had a second lunch. At a better restaurant. And it didn’t involve any shellfish.
mmmm ravioli and gnocchi. Super delicious!
After lunch #2, which turned out to be more like an early dinner, we left the restaurant and realized the sun was going to set soon. It was time for our gondola ride! We bartered with the gondolier and got ourselves a private boat.
We quickly found out that gondola rides are a little overly romanticized. Small wobbly boat driven by a slightly creepy man holding a paddle and singing out of tune? Check. Faux fur seats in 95 degree weather? Check. Massive amounts of green sludge to look at? Definitely check. I won’t even begin to describe the terrible smell of dead fish and sewage. Oops…I just did. I’ll put it this way, I almost lost lunch #1 and #2 during our 50 minute gondola ride. Now isn’t that romantic?
Furry seats and sludge aside, the views were all worth it. Plus, how often can one say they’ve taken a gondola ride through the Grand Canal on their honeymoon?
After the gondola ride, it was about time to head back to the boat. We enjoyed the some gelato for the last time before grabbing a shuttle boat back.
Venice said goodbye with a gorgeous last bit of sunset.
And with that, our Mediterranean honeymoon was over!
2 days ago