Friday, December 16, 2016


The wake up call was at 6am again this morning as we needed to have our bags out ready for the pick up by 6:45am and we were then expected to be on the bus ready to depart by 7:30am.

Today was one of the most pleasant days we have had on the road as we took a couple of scenic routes rather than the motorways we have been traveling on previously.

Our first stop today was at Kindberg, a beautiful Austrian village.  We only had a half hour stop here for morning tea but I don't think any of us stopped for morning tea, we were too busy exploring and admiring this beautiful little village.... Kindberg had a rather impressive maypole right in the city centre.  It was such a beautiful little village with lots of colour and with gardens full of colourful flowers, colourful window boxes and beautiful buildings...

We left Kindberg and for the next couple of hours drove through scenic mountainous alps.  The views were stunning, but you don't have steep winding roads around mountains over here,  you jut tunnel through the mountains...

 Hardly anyone slept on this leg of the journey today.  I think we were all too busy photographing the beautiful scenery around us.  We even listened to tracks from "The Sound of Music" as we traveled
through Austria.

We had a couple of hours drive until we got to got to Lake Worth which was to be our lunch break today.  The Austrian name for Lake Worth is Worthersee.

Anyway Lake Worth is a lake in the southern Austrian State of Carinthia.  The lake is about 19kms long and never freezes over as it is so deep.  We had 45 minutes break for lunch and then it was back on the bus again.

We crossed over the border into Italy and once again the scenery was stunning as we drove through the Italian Alps (Dolomites)

  We arrived at our drop off point for the coach at 4.10pm.  Our gear all had to be transported onto water taxis.  Our luggage went in one boat and we went in another.

We found out later that Chloe and Dan were probably only 50 metres away from our bus when we arrived.  They were waiting for their coach to take them back to their camping grounds.  If only we had known...

By the time we got to our hotel and got our room allocations it was after 5pm.  We had about an hour before we had to meet back in the lounge area of the hotel before heading out.  My first impressions of our  hotel was not great.  No big signs out the front letting us know it was a Hotel, it just looked like an old run down church with the bricks decaying and falling to bits.

 The insides was a totally different story.  It was all really tastefully decorated.  We also found out that the yellow building next to our hotel was owned by Elton John.

We didn't have time for a shower as our suitcases only arrived to our room about 15 minutes before we were due to go out for dinner.

Steve and I did go for a walk around the hotel to get our bearings before we took off again.  There are some lovely gardens out the back, a small vineyard, lounges and couches to relax in and lay on.  There is also a lovely outdoor breakfast eating area where you can sit outside and enjoy either breakfast or a drink.

Even though this hotel is probably the most expensive of our hotels we have stayed in, it was no where near as good as some of our other hotels.

We met in the foyer on our hotel and caught a water taxi across to the main canal area where we were going out for dinner and then taking a cruise around the Grand Canal.  We dined at a street restaurant called "Ristorante Principessa".  We had a traditional meal of breadsticks, pasta and sauce for entree, Chicken Parmagna with lettuce leaves for our main meal and ice-cream and fruit salad for desert.

After dinner, we boarded a special water taxi that can travel on the Grand Canal and did a sunset cruise for an hour or more around the Grand Canal.  It was hard to get photos but it was nice to get some bearings and see where we needed to be in Venice.

After our cruise on the canal, we went on a short walking tour around Venice past a lot of the very high class shops including Dior, Gucci and many others.  We saw and photographed a pair of shoes that was priced at over 2,400 Euros. OUCH....

We walked through the back streets until we came to St Mark's Square, where we got a good look at these beautiful buildings all lit up.  From here we walked all around the Square to a restaurant on the waterfront where Gary had booked tables for us to have a drink (we chose a national drink called a Bellini - absolutely beautiful.  I could have done with another.  It was fresh peach juice mixed with champagne.

We probably spent a good hour hear listening to the lovely jazz music.  It was a wonderful atmosphere and none of us really wanted to go home. 

We headed back over  a couple of bridges to meet our water taxi somewhere after 10:30 pm and it was probably close to 11pm by the time we got home. 

We have chosen to miss the optional extra walking tour around Venice in the morning and have a bit of a sleep in and leisurely start to the day.


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