There’s a reason Australians don’t visit Europe frequently (apart from the crippingly expensive airfares to get there, and the hideously high prices of everything once you’re there), and that’s because it is a REALLY long trip to get there.
It must be lovely to live in London and be able to flit across to Paris for a weekend, or have a short stay in Spain. But for us, it is such a huge journey we: a) have to pack as much in as we can while we’re there, and b) suffer muchly to get there.
It took 24 hours to get from Melbourne airport to Marco Polo (Venice) airport. Admittedly there was a four hour stopover in Dubai, but hanging around an airport in the early hours of the morning is only marginally better than being squeezed into a plane seat.
However, flying into Marco Polo in the afternoon with the sun shining and a great aerial view of Venice on our approach made it all worthwhile.
We headed to the water taxi dock and nabbed a taxi to take us to our apartment.
Which gave us our James Bond moment, as we raced across the lagoon, looking over our shoulder for the chase boat in hot pursuit. (Okay, so I made that bit up.)
The taxi took us down the Grand Canal and under the Rialto Bridge.
And then we had to squeeze into a series of smaller, local canals to reach our apartment’s dock, nudging past gondolas full of tourists being propelled by singing gondoliers, and ducking our heads as we went under small bridges. I did wonder how many jetlagged new arrivals to Venice have suffered serious head injuries from connecting with bridges, as you really do need to duck if you’re standing taking photos.
It must have been washday.
After checking in and getting ourselves organised we walked over the Rialto Bridge as the sun was setting to find a restaurant for dinner.
We were pretty pleased that we had kept ourselves going right through arrival, dinner and the walk back to the apartment and went to bed at 9pm – exhausted, but enthralled with the magic of Venice.
Tomorrow, we discover the ‘quiet’ Venice.