The Last Time I Saw Venice…   Leave a comment

…was on August 16, 1977 – I remember exactly because it was the day Elvis died. Now I get to appreciate Venezia with my adult eyes.

Sophie – a young Danish girl I meet at the Marco Polo airport, also travelling alone. We bus into Venice chatting like best friends as we share memories from our trips and also become friendly with a young family from India. They seem amazed when they learn we are not travelling together. At Piazzale Roma (the bus station) we wave goodbye to the young family and jokingly say “See ya later”.

Vaporreto – Venice’s water bus. There are no cars here (yay!) so this is our transportation to the hotel. We had each bought a multi-day pass so can jump on and off as much as we like which I fully intend to do on my 2 days here. We’re the only ones on the vaporreto, or so we thought. Five minutes later a bunch of people walk right past us and step onto the water taxi leaving us sat there and thinking “How rude, pushing in front like that!” Then it dawns on us that we are on the ‘floating platform’, which is simply a waiting area. As we look at each other and burst out laughing, we jump on and stand near the side to get the best view possible as we cruise the Grand Canal. I get off first at Ca D’oro and walk right past one of the older palaces on the Grand Canal. It’s not until later that I even notice it or appreciate its beauty.

Hotel Mignon – a ten minute walk along the Strada Nuova. Super friendly staff and a little courtyard for having breakfast al fresco. I would definitely stay here again.

Rainy Day

Rainy Day

Thunder and Lightening – it’s really warm but absolutely pouring – so what? With camera in hand, I begin my walk at 9am. I have to tilt my umbrella sideways when walking through the narrow calles (streets). Up and over the many bridges, I reach Libreria Acqua Alta (High Water Bookstore). Acqua Alta is when the water from the Adriatic pushes inland and forces water from the Lagoon up and over the island. The locals simply step into their boots, roll with the tide and go about their business.

Libreria Acqua Alta

Libreria Acqua Alta

Libreria Acqua Alta – a strange and quirky store with an owner clearly in love with his 3 cats. Inside is a gondola, canoe and other boats which are filled with every type of book you could ever want (and also some you probably wouldn’t!). He immediately directs me out back as if he knows I’m not there to buy something (camera = dead giveaway). A little courtyard has stacks of steps made out of old encylopaedias and such that no longer sell (all thanks to the internet, I guess!). They’re absolutely soaked but I gingerly climb to the top and peek over the wall to the narrow canal.

Piazza San Marco – only about a 15 min walk but I stop a lot. To look…to appreciate…to imagine. It’s 10:30, the rain has stopped and although the sun is yet to make an appearance, it’s super warm. I look around and all I see are selfie sticks. Yet another invention to make us stop talking to each other. I, for one, like to pick someone out and ask them to take a picture and then I return the favour sometimes having a little chat about where we’re from. Heaven forbid we should have a conversation with our fellow man! But I have to admit, it’s actually quite funny to watch guys take pictures of themselves, adjusting their pants and licking their hands to preen their hair (eeeew!). Then I feel the pain of an older Asian man when his cell phone crashes to the ground but I’m also slightly amused when he berates the selfie stick while his wife seemingly berates him for not attaching it properly.

Grand Canal – the rest of the day is spent on the vaporreto cruising the Grand Canal. From St Mark’s I go up around the Tronchetto (here you can see all the docked cruise ships) and back past the Giudecca sestiere to end up at St Mark’s again. I love the different coloured buildings, especially the coral colours. At 4pm, I hear the rumblings (no, not my stomach!), and see the lightening flashes and once again it starts to pour. I head back to the hotel and run into the family from India and it feels good to yell out “Ciao” as if this is my home town and I’m just running into a friend. Back at the hotel, my shoes have sisal in them so they’ve soaked up every bit of water I stepped in. Trying to dry them out is an exercise in futility as I get a little carried away with the hairdryer and singe the tops slightly. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day. I wonder what fun that will bring!

Next stop, Murano and Burano, Italy.

Posted June 18, 2015 by Jaclyn in Holidays, Italy, Memories, Travel

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