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Monday, February 28, 2011

Venice, Italy: View from the Water (and a gondola ride)

Once upon a time, Matt and I went on an incredible European honeymoon. I blogged about it here and there, but never quite finished... and my sister Heidi has never let me forget about it. :-) So over the next few weeks, you'll see plenty of European posts mixed in with our regular, right-now life posts. I know it's old news by now, but pictures of Italy and France never go out of style, right?
I left off in Hallstatt, Austria. From there, we slept in Salzburg and caught an extremely early train to Venice. Our first glimpse of the City on Water came at a distance from our train window and I was already in love.
We arrived at the train station and headed to the canal to catch a water taxi. Water taxis are the most efficient way to get around Venice, but they are far from cheap! Since our hotel was on the lagoon by Saint Mark's Square, which is on the opposite side of the city from the train station, we used water taxis to and from the trains but used our feet the rest of the time. We loved seeing the city from two different perspectives--from the water and from the land--and I'll break up my Venice posts accordingly.
The city was so enchanting on that first water taxi ride, and I couldn't wait to get off the boat to see it up close!
Matt and I checked into our hotel and began exploring the canals and alleyways of Venice. The most important item on our agenda was to ride a gondola (and kiss underneath the Rialto Bridge, of course) so we followed the signs and made our way toward the bridge.
Along the way, we saw dozens on gondolas crammed into the tiny canals and crossed our fingers that our gondolier would take us on a slightly less crowded path (he did).
Near the bridge, we commenced crossing one of the most classically romantic experiences ever off our bucket list. Our Vin Diesel-esque gondolier was perfect.
Venice looked beautiful from the water taxi, but it was even more breathtaking on the slow-paced gondola that took us through the canals and allowed us to really soak the city in. We took a few pictures but mostly let the camera have a rest while we just enjoyed our gondola ride. It was incredible.
Though you can't tell from the overexposed picture above, the sun was starting to set when our gondola ride ended and the city was beginning to light up. Much more to come on that in the next post!
We were back on the water the next morning to head back to the train station. Along with being gorgeous, Venice is also small and astronomically expensive. This makes a one-day, one-night trip a very good option for two young newlyweds.
On our water taxi back, we noticed a tiny little park squeezed between the old buildings. Real estate is hard to come by in the cramped city!
Before we knew it, we were right back to where we started at the train station, and on our way to Rome! Of course, the Rome posts will have to wait until I've shown you the rest of Venice.

11 comments:

  1. I love your Europe posts! The photos are beautiful. You should do a post about traveling essentials on a trip like that- did you really each have just one carry-on and a backpack?

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  2. I'm positive that Europe never goes out of style.

    Also I'm pretty sure you meant Austria and not Australia. Although it would be cool if you could catch a train from Australia to Venice. =)

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  3. Haha, good catch Tobi! That would be one exciting train ride, though :-)

    And Laura- Yep, it was 4 whole weeks with two carry-ons, a backpack & a small purse! Considering my normal excessive packing habits, that was nothing short of a miracle haha. It definitely helped that it was summer time, since t-shirts, skirts, capris & flip flops take up far less space than jackets and boots. And rolling instead of folding was key! That's a trick I learned from my mom.

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  4. Venice is one of my top three favorite places in the WORLD. I LOVE VENICE!

    Your pics, as always, are breathtaking.
    *muah*

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  5. Have you seen The Tourist? The best part of the movie is the Venice scenery. That movie and your post make me want to go there NOW. However, I'm still at least a year away from that goal. Your pictures are gorgeous as always.

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  6. Hey! My name is Madison and I came across your blog through a friend of a friends. First off the way you write and the stories you tell crack me up! You and your husband are so cute! SO... as weird as this might seem I have a really random question for you about a dress of yours that I don't want to go all into asking you and blah blah blah on this comment so I was wondering if I could E-mail you. Its about the long green one your mom made for you. Sorry this is so so random and has nothing to do with your time in Venice. By the way you take such amazing vacations! Anyway if you could e-mail that would be amazing my E-mail is madworsh@hotmail.com. Sorry again if this was just too weird for you and now you go private. But I promise I am not some weirdo!! Thank you so much! And really hope I hear from you.

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  7. Wow! It looks absolutely beautiful! I can't wait to see more pictures of Italy. I wasn't joking when I said I'm currently living through your Europe pictures until we can go there ourselves!

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  8. Yay! Europe posts are back! These pictures are ridiculous. SO amazing. I have to go to Europe! I can't believe how many amazing places you hit on your honeymoon.

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  9. Linze - Mine, too!

    Sydna - I'm dying for The Tourist to make its way to DVD so we can see it! It looks awesome.

    Angie - Yes, you do! And we were just so incredibly lucky that Matt had all that (paid) leave after graduation. Otherwise, a month-long European trip would never be a realistic venture!

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  10. I love these pictures!! I hope one day I can get out there...

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