Lovely breakfast with family + open cards then taxi to airport and tasty lunch
Check exact location of hotel in Venice - a good move.
Flight is on time and arrives in Venice, after flying over some spectacular mountains, just in time to watch the sun setting as we come in over the lagoon. Lovely.
Waterbus to hotel takes longer than we expect - and the hotel isn't expecting us! But after a long wait we have a room with fabulous views over Venice in three directions.
Long wander round San Marco, looking in all the shop windows and getting lost in the back streets. Lunch on waterfront at San Zaccaria after sitting in the Royal Gardens watching the sparrows and pigeons. A long siesta then dinner at Oliva Nera.
East along the island to explore the giardini biennielle and the park at Sant' Elena. Watched lizards basking in the sun and played on the outdoor gym.
Pizza for lunch on the Via Garibaldi - the widest street in town, and we bought ourselves a picnic for tea - olive bread, meat, cheese, juice and ferrero rocher - we know how to spoil ourselves. Very chilled out afternoon, with a long potter round the Doge's Palace which was very grand including the new prison over the Bridge of Sighs.
Explored Venice some more on foot. Around San Marco to the Rialo Bridge then around San Polo and Santa Croce and into the Dorsoduro. There we had lunch in Campo Santa Margherita and then found ourselves in an exhibition devoted to the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci in and old church. Scale models galore, many of which could be played with to see how they worked.
After more wandering we rounded the point and found ourselves back on the grand canal, which we crossed on the Accademia bridge. We rounded the day off with another exhibition in a church, this one devoted to Vivaldi and an assortment of old musical instruments and then dinner out - where Mike learned that scampi is much more fun when not covered in breadcrumbs and I had a rather tasty spaghetti alla vongole.
A watery day. We started in the morning with a gondola ride around the tiny canals near our hotel. Seeing houses where Vivaldi, Marco Polo, Cassanova and Byron used to live - and the church where Marco Polo's remains now lie. Although our gondolier was very popular and spent much of the trip having shouted conversations with the people we passed.
Then we got ourselves a 24 hours ticket for the vaporetti (water buses) which we'll be able to use to get to the station tomorrow.
Our first trip was on No. 1 right along the entire length of the grand canal - almost worth the price for that alone. Lots of very beautiful buildings.
And now we're on the 52 around the north of the island, with views across the lagoon, heading for the Lido where hopefully we can go for a paddle.
And the long ride has given me plenty of time to write about our trip so far while Mike points out any exciting bits of view.
[This section has just been typed up from the notebook we took on holiday, the rest was written in notes on the ipod, so will follow separately]