Since we were already in Southern Europe, we decided to skip across the Adriatic Sea and visit Venice after our bird photography adventure.   Though due to the lack of direct flights it was an all day affair – 581 miles as the crow flies but 882 airline miles and a 4 hour layover in Munich.

While Venice doesn’t have any wildlife (if you don’t count the tourists who even in the middle of winter were plentiful), it does have a rare beast – their gondola’s.  Venice is known for its gondola’s. For centuries, the gondola was a major means of transportation and the most common watercraft within Venice. Now is used only by tourists. While there are only 400 of them, it seemed like they were everywhere,

including in front of that Venican landmark the Ponte de Rialto and the distinctly non traditional Venice Hard Rock Cafe (one of two in town)

  

Gondola’s are hand powered, and though it may seem to be a peaceful method of transportation,  it is hard work so it not surprising that the gondoliers needed time to recuperate

     

 Gondola’s are still made by hand and take months to make.

But gondolas are not Venice’s only attraction.  While there were some crowds, getting up early allowed for the classic empty Piazza San Marcos picture.

We made a trip to Burano to photograph the colorful buildings and laundry

     

We even tried to get our wildlife fix spending our last day traveling northeast of Venice to Friuli-Venezia Giulia Isolators Della Cona Wildlife preserve.  The pickings were slim but we did see lots of  White-fronted Geese and even a blast off.  Though not up to Bosque del Apache standards it was still impressive

and we ran cross some Camargue Horses  who posed for us in nice light.

                       

Even though our accommodations were the best of the trip, and who can complain about Italian food, it was the toughest part of our trip. A virus was going around (not the coronavirus!)  struck 5 of the 9 folks on our trip and put them out of commission for 24 hours.  We avoided the virus but Jon got a cold which made for a not so pleasant trip home.  

 

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