June 15, 2011

Merchants of Venice (Day 5, 14 June)

Is it only Day 5? Feels like we’ve been here forever! This morning, we woke up to a gorgeous view in Umbria and then we left the tranquillity of Assisi for Venice, it took us about 5hrs including 2 breaks in between.

We went straight into our tour instead of checking into the hotel, kicking off with a gondola ride down the canals. It was a bit wobbly, kept worrying we might tip over, but these guys are professionals.

Once at the Grand Canal, we alighted and walked towards St Mark’s Square. Passed by designer boutiques on the way and looked forward to our free time, but first we stopped by a glass blowing factory and showroom. There was a necklace I liked and despite knowing the prices were on the high side, I bought it anyway, as a souvenir of Venice.

We didn’t go into the Basilica, there were more important things to do…like check out the Rialto Bridge and shop! I had time for only one boutique and went into the Chanel because I missed it in Rome.

Saw a couple of bags and caved in because psychologically the bag I bought seemed relatively cheap compared to the 2.55! It’s a nylon, greenish bag with interlocking Cs and chain strap, neutral enough to match a lot of things and not in leather, which I knew I would not be able to take care of.

That sorted, we met up wit the rest of the group and took a walk to see the Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs before taking a boat to our hotel to freshen up for dinner.

The Continental Hotel is along the canal and old-fashioned on the inside but the room is bigger than the ones we had in Rome and Assisi. Dinner was provided, we sat with Ashraf and Ahmed, the Iranian/American couple we met earlier on.

We had a very tasty spaghetti, followed by roast chicken and potatoes and ice cream. As dinner ended and we stood outside the hotel restaurant, Mummy drew my attention to a man she said looked familiar, and she asked if it was that minister, S Iswaran.

There was a group about to get onto a boat and yes it was him! He’s staying in the same hotel as part of another Insight group, small world!

Mummy and I passed on the optional excursion to have drinks and soak in Venice by night and instead walked the shops surrounding our hotel. We bought more souvenirs, I’ve spent entirely too much with the merchants of Venice!

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