Friday, October 12, 2007


As we drove to Venice on the Autostrasse we would occasionally come across these "Autogrill" resturants. They are a cafeteria type resturant that serves everything from salads to pasta to roast beef. The idea is that they can take traffic from both sides of the freeway, and they provide a convenient place to stop for gas, washroom, and a meal. We used them several times during our trip.

In due course we arrived at Venice. After parking the vehicle at the edge of the city we took a water bus to our San Marco Square, near to where our hotel was located. Here is a view of the "Grand Canal".

And here is a view of one of the smaller side canals. These canals are full of traffic. Here is a boat taking laundry to be cleaned. Everything in Venice moves on boats.

Here is a view of our hotel. We were staying in a 4-star annex of the 5-star Columbina, which is considered to be one of the premier hotels in Venice.

Our room was very nice.

As was the breakfast room, where we enjoyed an excellent continential breakfast each morning.

Here is a nice picture of Graham and Barb. With its many bridges it was a real challenge for Barb, but she tackled them like a trooper!

There was a lot to look at, and we did our share of window shopping.

Of course, Audrey had to feed the pigeons in San Marco square, near our hotel.

Here is a nice picture of Audrey on the Water Bus as we toured around Venice.

And here is a nice sunset over Venice, take from the water bus as we returned to Venice from a boat joy-ride to the mainland.

The crowds of tourists were quite large in San Marco square. Everyone was enjoying the fabulous weather!

On our first morning in Venice we all went to Murano to see the glass blowing artists at work there. Here is a nice picture of Graham and Barb on the boat.

Of course, the famous Murano Glass comes from the island of Murano, about a 30 minute boat ride out of Venice. Apparently, the city fathers decided that the glass making industry posed too great a threat of fire, and so it was moved entirely to Murano. A favorite tourist activity is watching the master glass blowers at thier craft. It takes a minimum of 15 years, starting at an age of 15 years, for a man to become a Master. The trade is typically passed down from father to son. The glass is very nice, but hugely expensive. (We have some nice pieces of Murano Glass that we bought at Winners in Medicine Hat - the same piece purchased at Murano might cost several hundred euros more!)

The next stop was the island of Burano, where lace is the most famous export. We did buy some lace there, but we also enjoyed an excellent lunch at one of the sidewalk - canal side cafe's.

Here is a shot of Audrey and I on the ferry back to Venice.

A lot of cruise ships make a stop at Venice. This was one of several that we got to see up close while we rode the water busses and ferries.

The Rialto Bridge is a famous Venice landmark.

As we took our leave of Venice, we had to give a thought to the "Bridge of Sighs". This bridge connects the Doges Palace with the Prison. As prisoners crossed this bridge - many to their deaths - they were said to pause and sigh at the last sight that they would ever have of the enchanting city.

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