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BOOK TITLE: The Australia Times - Travel magazine. Volume 3, issue 6
COMPANY NAME: THE AUSTRALIA TIMES
COMPANY URL: HTTP://WWW.THEAUSTRALIATIMES.COM
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THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
Vol. 3 No. 6 August 2015
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
TRAVEL
ea
On one
3626
8 46 52
BurninG
MAN
Surprise
Travel
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Guilt free
travel
enice
For Beginners
V
WHAT’S INSIDE
THE
AUSTRALIA
TIMES
®
TRAVEL
Welcome back fellow travellers!
We have a packed issue in store this
month. Laura Barry starts us o by
introducing a new trend in travel that
is just taking ight in Australia, and later
provides an extensive guide for rst-
timers visiting Venice. Luke Buesnel
recounts a less-than-enjoyable trip with a
“tick box traveller”, which is sure to evoke
plenty of laughs- and cringes.
Over in WA, Kaylee Price spends a day at
the races in Australia’s hottest town, and
later provides us with plenty of tips on
staying green when travelling abroad. In
the Phillipines, Ashleigh Mills gives a rst
hand account of learning to freedive, and,
nally, Lauriane Wolfe covers Burning
Man, with a great report on the iconic
festival.
Along with detailed descriptions, our
writers bring this month’s destinations to
life through some powerful photography.
Even if a trip away isn’t on your agenda,
TAT Travel is sure to provide you with an
escape.
Happy travelling!
Rebecca Nadge
Surprise travel .........................................8
Tick box travel hell ............................... 12
Take a punt on the Pilbara ...............16
Burning Man ......................................... 26
On one breath ......................................36
Guilt-free travel ....................................46
Venice for beginners ........................... 52
Contributors
Laura Barry
Luke Buesnel
Kaylee Prince
Lauriane Wolfe
Ashleigh Mills
Cover Image
James Mills
EDITORS
Note
Welcome
Why are some of us bitten by the travel bug,
and others are completely immune?
The TAT Travel Magazine is for the infected, travel-bug-bitten and
passionate nomads. TAT Travel aim to inform, entertain, teach and
celebrate all things travel in Australia and abroad. With real people
and real experiences, come explore the world with us.
Should you wish to contribute to TAT Travel,
contact kelly.sargent@tat.org.au
We aim to inform, entertain, teach, encourage, educate and support the com-
munity at large by facilitating communication between all Australians. By provid-
ing the opportunity for all opinions to be shared on a single website.
Surprise
Travel
By Laura Barry
Over the last fifteen years international
travel has become more accessible
for the average Australian. Schools
and universities run student exchange
programs, companies such as Student
Flights and STA offer super cheap holiday
deals and it has become almost a rite of
passage for young adults to take a gap year
specifically to travel. The abundance of
travel and lifestyle bloggers, youtubers and
instagrammers filling social media feeds
with exotic destinations and suggested
itineraries fuels our wanderlust and the
World Wide Web has made booking your
own holiday easier than ever before. So
what’s next in the world of travel?
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Surprise Travel is a trend that has taken
off predominantly in USA and The United
Kingdom, hosted by companies such
as Magical Mystery Tours and AFAR
respectively. Surprise travel removes the
most important responsibility from your
to-do list - planning. Websites such as AFAR
do this by getting spontaneous travellers
to fill out a personality questionnaire
detailing your budget, interests and ideal
locations, then delivering it to a travel
agent who will then organise your trip. This
set up is a generic feature of the surprise
travel package and more often than not,
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
8
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travellers do not know the details of their
trip or the destinations until 24 hours
before lift-off.
While slow to take off in Australia, the
surprise travel trend news is being picked
up across the globe by Harpers Bazaar UK,
The Washington Post, Travel and leisure.
com and being promoted as the next big
thing in revolutionising hands-on, culture-
rich vacation experiences. However,
companies such as mysteryflights.com.au
and Virgin Australia offer similar, domestic
travel experiences within Australia. The
set-up is different: Mystery Flights use a
booking page where you select a mystery
flight or mystery package, then specify the
airport you want to leave from, date and
how many are travelling. Virgin Australia
use a similar setup, although they only
offer mystery packages ranging from one
night to four.
