Last stop: Venice

After our travels around Rome, we took a train to our last stop- Venice! Being one of my bucket list destinations, I was thrilled to be going, and even the train ride was exciting for me. I’m pretty easily pleased, but it was so cool to look out the window and suddenly be surrounded by the sea!

The water was really blue and luckily, the weather was sunny as well! Our first view out of the train station was amazing too. I fell in love with Venice immediately.

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View out of the train station
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View out of the train station

We had to take a bus to our hotel- and it was a water bus! I was so excited and stood right at the railing the whole time to see out the window. I was pleasantly surprised though- all the picture perfect scenes of Venice you see in pictures and stuff are EVERYWHERE. I thought (similar to Amsterdam!) we’d have to go walking a bit to find the perfect cute little canals with colorful houses… but as I’m sure you’ll see from my pictures, every single street has a canal and colorful houses and the tiniest little alleyways. It was amazing!

On that note: basically all of these pictures will look very very similar, because they’re all of cute little canals and buildings and gondolas and boats. But I guess that’s what you get with Venice!

So we took the waterbus to our hotel, dropped our bags, then went out and hopped straight back on to go farther down the Grand Canal. We ended up making it to St. Mark’s Square in time to enjoy the sunset over the bay!

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Waterbus
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Grand Canal
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Waterbus view
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Waterbus view
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Rialto Bridge
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Sunset in Venice
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Sunset pt 2
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Sunset pt 3
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Already running out of caption ideas for these very similar pictures
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Gondolas at sunset
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Sunset from St. Mark’s Square

Like I said… all the pictures are actually really similar. But I’m putting a lot anyway because I love them all. Also, our days in Venice had much much less structure than both Paris and Rome- we didn’t feel the need to go in any more museums, or climb up anything, so we basically just got lost in the streets and ate a lot of food. It was perfect. So, this blog post might not be connected at all, either, but just a jumble of random thoughts and paragraphs!

Here was the tiny and cute street walking to our hotel! (Not actually the one with the sign though.) All the streets were actually SO narrow. There were some normal ones and also lots of nice open squares, but I really understand now why people said it’s so easy to get lost!  Many times we missed the street we meant to turn on because we just didn’t notice it was actually an entrance to a street at all, or we walked down alleys we were sure met up with other streets but were dead ends. I wondered how the city was originally built… in some old European towns, it’s easy to see where the town center is and how the roads and buildings expand from there or get more modern as they spread away. With Venice, there wasn’t really a center at all, and the streets were so unorganized they definitely didn’t start out as a grid anywhere!

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Walking to the hotel

There was a really cool market right outside our hotel that was there all day everyday! It had sweets (including massive doughnuts), clothes, kitchen products, accessories, hair products, ect ect. Some of the stuff was actually pretty cool (I even bought a purse)! I love all the street markets that I’ve seen around Europe. In the US, or at least Oregon, they are really only a summer thing, so it’s fun to have them still out during the winter. Street markets seem to be everywhere in Europe!

I didn’t get any pictures, but we saw SO many dogs walking around with coats on! Not just normal dog coats, either, but little jackets with hoods or fur or buttons… although most of the dogs were small, some of the big dogs we saw were coated as well. Who knew?? At first I thought it was just a coincidence but then there were just too many dogs in fancy coats to think that anymore. I was also kind of surprised how many dogs there were at all, honestly, because I only saw one patch of grass on the island out of all the places we walked to! It seems like a very restrictive life for dogs, but I suppose that’s why they’re mostly all small.

On that same note, my mom and I were wondering what it must be like growing up in Venice. Where would kids run, and play, and go to school? How early do they have to learn how to swim? They certainly couldn’t learn how to ride a bike. They couldn’t learn how to drive a car, and might not even know what a car is until they see it on TV or something or leave Venice. Such a different lifestyle!

Here are more pictures. I literally could not come up with anything to caption some of these pictures so those are blank.

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Jumping for joy because I ❤ Venice

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Grand Canal from Rialto Bridge

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Grand Canal from Rialto Bridge

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Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

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Mom & me!

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At it again with the touristy pics (on Rialto Bridge)
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Sunset over the Grand Canal
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Gondola, photo cred mom 😉

We found a super yummy gelato place the first night, and returned the second day as well. My mom’s is dark chocolate, and mine is pomegranate cheesecake. We both got pomegranate cheesecake the second time because it was so good! It was probably one of my favorite things ever… If you know me well (or at least my eating habits), you’ll know how much I adore both pomegranates and cheesecake.

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Gelato night 1
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Gelato night 2
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Gelato night 2 part 2 (on Rialto Bridge)

We went to Rialto Bridge three or four times because we loved the view so much. It is one of only four bridges across the Grand Canal, and it’s probably the most famous. I think it’s just the prettiest. We just stood at the railing and looked out over the edge for ages! It was so nice! There’s always so much going on in the water it was fun to see the way the gondolas are constantly pulling in and out, the way the boat traffic works, and everything that happens through the canal system. We watched some people moving furniture, including some really heavy looking mirrors and tables and artwork, via boat and it was very nervewracking.

There were also Christmas lights everywhere which was fun. It probably had more lights than any of the other cities we’d been to, because since the streets were so narrow they could just be strung up anywhere. It was so weird thinking about how close to Christmas it was, though, (the 22nd at that point!) because we were so far from home where we’d be at Christmas.

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Christmas lights
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Christmas lights going up Rialto Bridge (told you we went there a lot)
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Christmas tree in St. Mark’s square
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Christmas lights

I guess I don’t really have many more details of what we did that this! It was just loads of strolling the streets, getting lost, going in cute shops, eating pizza and pasta (seriously we had it every lunch and dinner), and sitting by the canals and watching Venetians at work. The lifestyle is so fascinating and the whole city is so beautiful and incredible!

The last morning I was so sad to leave, especially because it meant the last day of us traveling together. It was so weird and sad and strange but I’ll leave that for one last different blog post. (Obviously I am writing this from home now! HOME! So crazy!)

We were taking another boat bus to the airport, and were luckily up right in time to see the sunrise as we were waiting for it. It was so beautiful and a perfect send off from this amazing city! The boat was really fun to ride to the airport as well… We passed the nearby islands and watched the sun finish rising. I don’t think I could ever get bored if I was that boat/bus driver.

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Sunrise

Also, pulling up to the airport was so funny! There were lanes and lanes of docks for boats to pull up and drop people off. What a contrast to the crazy traffic lanes in Portland (and I’m sure elsewhere).

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Airport parking

Although I was really sad to leave Venice, I know I’ll go back as soon as I can. It was an amazing city, especially for someone who loves water as much as me! Like I said, I don’t want to get emotional and reflective about the whole trip being over yet so I’ll save that for one last blog post that I’ll hopefully get to soon…

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:1-2

 

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