|A river taxi travelling along the Grand Canal, near the Rialto Bridge.|
|Venice is served by two airports.Treviso where we flew with Ryanair, and Marco Polo, normally serviced by Easyjet.
Marco Polo Airport, is actually “on the water” and in the case of hotels like this one, that have moorings, its possible to get a water taxi direct from the airport to your hotel.
|The Rialto bridge, in the centre of the business district of Venice.Unlike places like Portmerion in Wales (which I like a lot) Venice is not an “experimental village” but a fully functioning City, with all the usual kind of facilities and trade, you might find in any other City throughout the world.|
|The view from the Rialto Bridge, one of the amazing sights of Venice.|
|Venice was originally designed by Leonardo Da Vinci.It was constructed from Wooden posts, hammered into the surface. Because they are hammered in so tightly, there is no oxygen there, no algie can grow, and the Wood never rots.
Once it was built, the lagoon floodgates were opened, and canals filled the City.
This is one of the buildings, and shows how the Buildings seem to “float” on the water.
|Ponte degli Scalzi, which replaced a previous Austrian built Iron bridge in 1934.|
|Venice train station.I remember Lee and I sitting on these steps, more than a decade ago eating slices of Pizza, that cost the equivalent of 50p each.
Inside, the station hasn’t changed much at all.
|The Ghetto district.Like Capital in Rome, its local district name, became generic throughout the world.
This was the first Ghetto in the world.
|The Giardinetti Reali (Royal Gardens).Just as the guidebook had said, most people visit the City during the day and go home early evening.
The place was very quiet and serene after about 7pm.
|I wanted to visit the famous “Harry’s Bar” on the waterfront, facing the Lagoon.In times gone by, Ernest Hemingway and other famous writers and adventurers used to drink here.
I thought it would a pretty authentic place to write up my notes, and prepare the wording of these web pages.
|The reality was quite different.The staff were Italian, Sarah and I are British, and EVERYONE else was American.
None of the guests looked much like writers, and I think the only reason they let us in, was because of Sarah’s pretty dress.
I got Sarah a Belini (a famous Venetian drink, originally invented in Harry’s) and asked for a Beer.
They sanctimoniously told me, that they didn’t sell Beer. I ended up paying £6.50 for a glass of coke.
Overall, a fiasco, but on the plus side, Sarah quite liked the place, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.
|Another shot of the beautiful waterways of Venice.The famous explorer Marco Polo, came from this part of Venice.|
|The statue of Daniele Manin, a statesman who fought tirelessly for the freedom of Venice.Leader of the 1848 uprising, he stands on Campo Manin staring towards the house where he once lived.|
|In the evening, as we walk back to our hotel, on the 2nd night, I notice this picture, painted on the wall.|
|In the morning, we rise early, have breakfast, and then head out for a relaxing walk along the waterfront next to the Lagoon.We arrive at the famous Arsenal.
This was the first naval shipyard in Europe. For the first time, weapons and munitions were created using a production line.
The shipyard became so effective, that a visitor described it as an Arsenal (meaning “house of industry” in Arabic) and the name stuck.
|Wandering around the back streets, I see one of these tiny alleyways, that interconnect the houses and courtyards.|
|Palazzo Contarini del BovoloHidden in a maze of alleyways, it took ages to find. Navigation wasn’t helped massively by a complete lack of signs and the photo in the guidebook, that made it look like the building was on the waterfront (its actually contained in a courtyard).
Bovolo means snail shell in Venetian and and this is meant to describe the “fairytale” staircase of the building, constructed in the 1500’s.
|We had sit down meals, for each of our lunches and dinners during the trip, and the feed could only be called excellent.We decided to buy some street food, and eat on the move, as we explored with the last few hours available on our trip.
This just shows the sort of take away food you can get in Venice. Its a shame nobody has a shop like that in Chester.
|Destroyed by fire 1836 the opera house, gained its name La Fenice (The Phoenix) after it was rebuilt.It burned down again in 1996 and was re-opened in 2004.
I would have loved to watch a performance there, but this was a budget trip after all.
|The Peggy Guggenheim gallery in Venice.High brow art, isn’t really my thing, but there are 2 interesting (well I think so) things about this gallery.
1. Jackson Pollock, has an entire room set aside to his work in this Gallery. Pollock was a discovery of Peggy Guggenheim.
2. If like me, you watch the L Word, and wondered who the inspiration for the character Peggy Peabody was, it was Peggy Guggenheim (although she doesn’t have a daughter called Helena).
|Sadly, nothing lasts forever (although cricket sometimes feels like it will never end!) and we get the water bus to the coach station and begin our trip home.Venice is a great short break City since its not on a lot of “stag do” destination lists.
I decided to re-visit the interailing destinations I enjoyed in my youth. That means Paris, Munich and Amsterdam have been added to the blue list.