While surprise travel is currently limited to
domestic adventures in Australia, it looks
like the trend is certainly catching. Surprise
travel is perfect for people who simply love
travelling, anywhere, anytime, or as a gift
for the person who has everything.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
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9
Shout.
JUST DO-NATE.
ShoutForGood.com
Shout.
JUST DO-NATE.
ShoutForGood.com
Shout.
JUST DO-NATE.
ShoutForGood.com
Shout.
JUST DO-NATE.
ShoutForGood.com
Tick box
Travel hell
with a mate
He was an odious man. Rotund and rude.
Before I muse (lament) on an overseas
holiday wasted, let’s rewind a little. We met
in Airb&b accommodation in Europe. I was
revisiting a place I once lived and he was
there for the first time. From this moment
it was love…or the love that I get “touring”
new mates around my former city. This
was the catalyst for two more meet-ups
in other countries, but wed never actually
travelled together and therein lay the
problem.
Turns out this bloke was like Miley Cyrus –
he came in like a wrecking ball (thank God
he didn’t do all sorts with a large foam-
hand).
His irksomeness started at the breakfast
buffet. We were due to visit a mountain
later that day but I thought, why bother?
It’s sitting in front of us on his plate. Bread,
rice, an omelette, five sausages, baked
beans, meats, veggies began the colossus,
sharply followed by a sweet-pastry, a coffee
(with a few sugars), all washed down with
lashings of putridly sweet processed
fruit juice. I know he enjoyed it. I
site the chomping, slurping
and gulping as evidence,
all while talking of his
desire to shed some
kilos #gofigure.
By Luke Buesnel
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
12
Turns out this bloke
was like Miley Cyrus
– he came in like a
wrecking ball
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13
mate ordered him around. He demanded
the driver pull over and ordered him to go
and buy what my mate wanted, while he
waited in the taxi. On the rare occasion
my mate did get out of (and in) the taxi,
he waiting for the driver to open the door
for him #firstworldproblems.This is the
height of rudeness and from here my
demeanour changed.
Our final dinner was something to behold.
We sat in silence, him with his head down
and me turning red (not because of
sunburn as I’d barley ventured outside).
The food was crap, the company on-par.
We made it to the nightclub, for a brief
moment. I danced for three songs, he
texted for three songs. Then, pointing to
his watch, signalled it was time to move
on. But, he’d been there, done that and
posted it on social media.
On our return to the hotel I gave the driver
a huge tip hoping it would be enough for
him to not suffer through this again. I
don’t think my mate tipped at all. We
said goodbye to each other, despite
the humidity, the air between us
was frosty.I realised some people
travel as a “I’ve been there” not for
enjoyment or a new experience.
It’s simply to note down that they
have seen it - It’s about the show-
off photo and not much more.
We correspond occasionally and I
genuinely wish him well but it was lesson
learnt and holiday ruined.
His plan was this: use a taxi (hed hired)
over three days to race to all side of the
city to “experience”, a mountain, a temple,
an historic garden, taste local cuisine, and
enjoy nightlife and shopping. It seemed
more tick-box than fun.
From here, we remained in the taxi the
entire time - six hours one day, eight hours
the next and nine hours the following day.
This is not the best way to travel: listening
to local English radio while being stuck in
congestion (and yes, it does make Marron
5 even more annoying). Oh, and he snored
too.
I admit we saw most but “experience” we
certainly didn’t. The young taxi driver did
his best but often didn’t know the way.
