After the mad rush, we finally made it to the other side of the world.
We realised on the plane to Italy just how far away Australia is from Europe - a very long long way!!
The plane trip took about 14 hours from Sydney to Dubai and then another 6-7 hours from Dubai to Venice. We had a short stop-over at Dubai. Not much to see except the airport. I had an experience at Dubai airport ladies toilet - I went in as per usual however when I opened the toilet door, to my surprise I saw like a sink in the ground with a tap with running water. I thought OMG what is this and assumed that they were all the same. I was getting so stressed about it. Luckily there was a nice lady in the toilets cleaning the floor and walls and i asked her for assistance. She did not speak english however she was able to show me a normal toilet and i was very happy. This link shows what i saw. Now i understand what it was.
I must add we travelled Emirites and am happy to say they catered very well for a gluten intolerant poor soul like me and that the food was not bad. Neal and I had to laugh though, as they served me two plain rice cakes which Neal assures me are Sunrice rice cakes as a substitute for bread.
Neal and I were both amazed at how easy it was to get through Italian customs. We stood in the queue to get our passports stamped, picked up our luggage and then thought we would have to go through customs. There was no paperwork to fill out and no checking through customs. In other words, we could have brought into the country whatever we liked.
After the big trip we stayed at this lovely place not far from Venice airport (Marco Polo). It was the best experience. Lovely place and lovely people and lovely food. Neal and I were both curious as to know what the extra sink in the bathroom was. Oh yes, i managed to ask our Italian friend Otello and confirmed that it was indeed a bidet. However i was not game to ask how to use it. Apparently Europeans feel dirty if they don't use it. I had the biggest laugh.
The bed was so comfortable and the pillow was too. The pillow was massive in size. One night we ate at the restaurant and both Neal and I ordered sea bass with prawns. We were surprised when they brought out two grilled sea bass, heads and all, on a platter - the waitress started filleting the fish for us right in front of us. She was super fast at it. The food was delicious.
Neal and I have been managing to get by with both English and Italian. Otello our italian friend has been the best help. He has been amazing with us. A very generous, fun person.