Winter Vacation 2013: Venice

In our family none of us are planners. Usually decisions on what to see and do are made on the fly. I would like to say it’s because of our busy schedules but that’s not true. We are just lazy and we (or rather I) don’t take joy in planning things. All those nitty gritty details ugh. 

Of course, the basic travel and accommodation plans will be settled. We flew into Venice from London and it was freeeeezing. Took a cab and we were dropped off so that we could take a water taxi to our hotel. We never pack light for family trips so fortunately, the water taxis weren’t far!

Loading up our water taxi

Cynics wave off Venice as a touristy place but I actually think it’s an okay place to live in. By night the island is tranquil with only remnants of lost travellers like us. It is easy to tell who’s a local because they can figure their way through the entire labyrinth of little streets. Dad’s friend claims that you just need to turn out if you reach a dead end and soon you will reach your destination… But  I suggest getting a map from your lodging or downloading googlemaps before you set off (yes it is updated).

A heartwarming seafood soup (plus boisterous service!) to celebrate our first night in venice

One of the foodies mentioned Murano and Burano before I left SG. It turned out that we visited Murano before in the past with a tour group (obviously we can’t remember much) but we didn’t buy anything.

“Murano glass!” Mum said. “They are famous!!”

those words were the start of all our grief later. hahaha

We made our way to Murano and guess what we got. A trio of glass birds and a glass painting! We didn’t want to ship them home because we could save so much on shipping alone. But goodness. Carrying them was no joke! Glad they made it home in one piece though. Our house may be cluttered but it’s decorated with memories of our travels around the world 😉 But next time, I think we’ll pick a souvenir that’s easier to bring home. Oh did I mention that we handcarried not one but TWO panettones too?

The weather was good to us during our stay in Venice! Skipped the gondola rides since we had done it before.

One side of Doge’s Palace.

Took this photo from St. Mark’s Basilica

The guy from the glassmakers at Murano told us that the Lion of Saint Mark, which is the symbol of Venice, holds a closed book when the state is at war. According to wiki that’s a mistaken belief but.. whatever. This winged lion is on almost every landmark in Venice.

Of course I can’t miss out on the desserts can I? Went to a very regal cafe called Cafe Florian in St Mark’s Square. Terribly overpriced but we needed a place to rest and the desserts looked quite enticing. Picked their spin on the classic Panettone and was pleasantly surprised by the lovely syrup that moistened the Panettone slices and the delicious custard. The quality of the panettone wasn’t great but overall a pretty yummy dessert.

On our way back for a rest I finally spotted a photogenic bridge that wasn’t laden with tourists!

I also unintentionally wandered into a lot of pasticcerias for my fair share of sugary treats. These biscuits were sold by weight.

The next day we took a ferry to burano. The ferry services were on strike that day so we walked from our hotel to the main ferry terminal. It was a nice walk though the weather was good.

Burano was quiet apparently because of the strike. They weren’t expecting visitors so most shops remained closed, including the museum. But we did manage to admire pretty lacework and buy some small hand-sewn lace pieces.

And the colorful houses were so adorable (:

As we walked around I could hear celebrations going on inside. Oh the festive cheer! Makes everyone happy.

I liked how color coordinated this house was.

Gave their seafood a try.  

We didn’t manage to visit the museums in Venice this time around – which sound quite impressive, especially the Peggy Guggenheim Collection- but that’s for another time I suppose.