At Christmas my best friends got married and decided to go on honeymoon in France once the academic year was over (one of them lectures at Edinburgh). They then decided that if they were going to be on the continent anyway they might as well see more of it and invited me to join them in Italy.
My holiday started in Venice and because they were coming from Nice they were travelling by train, so I flew in alone to Marco Polo airport. Because my previous trips to Venice have been package holidays with my grandparents, where we stayed on the mainland to boot, getting to Venice from the airport was an entirely new experience for me and a little nerve wracking because it involved getting a water bus where the instructions are entirely in Italian. I was a little worried I’d end up on the wrong island but I got to where I was going and managed some nice photographs of the cityscape in the process.
I also managed to find our hotel without mishap, though as its really just behind St Mark’s Square it wasn’t actually hard at all. The Hotel Astoria was clean and affordable for Venice proper. That’s really all you can say about it, but then we weren’t going to be spending any time in it if we could help it! Once Kali and Eowyn arrived we went wandering, looking for a restaurant that smelled good and settled on one very near the hotel that did some delicious looking seafood pasta. My favorite part was that as soon as we sat down Aperol Spritz’ appeared, a complimentary part of the meal. Aperol Spritz is the drink of Venice and I’d somehow managed not to encounter it before (suspect the traveling with grandparents may have had something to do with it). Everywhere seems to make it differently and this one came in a tiny martini glass and had slices of orange in it that cut through the bitterness enough that I found it delicious (I like girly drinks, they need to be fruity and preferably an exciting colour). The restaurant specialised in seafood, and while not the best food we had while in Venice it was still interesting and delicious. We ended up going back to the hotel after this and more or less passing out instantly (which is how a lot of my days ended on this trip!).