12.09.2017 - 14.09.2017 21 °C
We left Zagreb after a wonderful four days. We decided to walk to the bus terminal rather than take the tram. It was a beautiful morning and the walk was only about 20 minutes. We had time for a cappuccino before the bus. The Zagreb bus terminal is actually a nice building with several low cost restaurants. Very unlike some bus and train terminals we have seen. The bus trip took us out of Croatia and back into Slovenia. The off the bus, on the bus, off the bus, on the bus passport check was repeated as we exited Croatia and entered Slovenia. I could have showed the Croatian lady my Tim's card and she would have waved me through. The bus trip took us to Ljubljana in Slovenia. The traffic into the city was brutal and it was pouring rain. The stop was short, then we were on our way to Trieste. Never even knew we crossed out of Slovenia into Italy. No problem with passport control there. As we came through the last set of hills and onto the coast the weather cleared. Our hotel was only a 5 minute walk from the train station, so we got there easily. We had to make some travel changes so spent a bunch of time in the hotel taking care of that. Had a real hard time finding a restaurant which was disappointing. The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and decided to walk around Trieste for a bit. We walked down to the Roman amphitheater, then over to the port of Trieste. We then headed over to the train station for our trip into Venice. The train journey was about 2 hours and was very pleasant. Arriving in Venice, after having been here before, is way less taxing. Our hotel is near the Rialto bridge and we knew the easiest and fastest way to get there, and also avoid some of the crowds. We checked into the hotel and the manager proudly told us that our room had the only private terrace in the hotel. Seemed like a good deal until we discovered it was a rooftop terrace. As we were climbing flight after flight of stairs I was reminded of a Led Zeppelin song, but I was so winded that I couldn't focus on the title. Something about stairs seemed right though. The room was quite small, but it is Venice and space is a premium. We went out on the 'terrace' and had a bit of a giggle. Didn't seem like that much of a perk. We unpacked a bit and then quickly headed out for a walk around the city. I have heard that venice is sinking. My solution would be to take out about a million tourists. The place would probably rise back out of the sea. The San Marco area was crazy busy, so we found some less used trails. We stopped at a little cafe for an afternoon glass of wine, then walked around some more. Venice is great fun if you're not in a hurry. We had made reservations at a restaurant called da Mamo. We had been to this place 6 years ago when we were in Venice and were really looking forward to the evening. Da Mamo didn't disappoint. The food was fantastic. We had carpaccio to start. It came with thin slices of an amazing parmigiana. I had gnocchi. It came with a creamy sauce with walnuts. It was great. Arlene had ravioli with pesto filling. Very good as well. We had a bottle of the house red wine. It was very interesting, very minerally flavour. Quite nice. For desert we split a panacotta. We then decided to go walk off some of that heavy food. Venice is a way different place when the cruise ships leave and many tourists exit. Without the crowds it's a nice city to wander around in. When we got back to the hotel we decided to take advantage of the terrace. Turns out it's a great place to hang out on a warm evening. We plugged in our portable speaker and listened to some tunes for a couple of hours. We can see the top 1/3 of St. Mark's bell tower from the terrace. It was lit up which made it a nice sight. We could also see some interesting buildings and down into 2 of the streets to watch people going by. This morning we had booked a tour to Murano to visit a glass blowing factory and see a glass blowing demonstration. We met at the appointed site, and were happy to see that it was a small group. We climbed into a boat and were off to Murano. The trip took about 30 minutes and the guide gave us dozens of interesting and easily forgotten facts about all sorts of stuff. We arrived on Murano and went first to the Church of Santa Maria e San Donato. It's not one of those places that you would put on your must see list, but it was kind of interesting for its stone mosaic floor. The floor is made up of what must be tens of thousands of small bits of marble arranged into mosaics. We then walked around Murano a bit to see how residential neighbourhoods look. The we went to the glass blowing factory. The demonstration was only about 15 minutes, but the guy made a beautiful vase, and made it look easy. He then made a horse glass piece in under 2 minutes. It impressed the tourists. We then walked through the shop at the factory. I was very careful to look and not touch. One of the chandeliers was priced at €140 000. Beautiful works of art though. We then boarded the boat again for the trip over to Burano. Burano is famous for hand made lace. It's also a really colourful place. All of the buildings are painted in bright colours. On the way to the island we had a glass of prosecco. On Burano we toured the lace making place which took all of 3 minutes, then went for lunch. Hadn't had pizza yet in Italy, so this was the time. It was very good. Then we got back on the boat and returned to Venice. We got off the boat, said our goodbyes and headed down a backstreet away from the crowds. We did a bit of shopping then returned to the hotel. The guy who was at the front desk was very talkative, so we chatted with him for a bit. He recommended a restaurant that we will try tonight. Then it was up to the terrace to catch up on my writing.Later we went to the restaurant recommended by the hotel front desk guy. Great pick. We had lobster and pasta, a carafe of wine and a desert. It was really tasty. The pasta sauce was very similar to a putanesca sauce which we both love. The lobster was nicely done as well. I had a desert wine with biscuits. Arlene had crime brûlée. Nice way to end our time in Venice. Afterwards we went for a stroll along the canals, but had to cut it short because of a bit of rain.