After Jennifer and I left Hotel Tito, we took a tram and a bus to get to the floating city. Public transportation was very widespread in Venice, and it's rather affordable as the most I remember a ticket costing us was 2.30 euros. When getting onto the public buses or trains, remember that you must validate your tickets at the machine onboard, or you could get into trouble.
The bus dropped us off a short distance from the Calatrava Bridge, which is the newest bridge in the city, right at the entrance. The view of the canals from this bridge was spectacular, especially for first time visitors and we spent at least ten minutes just looking around, watching the speedboats and gondolas approach and pass under to the other side. Cameras were taken out, and we started snapping photos like mad people. It seems that Venice is one of those cities where it will be a great feat to take awful pictures.
We continued down the bridge and started following the crowd. We walked past the train station and came up to the first boat pier, where there were two small boats docked. It was at this point where it hit us that our dream of visiting Venice was really coming true! We walked along the canals in a daze, looking all around us, in an attempt to register every sight and stamp it into our memories to last us for a lifetime. It was rather miraculous that we managed not to walk into other people!
After a while, we realized that we needed to find out exactly how to get to St. Mark's Square, so we approached on the many vendors selling their wares at the sides of the street. The first lady who we approached was very helpful indeed, and actually gave us a map to help us along. She also gave a tip which proved to be invaluable. She told us that if we ever became lost, look at the buildings because many of them at the street corners have signs which point the way to the Square.
The journey took us almost two hours, but this was due to us being mesmerized by everything along the way. From the small cafes with delicious looking sandwiches and ice creams in their windows, to the various small shops selling gorgeous Venetian masks and other interesting knick-knacks. All these things were distractions from our mission, but they definitely added to the journey.
We passed small local markets in the middle of the streets, and countless statues and bridges until we finally arrived at St. Mark's Square. To say it was magical would be an astronomical understatement. Maybe it was the goregeous architecture? Possibly due to the grandeur? How about the different brides and grooms taking their wedding photos in the square? I would say, all these reasons and more made St. Mark's Square the breathtaking attraction that it turned out to be.
The two hour walk had been worth it, and our tired feet became revitalized as we explored the square. We took almost one hundred photos of the buildings, the artwork and the people. Some attractions are overhyped, and you feel disappointed when you see it through your own eyes, but St. Mark's Square deserves all the attention that it gets.
If you have the chance to walk through Venice, you should! It made arriving at St. Mark's Square much more exciting, and the journey through the winding alleys and over ancient bridges was nothing short of being the icing on our Venetian cake!