Today I’m writing the last post about my Eastern-European road trip! The last thing we did on this trip was Venice and it was amazing! I had never been there and it was such a pleasant surprise. I didn’t want to set my expectations too high as I didn’t want to be let down. Anyway, let’s get into this post!
Day 15 – Pula, Croatia through Slovenia to Venice, Italy
We started the day with driving to Venice, which took us way longer than expected. We were stuck in traffic for a long while because of the Slovenian border. Once we arrived in Venice we parked our car in one of the big car parks as you can’t enter the city with a car. We parked the car on one of the higher levels and our first view of Venice was amazing! Then we took the Vaporetto to our hotel. That was located close to the San Marco square which meant we went all along the Canal Grande. It was beautiful and the perfect introduction to the city. I was in awe over the beauty. Once we dropped our suitcase in the hotel, we went to the San Marco square. That was nice. The Duke’s palace and the San Marco basilica are beautiful. We went on a walk through the city that evening and we ended up on the Santo Stefano square for dinner. I distinctly remember this as my dad’s name is Stefaan, the Dutch variant of Stefano. On this first day we didn’t visit anything, but we did get an amazing look at the city, both during the day and at night.
Day 16 – Venice, Italy
On the morning of our sixteenth day we went to a beautiful second-hand bookshop. It’s called Libreria Acqua Alta. The bookstore is off the beaten tourist track and it was wonderful to discover a uncrowded part of Venice where the true Venetians live. The bookstore itself was amazing! Everywhere there were stacks and stacks of books. There was a gondola and several bathtubs filled with books. There was a staircase made of them and a wall too. It was beautiful. I didn’t buy a book there as the English selection was very limited, but I did pick up two bookmarks with art of Venice on them.
Then we went to the Rialto bridge. To be honest, I was very unimpressed. It wasn’t beautifully decorated as the rest of Venice is. It was overly crowded. I think the Ponte Vecchio in Firenze/Florence is much more beautiful and it’s kind of the same concept with shops on the bridge. We wandered a bit in the area and we stumbled upon an another bookstore. Here I bought The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.
After lunch we visited the Duke’s Palace. As it was mid-day and very hot and thus it was the best moment to do so. The Palace was very impressive and beautiful. The ornate designs were stunning. We even walked through the bridge of sighs!
Then we took a gondola. It’s something you just have to do when you’re in Venice even though it’s extremely overpriced. I really enjoyed it. We went through the small canals between the houses and over the lagoon. We had a very nice gondola by the way. It was very new and fancy.
By then we were exhausted. We had walked a ton and it was very hot. We crashed in a restaurant and enjoyed a nice meal. Then we went back and crossed the San Marco square. There was no line at the San Marco tower and we saw you didn’t have to take any stairs. We were the very last to go up and that was quite special as we were alone in the elevator. Up above we had the most stunning view over the city. The sun was setting and that made it even more beautiful. It was breath-taking. Just before we went down, the clock striked nine. That meant that the bells in the tower starting ringing. It was deafening, but very special.
Day 17 – Venice, Italy through Austria to Liechtenstein
The first thing we did was visiting the San Marco Basilica. There was quite a long line, but in the morning it’s in the shade. The Basilica is beautiful with all it’s gold and ornate decorations. I was in awe. You could also go onto the balcony and I very much appreciated that as we got a view over the San Marco square from a higher point. Then we took the Vaporetto all along the Canal Grande back to the car park. It was a fitting goodbye to the city. We got in the car and started our journey back home. We drove first through Italy then through Austria and we ended the day in Liechtenstein. I had never been to this micro state and I must say the mountains here are beautiful.
Day 18 – From Liechtenstein through Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Luxemburg to my home in Belgium
On our last day we drove all the way back home. On that day I was in 6 different countries and that still blows my mind. Go Europe! The day mainly involved reading Kids of Appetite, a new favourite of mine, and watching Stranger Things. At the end of the day I was happy to be back home, but sad that it was over. The typical end of travel feeling I suppose.
And that was my Eastern-European road trip! I hope you enjoyed coming along with me. Thanks for reading! See you next time!