My Day in Venice
I have to start by saying that Venice is the most surreal place I have ever and probably will ever be. I went with my dad, sister and brother on a guided tour from where we were staying in Lake Garda. The bus journey was just under 2 hours and we had to get a half hour boat in to the city. That was the most bizarre thing about this place, it was absolutely thronged with people. But there wasn't a sight of a single car, traffic light or any smell of fumes.
It was SO hot, I mean 35 degrees celcius and being an Irish girl I was so not used to that. It was hard to bear but there was plenty of shade and a nice breeze every now and again. Thank be to God otherwise I don't think I'd be here to share the story with you! haha.
The first thing I noticed about the city was the remarkable architecture. It was amazing and it isn't hard to believe that Venice was the richest country in the world during the middle ages (yes it was a country once! The first ever democracy!) Venice was a flourishing trade centre between western Europe and the rest of the world. Basically the country was very important, very advanced and extremely rich. Eventually the city declined in the 15th century during a war against the Turks. It then lost it's independence when Napoleon Bonapart conquered it. Nowadays, it is little more than a museum of a city that once had it all. It was absolutely thronged with tourists and is very commercialised; most shops are Venetian merchandise. It really has the feel of this amazing city, that is so culturally rich, that people now just come to look and wonder at.
The first thing we did when we arrived in Venice was go on a gondula. We had a 20 minute trip
through the canals of the city and it was lovely to see the place from this perspective. Boats are substitutes for cars here, it was so weird to see taxi boats pull up at hotels and watch hotel staff help people out of their boat! There were also boat buses! they looked just like subway carriages on water. Most of the buildings had entrances on to the water and one on to a pedestrian street.
After our ride on the gondulas, we went for lunch, followed by 2 free hours to explore the city by ourselves. My family and I walked around the streets, my sister and I had a look in H&M (something normal!) we payed €1.70 to pee in the public toilets, we visited the tourists shops, bought some Venetian masquerade masks and explored St Marks square.
St Marks Square is the focus point of Venice, all streets lead to it. It is so big Bonaparte called it the biggest living room in Eurpope. All them windows though...
Right next to St. Marks Square was St. Marks cathedral. And oh wow. This was one heck of an amazing building. So many buildings in Venice were made entirely of gold and marble but this was definitely the most impressive. So breathtaking. Unfortunately, I couldn't go inside because my shoulders or ankles weren't covered! (stupid rules) but my dad went in, no pictures were allowed but he said it was absolutely unbelievable.
I am so glad I took the opportunity to visit Venice. I was so tempted not to bother and to spend a relaxing day by the pool instead. But my dad was desperate to go, and when the trip was on for us I just had to do it! If you ever get the change to see Venice I highly recommend you do. It's one of the most unique places in the world.