Truth be told, I felt sorry for our driver as my
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
14
Take a PunT on The Pilbara
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
16
Take a PunT on The Pilbara
Text and Images by Kaylee Prince
A dusty track in the Shire of East Pilbara
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17
The answer may lie in Western Australia’s
northwest region, where many towns host
carnivals mid-year to take advantage of
the cooler weather. In one, Marble Bar,
races are just one good excuse to visit.
Marble Bar is located 200km south-east of
Port Hedland and is officially the hottest
town in Australia. It holds the record with
160 consecutive days above 37.8°C set
in 1924. The best time to visit is when
the summer storms clear, the humidity
vanishes and punters come from miles
around to the race course just outside
of town. The Marble Bar Cup is held in
July and local residents, miners, station
owners and holiday makers all head to the
area to celebrate this annual event. The
course itself is worth a look – freshly cut
green grass and glowing white barriers are
nowhere to be seen; instead the red dirt,
dusty track and noticeable absence of high
heels are the signature of this track.
One thing that is not absent is a good old
country pub. Corrugated iron panels, old
leather bar stools and the kind of artwork
one is used to seeing in their grandfathers
lounge room adorn the Ironclad Hotel.
Come on a Sunday when the locals are
out in force and dont be surprised by a
hand thrust in the face, followed by an
introduction and enquiry about one’s
life. Lunch closes at 2pm – however
the backpacker-come-bartender will
occasionally request the chef prepare just
one more meal. A chicken parma will set
the wallet back $27 and leave the patron
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
18
wishing they’d worn their stretchy pants.
When ready to walk off those extra calories,
take a short stroll across to the Government
Buildings to check out the newly opened
Marble Bar Museum. The museum is open
every day from 10am, except Tuesdays
in the low season (summer), and is also
the spot for a caffeine hit. Enter via the
immaculately clean café, place an order
(soy milk drinkers need not attend) and use
the time to browse the museum shelves.
For the more hands on tourist, the gravel
Hillside-Woodstock road leads to a mineral
deposit which gave the town its name. In
1887 prospectors, searching for gold in
the area mistakenly identified the mineral
jasper as marble and Marble Bar was born.
This area draws many east coast fossickers
The icon of the Pilbara, Sturt’s Desert Pea
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Racing on the red dirt
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Eager racegoers line the fence
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
22
whose sole purpose for a visit is to wander
the dry creek beds looking for red jasper
and marble bar jade. A splash of water
from a drink bottle or not yet dried out
pool brings the colours of the rocks alive.
Further colour is added to the desert
once the heavy rains from the summer
wet season have passed. Vibrant yellows,
oranges, reds and even purples bloom from
a myriad of native plants. Sunrises and
sunsets bathe the vast Pilbara landscape in
a golden glow. There is no need to venture
far from town for killer views; the Tank
Lookout above the caravan park provides
a great vantage point.
Marble Bar has something for everyone
and whether prospecting or punting, with
a bit of luck one may just strike it rich.
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23
BurninG
MAN
A rotating interactive art monument
attracts attention on the playa at sunset
Text and Images by Lauriane Wolfe
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
26
Burning Man is not for the faint-hearted.
You need to drive several hours into
Nevadas Black Rock desert with enough
water and food to last you 7 days. Along
with that you need camping equipment,
fabulous outfits and a ton of sun cream
and baby wipes. Nothing can be purchased
or sold there. Most important of all, you
must be prepared to forgo showering for a
week, a true record for me (despite being
French).
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27
Burners observe the illusion of jumping
monkeys on a spinning metallic tree
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28
70,000 people travel from the four
corners of the Earth to attend this frenzied
festival, bringing with them their creativity,
uniqueness and freak personas to unwind
and let loose in the desert. This is a place
where anything goes. High school teachers
transform into drag queens, salesmen and
women turn into mythical creatures, and
bankers become nudists. My first day was
ethereal. I found myself surrounded by a
plethora of multi-coloured tutus dancing
and kicking up the dust to blaring music.
As I gawked around, hundreds of nude
people bearing bizarre tan lines raced past
on fur-clad bicycles. Little did I know that
this was the infamous annual naked pub
crawl. It was an adult version playground,
and I was feeling a child-like tizzy.
