After leaving Balaton and Hungary behind, we crossed Slovenia and returned to Italy. Our final destination, Venice. We arrived a about 6 in the evening and started hunting for a hotel. Maybe we should have booked something? In the end it was OK as we found a hotel just of the causeway. A bit old and careworn but still enough glamour to make you feel good. Then a bus in to the centre for a stroll round Venice by night and some Italian spaghetti. It was a lovely warm night calm and with none of the hustle of the day.
Sunday on the other hand was not a day of rest, we started with a water bus trip around the outside of Venice, to see another side, where the sea and the city met. Getting off at St Marks Square we hit the mass of people, queueing standing taking pictures, and of course spending money. There is without a doubt some beautiful buildings there, and walking of the main streets is the best way around. Forget the maps and get yourself lost. Find some small coffee shops, some obscure squares. That is where you see Venice for what it is.
We did of course take a water bus along the Grand canal, walked across the Rialto Bridge, and had ice cream. All the things a proper tourist should do. On a hot day, the crowds and the noise. We wandered and strolled through a city of history. Soaking up the ambience found there.
It is coffee that we crave though, so we sat a while and watched everyone on their way somewhere else. Dinner by the canal, and a look into some bookbinders and paper-makers. Beautiful leather-bound notebooks, diaries and address books. Made by hand with care and such attention to the finish.
After a long day in Venice it was time to head off again, we drove through to Milan, on route to Briancon, in the Alps. A boring Sunday night made exhilarating by the Italian drivers who all want your space, your car, and treat the motorway as a personal challenge to get to the head of the queue. It was a shell-shocked pair who pulled of the road to sleep in a small hotel seen from the motorway. We were well on our way home, and still having fun. Next up will be mountains and passes and a town called Briancon, a fascinating walled town, overlooked by several forts.