We took the evening train from Florence to Venice, that way Triin could wake up on her birthday in beautiful Venezia, which was pretty much the point of our Italy road trip. As a treat, we abandoned AirBnB for a while and stayed at the Hilton hotel for 3 nights. The hotel was lovely, staff was friendly, there was a swimming pool and something I never thought I’d be so happy to see…..a washing machine. As Claire would say, ‘My, I just can’t keep up with your rock’n’ roll life style.’  I have to say I really enjoyed washing all our clothes and have my backpack smelling like roses again, I’m not embarrassed.

We went to a local restaurant had some pizzas and beers, headed back to the hotel enjoyed the super hot showers and called it a night.

In the morning we had a lovely breakfast with celebratory Prosecco for the birthday girl and headed to the centre of Venice. We found the food market where they had such lovely fruit and veg, bought some strawberries, sat by the river and watched the boats go past.

We found a bridge that was quite crowded but we stayed and just gazed at the boats, all the water buses, water taxis and gondolas in absolute fascination; I think we stood there for about an hour mesmerised. It was like Oxford Street but without the cars, buses and all the noise. I think I could live on that bridge.

We went on to the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery. Me being so extremely cultured had never heard of her. The Gallery, however, was good and I even recognised paintings by Picasso, Dali and the same painter who Liz has a painting by. Go me!!! I enjoyed some of the art but a display of pencil on paper by whoever was definitely not one of them, but as Triin says, art should make you feel something, anything, and here we are still talking about it.

For dinner went to a fancy restaurant by the river and enjoyed the view, great food and, of course,  more Prosecco. (Did you know prosecco comes from around Venice? Neither did we! Such fun!)

The next day we went to the Island of Murano which is famous for glass blowing. The boat ride for me was definitely the highlight of the day, the ride there was amazing and I would recommend going there mainly for that reason. The Island itself is very precious, very beautiful and ridiculously expensive – take a packed lunch if you want to eat or eat beforehand. I loved all the chandeliers, necklaces, bowls, boats, basically anything you could imagine they made it in glass.

They did say it might rain, but this was almost a storm that hit us and so suddenly that all you saw were people running in all directions looking for shelter. We found ours in a doorway because even though we didn’t bring our umbrella, I don’t think it would have helped. 20 minutes later the storm had passed and just a drizzle of rain remained so we decided to go back to Venice.

By the time we got back  the clouds had melted into the sunniest day ever, so we walked around some more before buying dinner and heading back to the hotel. We were definitely starting to burn out after a week of exploring and walking. We had a look at the step counter on Triin’s phone and realised we’d  walked just over 80km in 6 days. Hence the burn out and slightly sore feet; at this point these novice travellers were exhausted.

Next stop Estonia via Riga for a night.