Burning man, also known as Black Rock
City, is temporarily erected each year since
1998. A carpet of tents creates a half-moon
shape that surrounds the art installations
and the Man, a 40ft wooden structure to
be burned at the end of the event. This
festival advocates a culture of radical self-
expression, inclusion, participation, and
gifting. Everyone is welcome, and no-one
is a stranger. Mutual appreciation and
love seem to cling to the dust particles
that hover and come to rest on our skin,
infecting every one of our pores.
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29
The ‘bijou’ cinema showing old time
movies from the 50s
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30
Light and geometry art
monument on the playa
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31
This is truly the city that never sleeps.
Activities and parties take place at all hours
of the day throughout the 7 day reverie, all
of which are both ludicrous and wonderful.
Do not be surprised if a unicorn stampede
charges past you as you stroll next to
the ‘talk to God’ phone booth on elbow
appreciation day. After a light sabre battle
with the Jedi appreciation club, you can
experience some quality teachings at the
twerkshop or get involved in some naked
twister. Yoga and meditation sessions take
place at sunrise, or there’s beer yoga for
the debauchee. After attending the world
robotic spankathon, you can go practice
improv comedy or you can train to tango
and then partake in some night dodgeball.
If you think this is already getting weird,
you obviously havent heard of the clown
shoes worship group, nor the armpit
farting symphony.
On socially appropriate nose-picking day,
after a heavy night of air guitar, you might
find yourself amidst a sea of floppy white
ears and rubber carrots. This will be the
billion bunny march to protest humanity
and promote global bunnification.
Ogle-worthy art monuments are dappled
out across the desert’s expanse, in all
shapes and sizes. Many of the individuals
that help to design, fund, and build these
works of art are volunteers, organised
by the Black Rock Arts Foundation. A lot
of time and effort is invested in these
creations for burners to enjoy and interact
with.
At night, the scenery transforms into a
superfluous blur of neon lights, thumping
beats, lasers, flame throwers and poi
acrobats. Art cars bounce by as burners
commence their twilight revelry on the
unworldly playa. Shrieks and whoops
reverberate from the Mad Max inspired
Thunderdome, where burners expel
vengeful angry feelings by challenging one
another to a foam bat fight. People come
to Burning Man for myriad reasons. Some
seek spirituality and inner reflection,
others come for sex, drugs and techno,
while the rest just want to see what the
fuss is about and explore the art. For
many, it is a release of pain and suffering, a
place of closure and forgiveness, a catalyst
for new beginnings.
Burning Man is more than an art festival,
it evokes a sense of community. For one
week, people let down their barriers, and
embrace life with a carefree ecstasy, drunk
on happiness (pun not intended). One
thing’s for sure, your long-awaited shower
at the end of this dusty rollercoaster will
be the best of your life.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
32
Also known as an art car, this mutant
vehicle shines bright through the night
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ea
On one
Text and Images by Ashleigh Mills
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
36
A hidden beach in Bacuit Bay
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37
“You are getting good at this!” Florent
Bevalot, my instructor declares as soon as I
hit the surface. After two days instruction,
I have descended to 18 meters under water
without air, somewhere around the back
of Entalula Island in Bacuit Bay. I am a long
way from anywhere should something
go wrong, yet I feel surprisingly safe in
Florent’s hands.
Freediving is gaining worldwide popularity
among people from all walks. This form
of diving relies on the persons ability to
hold their breath underwater instead of
using air tanks. It’s also one of the least
intrusive and most sustainable ways to
explore marine life, which is much needed
in Bacuit Bay.
Accessible from El Nido, Bacuit Bay is a
UNESCO protected marine reserve at the
northern point of Palawan Island in the
Philippines. As tourism rapidly expands, the
bay, an area of over 460 square kilometers,
faces huge challenges to protect the 800
species of fish and hundreds of unique
corals found beneath its waters. Palawan
Divers have ignited local action to clean up
the reef and recently added freediving to
their suite of activities.
