This time the trip was to Venice – the queen of the Adriatic, a romantic city of canals, gondolas and paper-masks. [!(http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/2383/ven033iq0.th.jpg "Venice")](http://img178.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ven033iq0.jpg) We took a bus from Stuttgart on Friday evening and reached there Saturday morning. After a bit of freshening up at the *Tronchetto* car park where the bus ends, we headed towards *Murano* – famous for its glass factories. There we were treated to a wonderful demonstration in glass blowing. The “glass-master” showed us his incredible skills in making a wonderful sculpture of a horse, in a matter of minutes. We then visited a number of glass article showrooms with great displays of art in glass. Though tempted to buy despite the high prices, we were prudent enough not to, just for one simple reason – glass breaks! :) [!(http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/5041/ven043ip1.th.jpg "Lido")](http://img525.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ven043ip1.jpg) Our next destination was *Burano*, another island just a 30 minute boat ride away. It was a nice quiet place with a lot of shopping alleys selling among other things, the famous Venetian masks. I did grab one, had to go for a small one that wasn’t too heavy on the pockets. After loosing our way a little, we managed to get back to the boat stop and headed towards *Lido*, a beach on the coast of the Adriatic sea. It was crowded but the beach was nice and relaxing. We had a taste of authentic Italian pizza there, which tasted pretty much like any other pizza I have had, so I have doubts about the “authenticity”! [!(http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/5899/ven134mc5.th.jpg "With the pigeons of Venice")](http://img171.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ven134mc5.jpg) Next stop was *St. Marco* square – the most recognizable part of Venice. We had the most fun there. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of pigeons there. It was a lot of thrill feeding the pigeons. Put some corn on your hand and there they would come neatly picking off every single piece. The most well behaved pigeons I have ever seen! One even perched on my shoulder and posed long enough for the perfect photo :). We then roamed around the narrow alleys of Venice dotted with small shops, fantastic old buildings, churches and off course the canals. The gondolas – the Venitian boats – were tempting too, but this time the exorbitant prices and lack of time forced us not to take a ride. They looked really grand though. Maybe sometime later… [!(http://img463.imageshack.us/img463/9720/ven055ly1.th.jpg "Canals of Venice")](http://img463.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ven055ly1.jpg) It is amazing how a modern city can still work without cars or trucks. Everything runs on boats – ambulances, government authorities, police, local transport… I have always wondered how they could do this practically, but during the time I was there, there was never a place that wasn’t accessible by boat or by a short walk! Spectacular!
By evening we head back to Tronchetto (which is Europe’s largest car park by the way), time to leave. After a comfortable ride, reached back Stuttgart on Sunday morning. It was a nice trip and well worth loosing sleep for 2 nights in a row! :)
And to all my Keralite readers – Happy Onam !
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