Now I must admit that I did have some preconceived ideas of what Venice was going to be like.
Growing up watching action movies full of heroes on expensive speed boats, chasing villains around wide open canals. Racing down deserted winding streets, the sound of footsteps coming around the corner, as they hide in an alcove in one of the old buildings.
So you can see how my image of Venice was instantly shattered, starting with our ride on the people mover if I looked to one side I saw Venice itself looking exactly as I expected.
but to the other side I was amazed to see huge cruise ships filling the harbor.
I later found out that cruise ships alone bring nearly 2 million visitors to Venice each year, with up to 6 cruise ships a day in peak season delivering almost half the population of Venice
Once in Venice itself, you are hit hard by the onslaught of tourists, the chaos of the Grand Canal as hundreds of boats of all sizes and styles fight for position, trying to navigate their way around the crowded canals. You almost can’t believe your eyes.
But wait… don’t give up on Venice quite yet, if you take a minute to escape from the main tourist drag, you will be presently surprised.
Deliberately getting ourselves lost, we managed to find that old world charm, which Venice is so famous for, away from the maddening crowds and flashing cameras.
We squeeze our way down the winding alleyways so narrow that at times your shoulders brush against the ancient stone buildings themselves.
The walls of the buildings on either side rising high seeming to lean towards each other, thankfully blocking out the glaring heat of the midday sun.
Window boxes full of flowers cascading down draping us in an incredible mix of scents.
The stones beneath our feet polished by time to slippery perfection…
finding an adorable little cafe with only 3 tables and about the same size as most peoples kitchen, we begin the task of deciding which of the incredibly decedent pastries we are going to taste first, washed down with an espresso, enjoying our moment of piece before heading back out into the heat and crowds.