Venice is the most crazy beautiful place I have ever visited. Gondolas and cupolas, caramel colored and crumbling. The minute we stepped out of the train station, I felt like I was in sensory overload.
We bought a vaporetto (water bus) pass, figured out how to use it to get to our hotel to drop our bags, then set out via vaporetto again along the Grand Canal to explore.
A first view of the bridge of sighs - ahhhhh.
Then St. Mark's Square - the line for St. Mark's Cathedral was fairly short, so we headed in. The inside is all mosaics - somewhat darkened from age and incense. (No photos allowed inside.)
We climbed up to the "museum" on the top floor. The best part is of the museum is that it lets you up on a balcony near the horse statues that stand over the entrance. Amazing views of the square from up top!
There still are some pigeons on the square, but you aren't supposed to feed them. I actually thought there were more illegal vendors pestering you to buy stupid souvenirs. I wish they would make the vendors fly away and replace them with pigeons!
We started to wander back in the direction of our hotel. It is like a maze of narrow streets, canals, and bridges and it is totally fun to get lost. There is a perfect photograph around every corner and I tried to capture each one! We kept looking for signs to the Rialto Bridge to keep us heading the right way.
And finally the bridge - we crossed over and headed back to the hotel to refresh for supper. A brief tour to help us get oriented to the Grand Canal and the wonders of Venice!