Venice - Day 1

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September 20th 2013
Published: November 10th 2017
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I am so very proud of myself for not getting lost. If there is a city I am going to get hopelessly lost and confused in, it will be Venice. This city has confused more seasoned travellers than I so I'm sure its bound to happen sooner rather than later. The most confusing part of getting to my hotel is to figure out how to get onto a vaporetto. I had a Venice connected ticket which should cover my transport needs while I'm here. All I had to do is figure out where to pick it up at the train station. It only took two wrong queues to figure it out. And wouldn't you know it I had to go to a automated machine to collect the darn thing. The next big challenge was trying to figure out which vaporetto to board. I knew I had to get on to the number 1 but there were two stations s for No 1. Took me a while to figure out one is going clockwise around the grand canal and the other is in the opposite direction. Of course I first walked into the one going the wrong direction and it was only
A night at the operaA night at the operaA night at the opera

Ready for Carmen
because I overheard someone else's conversation I realised I was headed the wrong way. Providence! I was briefly worried when I realised I'd have to lift my luggage onto a boat somehow. It evaporated quickly when I saw how closely they park the boat to the docks. I only needed to roll it on. Phew!

The B&B I'm staying at is the same one my friends, Jo & Kat, stayed at in when they were here in February. I had been amply warned that it is tricky to find, so you better believe I had the instructions from the hotel website printed out and in hand while I walked along. I don't know what they were talking about, found it no worries. (hehehe) To be fair I did walk past the alley it is in, but by that stage I was closely monitoring the street numbers. Street numbers here are weird. I'm watching the numbers as I walk down my street. My hotel is 1321 so the numbers on my side of the street are, 1307, 1309, 1311, alley, 1335...WTF? I have now learned the numbers are not street numbers but district numbers. Each house in a district as its own number. Thankfully from the street I could look down the alley and see a pot plant they had described (as a small tree) with the sign Corte 1321, easy peasy I don't know why Jo and Kat found it so hard. (luv you guys really)

I chilled out at the hotel for the afternoon, only venturing out to grab some dinner. I was tired and I didn't want to get too lost in a new city before I went to the opera. I gave myself plenty of time to reach Teatro Fenice. The show didn't start until seven but I left the hotel at five, once again map in hand making sure I knew exactly (roughly) where I was. I need'nt have bothered, made it to the opera house in half an hour, well actually I made it to the back of the opera house, there was a further 10 minutes of walking through narrow streets and over bridges to get to the front of it. Teatro Fenice is a beautiful old opera house built in the 1790's. It has six layers of box seats. I was three floors up in the box next to the stage.
Calle Gritti Calle Gritti Calle Gritti

This is the street I walked down to get to the opera. It wasn't scary - not at all
(The cheap seats) I really should have done my research on Carmen, for some reason I thought it was similar to west side story but oh la la it was way raunchier than that. According to the program it was caused outrage when it first premiered in Paris in 1893. It was considered to vulgar, which of course led to its rise in popularity. The subject matter centres around smugglers and ladies if the night which is quite raunchy for 1893. The rendition I saw had been adapted for a more modern time, judging by the cars and the outfits I'm guessing the 1960's or 70's. I didn't understand any of the words of course, but that's diversity for you, an Aussie, watching a French opera in an Italian theatre about a Spanish tragedy. And it was fabulous!

The way home was a bit of a challenge. I didn't get lost, but I was "temporarily unsure of my location". I made it a vaporetto stop (which may or may not have been the one I started from) and managed to board a vaporetto going the right way. The Grand Canal at night is spectacular. I wanted to take some photos but the night view on my camera needs a steady hand and I didn't have my trusty iPad with me. Plus it was really hard to get to the edge of the boat. They really jam people onto those things, 10.30 at night and it was packed. Makes me wonder, do they ever have accidents? How often does a boat sink around here? And is going into Venetian water the worst injury you can sustain?


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