At last we got a decent night's sleep. We awoke Monday morning refreshed and ready for our final day in Venice. We all had reservations to see St. Mark's Basilica at 10 am (if I remember the time right - it's already getting a little fuzzy). They weren't actually reservations for the Basilica. They were reservations to check our bags. See, there's a HUGE line to get into St. Mark's, but it's because of the security bag check before you go in. So, if you leave your bags somewhere, you don't have to wait in the security line and you can just head in (okay, there's still a bit of a line, but we only had to wait a few minutes). St. Mark's was spectacular. Though the renovations obscured our view of the outside, there were no renovations on the interior, so we could see it all. The mosaics were impressive to put it mildly. Unfortunately, it appeared they were ready for a cleaning. They were somewhat dull and Julie & Terrell said they were much brighter and amazing the last time they visited. Oh well. I was still very impressed. One of the rules in St. Mark's is that you can't take pictures. I'm a rule follower. I don't break rules because I'm terrified of getting in trouble. So, I kept my phone in my pocket and didn't take any. But, a majority of the visitors seemed to be completely ignoring this rule. As a rule follower, it is maddening to be amongst so many rule breakers who are totally getting away with it. I wanted to photo bomb every one of the pictures or put my hand in front of the lens right as they took it. Unfortunately, I'm not that gutsy. So, I just watched them in anger.
After finishing our tour of the inside, we headed up to the terrace. On the terrace, we were allowed to take photos, so I got one of the only mosaic on the outside that wasn't covered by scaffolding.
The terrace also afforded nice views of the Piazza and the lagoon, so we snapped some of those as well.
And, look, another shot of the three of us. And Tracy's backside (I'm pretty sure that's Tracy).
It's a very cool external spiral staircase. Our guidebook had mentioned that the views were well worth the climb, but the entrance was gated and shut so climbing up was not an option. It looks like things have changed since our guidebook was published. Still it was cool to see. After that, we went searching for a shop that our guidebook had mentioned that looked really cool. Unfortunately, we couldn't find it. Our guidebook had the location mismarked on the map and when we tried to find the address, we had no luck finding the store there. Again, it seems things may have changed since our guidebook was published. Oh well. We had a great time wandering around, soaking up our last few hours in Venice.
We were particularly impressed with this window display of herbs and spices.
After our unsuccessful shopping excursion and fun wanderings, we headed back to the ship. We got back and had our emergency muster drill and then got ready for our sail away. One of the great advantages of having a balcony cabin is evident during arrivals and departures from ports. If you're on the right side of the boat. Fortunately, we were on the right side of the boat leaving Venice and got to enjoy the views from the comfort of our balcony. And, sailing out of Venice is amazing.
Remember the Bridge of Sighs? There it is again!
Venice was absolutely amazing and I would go back in a heartbeat. It's a very unique city and fun to explore. After four days there, we were sad to say goodbye, but excited for the places we were headed to.