Monday, November 21, 2011

Road Trip - Part III, Venice

We arrived in Vicenza Friday evening, where we'd remain until Monday morning.  We stayed with a colleague of Roger's (and his family), and they turned out to be excellent hosts.  We really enjoyed their fantastic hospitality (and outstanding cooking!) and they were also generous enough to play tour guide for us the next day when we visited Venice.  Seeing Venice with Italians who know the city well?  That's the way to do it!  

We drove from Vicenza to Venice, parked on the outskirts and then took a boat into the city.  Because you can't drive there.  Obviously.

Will refused to be in this one.
We didn't really have an agenda or a list of "must-see" destinations.  Rather, we just wandered around all day, exploring.

We stopped to admire the gondolas*...

...the narrow canals...

...the bridges...

...and the architecture:


I tried to get a few good photos of the kids...

...but failed miserably.   As usual.

We probably covered most of the city on foot, stumbling across scenic locations as we walked.
The kids particularly loved this winged lion statue:

After a while Kate got tired of walking.  So Will helped her out:
I wish he could've given me a piggy-back ride.  Someday!

But the highlight of the day for the kids?
Exquisite gondolas?
Fantastic pizza?
Beautiful art?
Amazing architecture?

Nope.  Pigeons!

The kids spent a good 20 minutes feeding the pigeons (the last of their snacks, I might add, which they deeply regretted later).

They tried their best to coax the birds to land on their arms:

Will succeeded:

Kate was very impressed by this:
..but, unlike her brother, she didn't have much luck in convincing a pigeon to land on her.    Just as well, in my opinion.

The highlight for me, strangely enough, was not the pigeons.  I thoroughly enjoyed leisurely wandering through the city without the pressure of having to do and see everything.  It was enough for me just to admire the beauty and soak up the atmosphere.

Such a lovely city!

Kate enjoying the view as we walked back to the water taxi.
I have to admit we didn't spring for the super-expensive tour of Venice by Gondola.  34 Euros per person!!  
Rather we crossed the canal on a gondola for practically nothing.   Of course, we didn't have a singing gondolier in a striped shirt and funny hat.  The kids were happy with our brief crossing and it was enough for me.   But did we miss out?  I don't know.

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