After the hike was done, the first-finished group piled into a bus for a two-hour journey back to Venice. The firm had put us up in the Venice Hilton - on its own little island - which was very nice, but we were too tired to enjoy it that night. A buffet dinner was put on, where we downed some delicious pasta and vino, and then rocked out to bed almost immediately!
The following two days were a different story. Apart from my increasingly-evident foot injury, none of us were sore and so we utilized every minute to enjoy Venice and hang out with our big group.
The first day we just wandered around the city, taking in everything and enjoying the novelty of getting boats everywhere we went.
First stop was to purchase pretentious fedoras that we would don for protection from the hot sun for the remainder of the two days.
Then a colleague and I trapsed along to see the Palazzo Ducale.
It was fascinating to learn about the Venecian courts and the Council of Ten. You could really picture men in long red robes meeting between the pillars or looking out over the court yard and plotting to quash unrest or purported treason.
Like most structures in Europe, its impossible to capture its beauty/magnificence on camera.
Once we'd done our cultural duty, we spent the rest of the day wandering, and eating pasta and drinking all the Spritz Venezianos...
...before meeting back up with the entire group for pre-dinner drinks at the Aman Canal Grande hotel (where George Clooney and his wife were married!) It was built in the mid-1500s, with only 24 guest rooms and beautiful common areas. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of it, but here is where we were:
|Can't be bothered with attribution. Someone else took this photo. Its on the Googles.|
After drinks we took a water taxi back to the hotel (taking some pics along the way of course) for the "formal" dinner and after-party.
|Shhh, don't tell anyone back at work that we're having fun. And not billing.|
The following day saw us attending the buffet breakfast at around 10:00 am then heading to Murano, the island in Venice devoted to glass-blowing. We looked in on a few shops before determining that it had been at least two hours since we last ate, and we should probably do that.
Then we headed back to Venice to wander and get gelato.
When I first got gelato, I was going to sit down to eat it. Because I hate to eat and walk. I like to be truly sedentary while consuming my food. But then I was encouraged to continue wandering.
|One of my favorite photo-bombs here. This guy is so happy to be in the picture!|
And then I realized I had been doing walking for my entire life ALL WRONG. Walking should ALWAYS BEEN DONE WITH ICE CREAM. And so I got another ice cream straight away.
We finished off the day with another spritz in the main square, listening to music and people watching, before heading back to the airport for another long journey home.
We took a water taxi to the airport, and watched silently as the sun set, the water wooshed beneath the boat, and Venice got smaller and smaller on the horizon.