Hi everyone, greetings from Venice. As it turns out, the hotel has (limited) internet access. We arrived in Italy this evening. The flight was good and much shorter than I thought it would be. The Mater found it very tiring and was exhausted and near the end of her tether as we walked down to the dock to get the vaperetto into the city. It didn't help that we arrived just as it pulled out from the dock. It costs €12 on the vapertto but we decided not to wait for the next one and went with a water taxi instead, which cost €105. The water taxis are little speed boats and while they are expensive, the drivers are very nice. Three Italian men helped the Mater and me into the taxi. The water was very choppy and was the biggest challenge to my boat phobia to date. I couldn't have got into it if I hadn't already made such big steps with the Monster in New Zealand and Madeira. The first view of Venice all lit up in the dusk was truly magnificant. You see the pictures of the city and you never believe that it really looks like that, but it does. As we reached the city and moved through the canals I was reminded of Tomb Raider and the hours I spent guiding Lara Croft through the narrow canals in a speed boat before jumping out and shooting down some men and dogs! The taxi took us to Campo Della Guerra, which is a dock just a few metres from the Hotel San Zulian's door, however because it was high tide there was a massive jump from the boat down to the dock. He checked with us that this was too big a leap and then took us to another dock that we could actually disembark from and gave us directions to the hotel. We were pulling our bags over the beautiful little bridges and down the narrow streets when a man stopped to see if he could help us with our bags. He had a beer can in his hand and at first I was afraid he was looking for money, but he was not at all pushy and I think he was a genuine good samaratin. I thanked him and said we were fine, but he persisted and because he couldn't speak English, he asked a Gondolier (and yes, they really do wear those stripey shirts and hats!) to give us directions and made sure we were ok getting to the hotel. The hotel is nice, basic but clean and comfortable and a very short from good restaurants and St. Mark's Square. We left our bags and got something to eat. I don't think the Mater likes her first taste of Venice, but I know how hard it is to enjoy things when you are really tired. Things will be better in the morning.