I’ll admit that this would not usually be my
first choice of activity. I never felt at ease
during my brief fling with scuba. I find the
whole thing rather uncomfortable. I suck
the air down and flail around like a drowning
dugong trying to balance and swim.
Florent Bevalot - Palawan Divers freedive instructor
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
38
AFTER TWO DAYS
INSTRUCTION, I HAVE
DESCENDED TO 18
METERS UNDER
WATER WITHOUT
AIR, SOMEWHERE
AROUND THE BACK OF
ENTALULA ISLAND IN
BACUIT BAY.
Into the blue with Florent keeping a close eye.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
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39
BUT IF I WERE GOING TO
FREEDIVE ANYWHERE IN
THE WORLD, IT WOULD BE IN
BACUIT BAY. ON A GOOD DAY
THE VISIBILITY CAN BE 30
METERS DOWN. YOU ALSO
HAVE A HIGH CHANCE OF
RUNNING INTO A TURTLE.
Chilling at the bottom of the sea around the back of Entalula Island
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
40
But if I were going to freedive anywhere
in the world, it would be in Bacuit Bay.
On a good day the visibility can be 30
meters down. You also have a high chance
of running into a turtle. This all sounds
appealing, and after a long conversation
with Jerome Pesnel, Palawan Divers
manager, I am convinced.
We start day one by practicing pranayama
breathing. This technique is used by
freedivers to control their breath by
inhaling and exhaling in equal efforts. This
brings the body and mind to a relaxed
state. It’s no surprise that yoga and
freediving are often taught hand in hand. I
tell Florent I feel more like going to sleep at
the end of this, rather than descending to
the bottom of the sea. Florent assures me
that this is the feeling I should experience
before freediving, to slow my heart rate
and relax.
We practice ‘breathing up’ on the surface,
to again relax once in the water and expel
stale air from the lungs. After making a dive
plan with Florent, I take one last breath
and descend down the rope headfirst, with
the assistance of weights around my hips.
Immediately my ears hurt. I panic, and
with large fins I kick quickly to the surface
in a fluster. Florent calmly reminds me that
I have to equalise.
Prayanama breathing on deck to
relax before entering the water.
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41
ONCE I SHUT MY MIND OFF
I LEARN TO ENJOY THE
SILENCE. THE EERINESS
OF DESCENDING INTO THE
COLD DARK WATER WITH
NOTHING BUT A ROPE FEELS
SURPRISINGLY NATURAL.
Florent has things covered - all the way to the sunshine.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
42
Go down slowly” he advises, adding that
I should “chill out for a bit” when my ears
hurt. (I’m not convinced about ‘chilling’
under the sea with no air, but Florent asks
me so nicely that I am willing to give it a
try.)
My ears start to ease over the next two days
and before I know it, I’ve made it to five
then 10, then 18 meters, surprising myself
with each dive. Once I shut my mind off
I learn to enjoy the silence. The eeriness
of descending into the cold dark water
with nothing but a rope feels (surprisingly)
natural.
I have a long way to go to reach the world
record of 128 meters but one thing is
certain - I am hooked.
On return from El Nido I find myself longing
to return to the depths of the sea. No air.
No tanks. Just me.
It takes a bit of planning to reach
Bacuit Bay. Here are some things you
should consider:
Air Asia X has flights from Manila to
Puerto Princesa in Palawan
Palawan daytripper has daily
transfers to El Nido town
Palawan Divers offers freediving,
sailing and scuba courses in Bacuit
Bay to suit all abilities, under
qualified instructors
You dont have to be a daredevil to
learn to freedive, just bring an open
mind and the willingness to learn
As with starting any new sport,
check before travelling with your
doctor if freediving is safe for you.
