Brisbane2Bristol

On our great adventure

On the Run in Italy…..

Riding up to the Italian border we noticed there were two customs guards standing around having a chat, not bothering about anyone riding/driving past them, that was the first time that we had seen guards even near a country border for ages…we rode past them without even cursory glance at us…

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For some reason travelling along main highway we ended up being filtered on to the Italian motorway, the Autostrada…
The ticket collection lane we choose had decided that it didn’t want to give out tickets and the maintenance man trying to fix it told us to just ride through…bloody big mistake that was…near Venice we went to the exit toll, only to find out the machine was asking for a ticket, but we didn’t have one, by pushing the ‘talk’ button a guy answered and insisted that we had a ticket, we told him what happened, but he still insisted that we should have a ticket…
I’m not sure what part of ‘we don’t have a ticket’ that he didn’t understand… in the mean time the people behind us were getting inpatient and beeping theirs horns and shouting at us.

Eventually a ticket popped out of the machine and the barrier lifted up, pulling over to the side of the road we read the ticket, a guy also pulled up next to us and translated the ticket to us, which said we had two weeks to pay the 63 Euro’s…
WHAT…We’ll be out of Italy within two weeks…
We’ve only been on the Autostada for an hour or so, so how could it be so much money? Was there a fine added onto the ticket? How ever we did notice that on our ticket our number plate was not recognised, was it because it was an Australian bike or was it that on our number plates the letter/number are small…
Great we’re now fugitives on the run…

While we had pulled over on the side of the road looking at map for a campsite, two other bikes pulled over they were from Turkey, a great couple of guys they were so interested on where we had travelled from and where we were heading, on exchanging details we rode together for a little while until we found our campsite..

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We booked into the campsite, they had great facilities but it was pretty pricey considering that it didn’t even include Wi-Fi or use of the swimming pool, that was extra..but the location was good as just outside the campsite was a bus stop which take you into the city of Venice.

Finding good little spot we set up camp which took less than 5 minutes as our tent is the size of a chip packet! …. A young Australian couple a few tents away from us came over to talk to us and gave us a bus ticket that they hadn’t used, which would get us into the city, they were heading off to Rome the next day and weren’t going to use it, thanks guys. We unexpectedly met up with them again in Rome few days later…

A short time later we were talking to a young Dutch couple, who were in the pitch opposite us, they had ridden their motorbike a BMW 1200 from Holland, chatting away we started to get a bit peckish…
Well it was approaching dinnertime, so we decided to go to the local supermarket to get some items for dinner and were joined by the young Dutch couple (old age has set in early as neither of us can remember their names ☹)..

Back from shops we decided it would be fun if the Dutch joined us in making dinner as we had purchased similar ingredients, after cooking dinner we ended up drinking and chatting for ages – a great young couple with so much get-up-and-go…

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Up early and the kettle on, Clive headed off towards a quiet area on the campsite in order to get a good signal and set the ‘GPS SPOT’ off…
Breakfast done we head off to the bus stop, with the bus due any minute, all of a sudden Clive realises that he left the ‘SPOT’ on the campsite… not again..
Ashen faced Clive raced back to the campsite, lucky for him was only 5 minutes away…
While Clive had gone we missed two buses…lucky the buses are regular!

Arriving in the city of Venice you are immediately struck by what an amazing city this is…

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Venetia is a city in northeastern Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It’s located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline, between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks.
The city in its entirety is listed as a World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon..

We knew we would be in for a LOT of walking this day…

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Lots of gondola’s were floating in the canals waiting for passengers, but I fancied a ride on the ‘old’ wooden style sport boats that we saw…. but later when we are tired of walking we thought we’ll now go for a ride in one of them.

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The city is a maze of tiny streets with canals weaving in between them, cafes, restaurants and gift shops that are every where, it really is hard to describe how beautiful this city is, but we’ll try..

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Masks have always been a main feature of the Venetian carnival. Traditionally people were allowed to wear them between the festival of Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Day, December 26) and the start of the carnival season at midnight of Shrove Tuesday.

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As masks were also allowed on Ascension and from October 5 to Christmas, people could spend a large portion of the year in disguise. Maskmakers (mascherari) enjoy a special position in society, with their own laws and their own guild.

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The maze of canals threaded through the city requires the use of more than 400 bridges to permit the flow of foot traffic.

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There is a central bridge that lovers have be be quested their love for each other by attaching a padlock to the railings, then sealing their love by throwing the padlock key into the water beneath, how romantic..we forgot ours!

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Every corner or alleyway presented itself with another photo opportunity or a chance for another coffee, cake or a glass of beer or wine.
We found that right in the centre at Piazza St. Marco it was ridiculously expensive to eat or drink, so we satisfied ourselves with just sitting on some steps taking in the atmosphere listing to some music that was being beautifully played..a dream to the ears….

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We stumbled across a great exhibition of art, it was strange but absoutlty outstanding…

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We couldn’t resist a self portrait…

Down at the main waterfront canal it was very busy with all types of watercraft moving about goods, tourists and even a ambulance on its way to a call out…

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Most of day we were hopelessly lost, but it was not a problem as there was so much to see on every canal and alleyways that kept us intrigued and amused…..

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Even nuns have a weakness for ice-cream it seems…

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Rush hour on the water..

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Fresh local fish at a market square…

We settled for a drink and something to eat in a little cafe, but boy it was expensive, but not as bad as the high tourist prices we had encountered near the main canal!

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These meringues were to die for…

With our legs aching we decided to call it a day… our day in this incredible ‘floating’ city had come to an end.

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Great way to get around the maze of canals…

We caught the bus back to the campsite…via the supermarket where we brought some items to make a ‘peasant’ salad, although in Italy, it’s called panzanella…so quick and easy…less than five minutes to make and goes down well with a glass or three of local red wine…
This is what life is all about…isn’t it?…

Sleeping well we got up a bit later than we wanted, which didn’t matter as today we were off to San Marino,which is not that far away..
Good-bye Venice lovely to see you.

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