May 31st - June 2nd
Our next stop was Venizia (Venice). We took a flight via Easyjet. Easyjet ni adik-beradik Air Asia jugak la, low cost carriage :) But instead of kena berjalan ke aircraft, there's a bus service that will took us there. For those who paid for Speedy Service, they were seated separately from the rest. Hence, masa bas berhenti dekat aircraft, they were allowed to go down first and choose their seats. We touched down in Venice early morning, took a bus ride to Piazzale Roma. It is the main island of which the main attractions are. Bus ride is the cheapest way to get to the island, Eu10 for 2 people.
In Venice we checked in at Hotel Guerrini, very close proximity with Venice St. Lucia train station. So far, part of our plan was to find hotels nearest possible to the train station. Hotel Guerrini ni not bad juga, rated 3 stars. Ada free wifi, breakfast included and reasonable price too. Upon checking in and freshen up, we took our breakfast (in exchange with our last day breakfast which we will miss due to early morning train) and later started our Venizia exploration.
With the city map in hand, we walked around to find a halal takeaway restaurant which was said to be nearby our place. The restaurant said to be serving halal kebab as commented by a fellow Malaysian online. Pusing2 jumpa la restaurant tu, which was not far from Sofitel Hotel. Unfortunately, it was closed! The review was done in 2009 anyway. We then continued walking to Rialto. On our way, we found 3 more halal takeaway restaurant/shop. Bought ourselves a grande kebab for Eu4.50, cukup utk share 2 orang.
Walking around Venice can be challenging because of the uneven surface and narrow roads. Alternatively, you can always use water bus (Eu1.05 per ride) or water taxi (mahal!! cost varies on destinations). But it gets easier if we know the tricks and routes. Always use the "bus station / pier (spelled Per in Italian) as your navigation point. Contohnya, kalau nak ke Rialto, we follow the Per Rialto sign printed on the walls. Be alert since some of the signs are only hand written.
Rialto is one of the main attraction where rows of shops offers wide range of souveniors and stuffs. Rialto bridge was said to be the first bridge connecting two major islands in Venice where the Grand Canal flows under it. One thing yg kami perasan, penjual kat sini tak berapa suka kita pegang2 nak belek2 barang or baju dia. Kalau nak, bagitau diorang, diorang akan ambik utk kita. Price varies from one shop to another. Take your time to really browse for the best deal.
Some of the local crafts are Murano Glass and ball mask yg mcm dlm cerita2 Italian lama pakai, ala2 dlm movie Casanova tu. Be careful kalau nak beli Murano Glass ni, some are fake made in China. The best way is to get it inside a Murano Glass shop itself, which bersepah kat Venice ni. Cuma harga dia takde murah mana pun. Some shop boleh ship anywhere.
San Marco / St. Mark Square is another major attraction. Huge chapel, clock tower dgn bell tower yg jadi tumpuan utama tourist semua kat sini. Kalau kita naik either one of the towers, we will be able to see Venice from aerial view. Nak naik bell tower ni will cost you around Eu8 sorang. San Marco itself has a lot to offer. Souvenior shops and cafe along the sidewalks pun ada mcm2. However, the price around here is a bit on the high side. Maybe because of point of attraction dia jadi overpriced. Close by to San Marco there is a shopping district. You can find labels like LV, Chanel, Zegna, betul2 within the area. Hard Rock Cafe pun close by.
Another very important point about San Marco is the Tax Refund Office is also here. Generally, for any purchase more than Eu150 within the same store is entitled for tax refund. Range will vary between each EU country. Banyak membeli, banyak la dapat tax refund. You can opt for cash in return or to be credited to your credit card.
On our 2nd day in Venice, we just repeated the same places. But we used different route, Sestiere Cannaregio to get to Rialto, which was much easier. With this route we found Disney store which was just around the corner from Rialto bridge. Didn't get anything for the kids here because we planned to go to the Disney store at Paris Disneyland ;) Since it was our last day in Venice, we bought few souvenirs and pasta ingredients at Rialto. Later for dinner, we had seafood pasta again. Never get tired of pasta and pizza whenever you are in Italy!!!