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3 months ...................................... adventure - explore - challenge

Thursday, 17 May 2012

From lily pads to a fantastic pad!

I can’t believe where the last three days have gone. This morning we headed off from this amazing water-based city destined for a short one hour drive to Padua (Padova). With hangovers again, albeit not as bad as the previous day, we headed off to our boat stop and low and behold, Lee and Kristy joined us again. Unsurprisingly they’d not managed to get the earlier boat as planned and as we got back on dry land, found our cars, we bid the goodbye as they headed off to Lucca to continue their fantastic 6 month travelling experience. 

Beautiful stained glass at the hotel
We checked into our new hotel at around lunchtime.  Despite M14 having a silly name it was a fantastic choice with parking, central location to the city and neat modern rooms making it good value for money.  A five minute walk to took us to Prato Della Valle, a small, manicured park inside a huge roundabout with a lovely central fountain and numerous marble sculptures.  We sat on the grass and sun bathed taking in the surroundings. 
At last we were allowed to sit down!!

To cool us down, we tucked into another gelati before visiting the Basilica di S Antonio. It is a huge church with a real mix of styles making up the exterior.  Afterwards we walked to a set of markets next to the Piazza Dei Signori and then waited in the sunshine for the Baptistery to open.   It contained amazing frescoes from floor to ceiling including many well-known biblical stories and scenes. Following the Baptistery we headed next door to the Basilica Del Duomo. This church was quite different from most of the others we’d previously seen in that it had quite a modern feel and contain a lot of contemporary artwork.  

You'll start to look like a gelati!

Our final site for the day was the Botanical gardens. Although they weren’t the most impressive gardens we’ve ever been to, it did give us the opportunity to sit down relax and learn some facts about various plants (meaning that Sonja was teaching me things I should have already known).  “What’s that flower on the lily pad?” Must have been the stupidest questions of the day!!

Perfect peonies
Don't spike your bottom on the cactus

To kill an hour before dinner, we returned to the park and watched the world go by whilst taking in the last drops of sunshine. We found a great restaurant for dinner and enjoyed pizza and beer before heading back to the hotel for a well-deserved early night.

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