Since we were so busy in Venice and have not posted, we decided to post by category rather than day.
The Grand Canal is 3,800 m long, 30–90 m wide, with an average depth of five meters (16.5 ft). The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with more than 170 buildings, most of which date from the 13th to the 18th century. Most of the palaces are right on the water so you can easily see them from the boats. Leslie was infinitely fascinated by the fact that the water came right up to the buildings. Also, the different boats – busses, taxis, trash boats, delivery boats with construction or restaurant supplies, a sump pump boat, porter boats etc. – were very interesting.
When we were with the tour, we got to take water taxis which was very nice. They picked us up right at the hotel and then took us wherever we were going. We did not do a gondola ride for two reasons – they do not go down the whole canal in one trip and given the traffic in most areas, it looked like a pretty rocky ride (lots of wake from all the other boats). To be able to really see the canal, we took a water bus from one end to the other. Getting around on the water is just like getting around on streets – once you know where the bus stops are you are good.