Bigger ns help to preserve energy
and be ecient under water
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43
Guilt free
travel
Text and Images by Kaylee Prince
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
46
The message is coming through loud and clear, and nowadays most of us are on board
with doing the right thing. Now is the time to be environmentally friendly, green and
eco-conscious. Most houses have recycling bins, energy efficient light bulbs and water
wise shower heads. Consumers can recognize the labels for “organic”, “recyclable” and
“RSPCA approved”. Integrating sustainable options into our everyday lives is becoming
easier and easier.
So how about when travelling? Flights that guzzle fuel by the tanker load. Resorts and
hotels that reward guests with clean towels and sheets every day and who can forget that
(albeit heavenly) waterfall shower head? And that’s not to mention all the fun holiday
activities that may exploit the natural environment or aid in its destruction. So what can
be done? Is it possible to be green whilst on the road?
Carbon offset. This is just a fancy way of saying the carbon burnt
while flying or staying in a hotel is balanced by supporting an initiative
that removes carbon from our atmosphere – the end result is a carbon
neutral holiday. There are a number of ways to do this that are actually very
simple. Some airlines ask for a small fee when booking and then donate
the money to an organization who plants trees or to a wind farm. The
calculations are done automatically so no need to determine the amount
of carbon released, simply check the box when booking. A number of travel
companies (eg Intrepid Travel and Dragoman) run their trips carbon neutral,
automatically offsetting each booking, so travelling with them ensures a
guilt free trip from the get go! Alternatively, check out non-for-profit carbon
offset providers such as Green Fleet (www.greenfleet.com.au).
Here are 5 easy-to-do tips to stay green while exploring the world.
1
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Choose local produce.
How many people really
need the encouragement
to try local foods while they
are away? Aside from being
delicious, choosing produce
from within the region helps
support local communities
and farmers. It ensures foods
suited to the local climates
and environments are grown,
which helps prevent the need
for fertilizers, excess water and
energy demands. As the produce is not flown, shipped or trucked there are
less carbon emissions compared to foreign foods. So feel free to indulge in
that delicious street food!
Take public transport.
Using public buses
and trains not only
reduces carbon emissions
and the amount of harmful
toxins released into the air, but
encourages an up-close and
personal experience with locals.
The experience alone is worth
it; chickens on laps, children
staring at the crazy foreigner
and multi-lingual conversations
interspersed with internationally
understood miming actions. Or better yet, travel how the locals do –
rickshaws, canoes, camels!
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Reduce the impact. Remember the old saying “take only photos, leave
only footprints”? Try to collect any rubbish and dispose of it in a bin rather
than leaving it strewn about, even
if the locals don’t. When snorkeling,
avoid stepping on the coral or taking
a souvenir from the shore. Say no
to plastic bags whilst shopping and
instead use a carry bag. Join a (free!!!)
walking tour of the city or town; it’s a
great way to exercise, save money and
meet other tourists. Any small attempt
to stay green whilst on the road will
ensure a guilt-free holiday, one that
future generations may also be able to
enjoy!
Use the reusable. It takes a lot of energy
to produce a disposable plastic water
bottle. Where possible, take a reusable
water bottle and refill from the tap
(when safe to do so). In countries where
the water is not safe to drink, the use
of water purification tablets can help.
Worst case; if water must be bought,
buy it in bulk and refill a reusable bottle.
This will reduce the amount of bottles
thrown out and also the amount of
money spent! It is also worthwhile to
carry re-sealable plastic bags. These come in
handy for almost anything and can be rinsed out
and reused – great for snacks, water proofing
money or storing laundry detergent. Reusable
carry bags are also invaluable when visiting
markets, shopping or lugging around laundry.
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enice
For Beginners
V
Text and Images by Laura Barry
View of the Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge
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enice
For Beginners
Venice is one of those cities everyone plans
to visit. Entirely unique in its geographical
structure, the city is built upon a floating
web of 118 submerged islands and wooden
platforms in the Northern end of the
Adriatic Sea.
