Today I am going to do some reminiscing. In 2013 my family and I went on a little trip to Europe. My mum, sister and I haven’t been and my dad being from Italy haven’t made the trip back for a very long time. Because of my sisters and I University commitments, we schedule the trip to coincide with our break. We decided to do a boat cruise, that would start in Venice and end in Barcelona, but would cruise the Mediterranean. But I will get to the other beautiful countries and cities another time.
Visiting so many cities within little over two weeks, became somewhat overwhelming, and hard for it to really sink in quickly. Our ship was the Royal Princess. I had to admit though I was reaaaaally looking forward to this. But I always had this idea of what each of these cities could be like, however with every time we arrived, I was pleasantly surprise. Some places were more than what I expected them to be, and the people were all welcoming.
Our first stop was Venice. The plane ride to this wonderful city was hard as some points. The 13 hour plane ride from Australia to Dubai was difficult with the whole sleeping and time zones. Also my sister and I did lose our parents for two hours in the airport. But on the flight I was able to swap seats with a nice medical student, who wanted the aisle seat to speak with his mates next to us. Then we had a further six hour ride from Dubai to Venice. However that seemed easier, I guess it helps when it was daylight.
But okay back to Venice. This city is amazing.
At one point I felt like I was on some Disney set, because Venice is exactly what you see in all those photos. The view, the alleys, the architecture, everything in this city is what you expect it to be and more. At one point, one of my favourite moments, were the easy walks between the alleyways and getting lost and finding beautiful restaurants and cafes, another was buying a mask from a decorative mask shop, from a handsome Italian, which I was scared to push my little knowledge of Italian into our conversation.
The city is actually quite interesting in how it is all lay out, there is no room for any cars in the city, and I didn’t see any motorbikes or scooters going around. The houses are all walled up, and occasionally there would be a little sign next to the door indicating the business within the building. Many buildings are very old, and rarely you see any new architecture being built. But that seems to fall by the waist side as you take your leisurely stroll.
The hotel I stayed in “Hotel Firenze”, can be small in some places, but gives you everything you need, their breakfast selection really made my morning. But the best part of the hotel was the location. Slap bang in the middle of Venice, two minutes from Piazza San Marco and the Grand Canal, it is also located in the street where all the high end designers are place, and is literally opposite Louis Vuitton.
But this city is truly a site to see in person. We only stayed there for two days which was very short I know, but our cruise ship journey was to begin and my parents didn’t really organize us to stay any longer.
But some of my tips for this city are:
Discover this city on your own. Finding great shops and cafes are like little treasures, though a map is always handy when you want to get to all of the great landmarks of the city.
If travelling in the summer, do understand cruise ships are always about, which means large groups of tourist are always around. So either move quickly to the side as they come charging through, or get in early to see the sites to avoid all the mass of people.
Pack comfy shoes, you will be walking most of the time and when entering from plane, enter the city by water taxi. They can be little expensive, but I swear they are a great way to be introduce to the city for the first time.
When we finally got onto our boat the next day, we that the best views of Venice for sure.
I hope you enjoyed this little post, all photos were taken by me and finally putted my DSLR to good use.