The Vatican

Our plans for the day included a trip to the Vatican with our tour group. Although we were traveling in a dedicated tour bus, there was a bit of apprehension as the morning began. Rome’s public transit workers were staging a strike and the impact on traffic flows was an unknown factor.

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Florence to Amalfi Coast, Italy

Today was expected to be our long day in the bus. Little did we expect that the bus would hit a brick in the centre of the freeway and end up with a flat tire. We eventually ended up at our hotel rather later than expected. It ended up being a long day since I had started the day early with the street sweepers.

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Bellagio, Italy

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Bellagio, Italy

Belagio is a small town perched on the side if Lake Como. From Como, the are a number of ways to get to Bellagio. Our group went via our tour bus to a docking facility opposite the village and then took a Boat ride across to the village docking area.

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Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Our tour bus for the day - 17 adults, a guide and a driver - THE FAMILY

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Today, I was a tourist going on a tour of Santo Domingo. (location) Our tour bus would be our mobile home-away-from-home from 6AM to 8PM. – 17 adults, a guide and a driver – THE FAMILY! Look Ma – No Washroom – No problem FAMILY – we’ll just stop at the next tourist shop!!! How convenient. There’s one now —– A comfortable ride but a long ride in each direction. Up before dawn and arriving back at the resort after dark.

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Venice – City of Canals

DSC_3729 - Venice Catherdral in DayVenice, one of the cities I really wanted to see on this trip to Europe. For one reason, because of its unique canal structure and flare, and secondly its sinking. Although I’m not into all that hype about it actually going underwater in the Adriatic anytime soon, I’m sure at some point they will have to start to combat the problem and that could turn this iconic city into a construction zone for a while, best to get in before that happens.

DSC_3050 - Itinerary

I don’t normally post the itinerary for our Contiki Inspiration Tour, but for Venice I am because we aren’t actually staying in Venice itself, rather a road motel on the mainland, so your “free time” is more limited and you don’t want to miss the boat – quite literally (see boat below).

DSC_3390 - Boat to Venice

First stop was the  Piazza San Marco which due to the rain (that we escaped in Verona) ended up being quite wet. DSC_3460 Venice

Not Everyone on the tour was prepared for Rain in the conventional meaning, but one has to admit, garbage in the pocket does have a variety of uses and is lightweight and easy to carry. DSC_3666 - Make Shift Rain Gear

From the Piazza we went to our Venetian Glass Blowing Demo, where the glass blowing master made a glass horse from scratch (then proceeded to add a bit penis on it – sigh Contiki).

DSC_3443 - Venitian Glass Blowing Demo

After that we had lunch and wondered around a bit, the streets were easy to navigate and offered up numerous ways to get from point a to point b.

DSC_3431 - Venice Walkway

DSC_3447 - Canal in Venice    DSC_3549 - Venice - Sestier De S. Polo

Finally we regrouped for our Gondola rides, which was quite nice and rumors of being close to the water and it smelling awful did not come true (I guess that’s a good thing from the rain).

DSC_3661 - Venice Gondolas

DSC_3712 Venice Canal Bridge

Next was Dinner, as I had opted out of the dinner I grabbed a Calzone and drink (Cost 8€) and headed out to do some long-exposure night photography before meeting up with the rest of the tour group at the Bridge of Sighs.