Our Europe Trip: Venice Part 2

Day 9: Venice

This was our last day in Europe – very sad. We got up and walked over to St. Mark’s Square where we listened to a Rick Steve’s audio tour. It was super interesting to hear about all the different architecture styles used just in the square. As Venice was the hub for all shipping around the word back in the day, the city incorporated all the different cultures into one place, specifically St. Mark’s Basilica. The square was so cool with all the shops and tourist and live bands. It totally felt like being in downtown Disney.

After we toured the square, we went into St. Mark’s Basilica, which was built in the 1060s! Venice definitely had the oldest things I’ve ever seen in my life and a lot of them. The four original bronze horses that were once on the roof and are now in the museum inside are estimated to be from around 400 B.C. That’s just nuts. And they look totally good.

We listened to another audio tour inside the church. It talked all about the crazy mosaics that blanket the walls, ceiling, and floor. The attention to detail in that church is staggering. It also talked about how the Venetians stole the remains of St. Mark, then lost them, then found them, then buried them under the basilica. And, of course, all of this was depicted in mosaics all over the church. While we were in the church, there was a service going on. It was so weird to hear singing and prayers while the rest of the church was packed with tourists.

After our St. Mark’s excursion, we headed across Venice to get on a Vaporetto (their water tram things) down the Grand Canal. We had another Rick Steve’s audio tour that described all the sites along the Grand Canal.

The more I learned about Venice, the more impossible its existence became. I don’t understand how it was ever built and how it’s still here. While it’s not as vibrant as it used to be, it is still beautiful. The Grand Canal is lined with former palaces that are slowly rotting. It’s crazy to think that Venice was once the wealthiest and most powerful city in the world and now it’s just a tourist town for people to eat gelato and get ripped off by gondoliers. But still, it’s breathtaking.

After our boat tour, we walked out to the tip of Venice to see their only garden in the city. It definitely wasn’t very big, but every European city needs a garden.

Then we were again in search of delicious food. Our concierge recommended a restaurant in our neighborhood that was so cute. We sat outside, but you couldn’t see the sky because there was a ceiling of branches and leaves above us. The food was totally delicious and after our meal they came out with little complementary glasses of wine that they make at the restaurant. I’m sure it was delicious. ☺

After dinner, we got lost in the streets again looking for gelato and souvenirs. We happened upon some little Venetian glass rings. Since Doug lost his super cool wood wedding ring before we left, a 1 euro glass ring seemed like the perfect solution.

We kept walking and found ourselves in St. Mark’s Square again. The square was lit up and there were three different bands playing, fighting for people’s attention. One band was playing “Isn’t it Romantic?” and my heart melted. Doug and I danced in the square. It was a perfectly cheesy moment and I LOVED it. Then a guy tried to sell Doug a rose for me, but he didn’t have any money. After he made fun of Doug, I ended up buying a rose for Doug to give to me. It was probably the most magical night of my life. ☺

Then we went to bed and got millions of mosquito bites. Not as magical.

Day 10: The Trip Home

We woke up at 3 a.m. to catch the 3:45 a.m. Alilaguna boat back to the airport. After over an hour on a boat, we got to wait for our delayed flight to Paris that ended up leaving at 7 a.m. We barely made it to our connecting flight to SLC. Doug and I were able to sleep a little bit on our flight from Venice to Paris, but neither of us could sleep at all on our 12-hour flight from Paris to Salt Lake. It was the longest flight of our lives. About 7 hours in, we started losing our minds. And this was the least fancy of any plane we’d been on. No individual TVs, so we had to watch whatever they put on the aisle TV.

Doug’s dad was nice enough to pick us up from the airport (about 4:30 MST) so we didn’t have to drive home in our condition. It was so weird to talk to someone else after talking only to Doug for 2 weeks.

The next 4 hours are a total blur. Our bodies and brains were so mad at us. We fell asleep for a little bit and decided we should probably have dinner before going to bed. I can just remember being so confused about where I was and what time it was and how painful it was to get to the car to find dinner.

The next day, I slept for about 12 hours. It already felt like we hadn’t gone on our trip, like it was just some crazy dream. Doug went to work that day (weirdo), so I started writing things down like crazy because I knew if I didn’t, there would be no way for me to prove the last two weeks actually happened.