Welcoming approximately 21.9 million
visitors a year, the UNESCO World Heritage
Site is a tourism mecca. Piazza San Marco
is packed to the brim with camera-toting
tourists on a daily basis, stopping here and
there to snap a photo of St Marks Basilica
or Doges Palace. The congestion spreads
right to the edge of the city until the water
is lapping mere centimetres from your feet,
and simply turning your head to decline an
offer of gelato from a street vendor may
result in a none-too-dry topple into the
ocean.
Venice is a romantic and confusing
place with narrow streets and towering
buildings, a maze-like city that’s magic
to get lost in. Take a wrong turn and
you have an equal chance of ending up
in cosmetic giant Sephora as you do
stumbling into an outdoor confectionary
market selling traditional Italian sweets.
The open air Rialto Market is full to the
brim with fresh produce, seafood and
local stall-holders selling everything from
handmade knick-knacks and souvenirs
to Murano Glass, and Venetian masks.
Souvenir shops seem to stretch endlessly
in every direction, however if you look
closely, stuffed between the cheap leather
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handbags, Murano glass and key rings
are genuinely unique boutiques selling
handmade toys, beautifully crafted Italian
leather boots and hidden away around
Piazza San Marco you will find the likes of
Prada, Valentino and La Perla.
However, when travelling to Venice it’s
important to remember a few key facts,
such as the entire island is surrounded by
and built upon water. As such, there is no
direct access to the Venezia by anything
on wheels, so be sure to invest in a detailed
map of the city and mark the route to your
hotel from the closest point of vehicular
access, Piazzale Roma.
Piazzale Roma is a square at the entrance
to Venice and is the closest point to the
city accessible by ground vehicles; it acts
as the main bus station where links to
both Treviso and Marco Polo airports
run all day until late. Tickets for buses
can be purchased from the stalls in the
square, while the main train station, Santa
Lucia, is also nearby. Piazzale Roma is
linked to the island of Venezia by the
large, unmissably modern Ponte Della
Constituzione footbridge which runs
over the western end of the Grand Canal
- the huge identifiable S-shaped waterway
you’ll be using to navigate the city.
Home to 400 footbridges and over
150 canals entwined among painfully
thin alleys, random piazzettas, shops,
restaurants and street vendors, another
thing to remember is comfortable footwear
appropriate for walking, as this will be your
only form of transport during your stay.
The first place to get your fill of sights is
Piazza San Marco, here you will find the
hypnotic Italo-Byzantine facade of St.
Marks Basilica - Venice’s best known
church, Doges Palace and the Bridge of
Sighs all while taking in the architectural
beauty of the square itself and the dream-
like scenery of the ocean lapping at a city’s
edge, Gondolas lined up in front of cafes,
hotels and gelato stands, looking over aqua
blue water to the other islands. Venice is
reasonably well signed, so when making
your way through the rabbit-warren of
Panorama from Piazza San Marco
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Spritz in Venice on the Grand Canal waterfront
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Gondolas
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Streets of Venice
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streets, pay attention to the signs attached
to the corners of buildings and follow the
pointers in the direction of your desired
destination.
The second location you can expect to fill
your quota of tourist hot-spots is the Rialto
Bridge. The oldest structure spanning
the Grand Canal and originally the marker
between the districts of San Marco and
San Polo, the Rialto Bridge is home to the
famous market and bustling boutiques
located on the actual bridge. Should you
visit the bridge on a less busy day, it has the
perfect vantage point for amazing photos
of the Grand Canal, framed by gondolas
and restaurants, bright and colourful.
To get amongst this bustle yourself, take a
walk down either side of the Grand Canal
from the foot of the bridge. Here you can
enjoy lunch on the water front, and watch
locals pass by on their boats along the
waterways.
Finally, if you missed it on your way into
the city, sitting at the entrance of the
Grand Canal is the baroque Santa Maria
Della Salute, a church built in response
to Venice being hit by the plague and
dedicated to Our Lady of Health.
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