Our trip started out rough with a 6am flight out of ORLY, Paris. We were told we needed to be there 2 hours ahead of time. Wrong. We got up at 3am, after only going to bed at 12:30am following our fabulous Eiffel Tower dinner. I figured we could sleep on the plane. Wrong. After landing and being extremely tired at 8am, we waited in line for an hour to get our travel figured out into Venice. Finally learning the correct bus number and taxi boat number, we were on our way.
We finally arrived in Venice and headed towards our bed and breakfast, to learn VERY quickly that there are not street names in Venice. It was a maze trying to find our location and Siri was very confused. We got lost with multiple pieces of luggage. Guess what Venice has - bridges with stairs....a lot of them, everywhere you go.
Here's a tip if you are traveling abroad, while connected to WIFI, put your location in your GPS. Then go back into airplane mode. The GPS will still pick up where you are without using your data. However, this didn't work well in a city with no street names.
We had pre-paid timed reservations to go into St. Marks Basilica but couldn't figure out where to use them at. So we waited in line like everyone else, to learn we couldn't bring any large bags in. Off we went to find a storage locker. Guess what was inside our bag? Our Euro's.....so after we got back into the Basilica, we were unable to climb up since there was a 5 Euro fee per person. At that point, we were both over it but snagged a few photos of the church itself and headed out.
Although we got lost and I became very frustrated with multiple portions of Venice, I will say it is a must see. I wouldn't want our experience to deter anyone else from going. If we were to do Venice again, here is what we would do different:
- Not stay in Venice. Take a 2 hour train in from Florence instead and spend a day in the city vs. overnight. Getting lost with luggage in Venice is something I will never forget and never experience again.
- Find a way to get a navigation system off of wifi, this way you wont get lost for hours
- Do not pre-pay for your Gondola. Or if you do, pay the extra money to be solo
- Check the cruise schedules and plan your day in Venice according to days multiple ships are not in town
- Get more than 2 1/2 hours of sleep the night before. You will need your patience