Our train spit us out in Venice at 5:27 a.m.
It was too early to visit the baggage check and nothing was really open.
So we found a bench and slept for an hour like the homeless people that we are. I think the girl next to us really was homeless. Sigh.
We got ready in the large train station bathroom that was one of the nicest public restrooms I have been to.
It was pay only and it was a backpacker's haven. Backpackers with all different nationalities turned it into a primping room, so I didn't feel too embarrassed to freshen up in there.
After checking our bags, we headed out to visit this...
I couldn't stop smiling the entire time we rode through the main canal.
The middle of the island is a huge waterway called the Grand Canal.
The Grand Canal is serviced by vaporetti, the public bus system.
We took the longer version to really get the whole feel of Venice.
The water comes right up to the buildings and people zip in and out on motorboats.
It felt like I was in the beginning scene of "Indiana Jones" or in "The Tourist."
Sadly, there were no boat chases.
I was sorely disappointed.
St. Mark's Cathedral | feeding pigeons in the square
St. Mark's Square from afar | a very unhelpful map of the island
St. Mark's Square is a huge square with a cathedral, bell tower, art museum and incredible people watching.
We strolled around the square and I tried to feed the pigeons, until I saw one with a mangled claw and realized the pigeons are practically rats of the sky. I lost all desire to be near one.
One of the biggest stops is the St. Mark's Cathedral. It is massive with an impressive facade. While the cathedral is massive, the line was even longer. Most visitors wait in the line and get ushered off to check their backpacks at baggage check. We went to baggage check first and got to skip to the front of the line. Huzzah!
After the square we did what everyone should do in Venice: we got lost.
Our seafood came with tentacles intact.
The rest was incredible.
Twelve hours was plenty for us, and we grabbed our bags and jetted down to Florence.
We arrived after dark and thankfully found our bus quickly.
Our host, Andreas, gave us a quick introduction, a warm shower and we crashed hard.