Published: May 11th 2012May 11th 2012
Venice... "The adults' Disneyland!" Jess had said soon after our arrival and it truly lived up to this title. Around every corner we turned there was something wonderful going on and we couldn't help but be filled with excitement. Canals, Piazzas, gondolas and palaces was definitely the way to finish our six weeks in Italy.We arrived by train from Sirmione (the lakes), on a sensational, sunny Saturday 21st. The train ride was like most others, hot and smelly, but the dog that rode the train with a couple behind us didn't seem to mind. This was quickly forgotten though as we walked out into the sunshine and the Grand Canal was what we were presented with. With all our bags around us, it was lucky we sat down as Jess spent the next ten mins crying tears of joy, about us being in such a special place.We were staying in the Cannaregio area which wasn't that far from the train station so we dried up the tears, whacked the bags on the back and walked to our hotel. It's was nice enough but we had
Watch Your Head!
Not thinking of anyone in particular here... HUGH!
a little encounter the day before checkout which ended quite well for us in the end. I'll give the details soon.... Cannaregio is a quiet, peaceful part of the island, compared to most main streets and canals in other districts, with some action starting up around 'spritz-o'clock' every afternoon. This is a drink of made up of Prosseco, Aperol/Campari, a little soda water, a lemon slice and an olive. It's very famous in the region and Jess and I tasted many!...Tuesday was the day for our "Secret Passages Tour" of The Doge's Palace. We had booked our tickets online a few weeks beforehand which ment we had an appointed time and could skip the two hour long line waiting outside in the rain. We were quickly into our tour and away from the mass of people crowding the hallways. The first rooms we entered were restored back in 1577 due to a fire but the way the timber floor was bouncing around with the weight of our 25 tourists group, we thought there was going to be another restoration in 2012. We walked through the Trial Chambers of the Council of 10 (the secret
service on Venice up until the 18th century), their torture chamber, their 5 feet high timber cells where Casanova was held and then escaped in 1756, the attic space where the massive timber trusses hold up the suspended ceiling of the Maggior Consiglio (a 50 meter by 25 meter large assembly hall). You can only see these parts of the Palace in this tour and you are free to join in with the masses after and explore the rest of the chambers. Obviously one of the big draw cards to Venice is its canals. They are also one of the cities big problems around high tide as the lower parts of the city and streets flood. It's was also explained to us that warm winds bring large amounts of water and at times even San Marco Square is covered in water. Luckily, the first day we visited San Marco Basilica, the square was dry and we didn't get our feet wet. Although we did see the water rising up through the drains. Then, when it poured on the Tuesday it was close to flooded! <pre style="line-height: 17px;
white-space: normal;">The opera performance we saw at the Musica a Palazzo was unlike anything we had ever seen before. It was played out in an old Renaissance palace across three rooms and we were part of a 70 guest audience who sat on folding wooden chairs. It was very intimate and one of our favorite experiences in Venice (even though it was in Italian and we didn't understand a word of it). Jess did learn that the approprate display of enthusisam at italian opera is "Bravo".... not "Wooooo!!" We found a fantastic spot for dinner which had views of the sun setting over the Venetian skyline. It was a restaurant down in Giudecca and the only way for us to get there was by ferry. The name is I Figli Delle Stelle, which means 'Children of the Stars'. We went first on the Wednesday night and the food, let alone the view, brought us back on Saturday night also for our last night in Venice. With our table right on the water, it's was a perfect place to pass some hours. On one
of our last days, we made the ferry trip up to Murano and Burano. They are part of a small cluster of islands 20 mins ferry ride from Venice. Murano is famous for its glass blowing and due to its fire hazards, the industry was moved here from Venice in the 13th century. You can buy just about anything made out of glass here and it was some special rings which caught Jess' eye. Burano is famous for its brightly colored buildings and it's lace. It is said that the houses were painted these colors so the returning fisherman could spot them in a fog. The day was perfectly clear when we went though and this shock of colour was quite amazing. Well, that's the end of our travel stories for now... We are now living in Nice, France and busily setting up our life here. But don't dismay, we will still post about our new daily life over here from time to time. But for now, it's back to the job hunting!!
There are more photos below