We decided to go to Lido beach today and what a day it was! After a 40 minute boat ride, we arrived on the island and went for lunch. I had my first proper Italian pizza (ham and mushroom) and Darren opted for lasagne.
We headed to the Playa Blanca bar and relaxed right by the sea. I had a glass of white wine and Darren went for an Aperol Spritz – it wasn’t as strong as yesterday which he was pleased about! The weather was beautiful and we couldn’t believe how stunning the beach was. It was surreal to see so much sand and it truly was a hidden gem filled with locals – we felt like we were the only tourists there. After Lido, we went back to St Mark’s Square and did some more sightseeing. We eventually headed to Rialto and sipped a litre of lager (each!) as we watched a street play – it was a great touch and fab entertainment. We did more walking and visited the only part of Venice that we hadn’t seen yet. We wound up at the Top Of The Carlton Sky Lounge and ate fabulous food yet again as the sun set. I have never eaten so much fish and was brave enough to try seafood linguine (with oysters, mussels and even octopus!). It was delicious and Darren loved his pesto and tomato pasta (not quite as adventurous as me!). Afterwards, we took a boat ride through Venice by night and listened to a live orchestra in St Mark’s Square. Watching people dance around to ‘Despacito’ was amazing! To conclude a perfect night, Darren bought three red roses for me and we headed back to our hotel with big smiles on both of our faces.
This morning we slept in a little as we didn’t get to bed until late. We woke up smiling though, as we had been married for a week! It was too late for breakfast so we browsed the streets of Venice looking for somewhere to grab a mid morning snack. It was then that we came across McDonald’s and decided to give it a go! It may not be something to be proud of but we’ve actually been to McDonald’s in every country that we’ve visited together – Spain, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Greece, Portugal – so it wouldn’t be fair to leave Italy out! We shared a “McToastie” and did a fair bit of walking to work our appetites back up before stopping for lunch. We chose another restaurant by the water but we didn’t stay for long – we were far too excited for the gondola ride that we’d been looking forward to since we arrived. We chose a secluded side street and climbed onto our pretty gondola. It was black with gold platings and had red lined seats. We didn’t fall or even stumble as we got on, which I was seriously amazed by! We sailed through the silent side streets in what can only be described as the most romantic atmosphere we have ever experienced. We were so glad that we opted for a quiet ride as it felt so intimate. Our guide told us a few interesting facts about Venice as we went but aside from that, there was no noise at all and we didn’t encounter any other gondolas. Near the end, he took us onto the Grand Canal, and what a contrast that was! The place was bustling with other boats and continuous cheering. It felt so amazing to be sailing down the same waters we’d been gazing at for 4 days! We passed a boat load of American guys that shouted to Darren “Give her a kiss!”. Darren turned to me, held my hand, kissed me and all we could hear was huge cheers and clapping. Shortly after he whispered “Happy one week anniversary”. That was when my eyes started to leak!!! It was one of those moments where your emotions just pour out – I felt happy, lucky, blessed, loved – it was absolute bliss and I couldn’t hold the tears back. We were so grateful to our guide for giving us such a special experience. Next we enjoyed Nutella gelato – the nicest ice cream we had EVER had – and then relaxed by the water before choosing somewhere pretty for our last evening meal in Venice. We chose a beautiful restaurant on the Grand Canal. I opted for lasagne and Darren had duck in orange sauce. It was absolutely perfect and it really felt as though we should be celebrating the end of our holiday. Lucky for us, we still had three more countries to enjoy! We went to sleep at a decent time, ridiculously giddy to board our first ever cruise!!!