Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Venice (again)

You must be sick and tired of Venice!! Well, I'm back now and apart from harping on about it in this blog then you won't hear about it again, I promise (haha, fingers crossed behind my back!)So, early start for E & I on Saturday. The plane was on time and nothing unusual happened on the way...all well and good. Landed at Marco Polo airport and the heat hit us, 29 degrees and the humidity was up on the ceiling. We caught the bus into Venice and then managed to find the Vaperetto's (water bus) easily. Arriving at your hotel on a water bus is a new experience for me. We then lugged our cases over the Rialto Bridge and spent the next half an hour finding our hotel which was located down the narrowest of side streets.
After having a shower we hit the streets for a cold frosty one and then the rain started to fall, and fall, and fall! Thunder & lightening and those stone & marble steps became really slippy! Venice in the rain wasn't what I had planned for and it isn't a city that's really designed for that. All the beautiful canals and streets loose their sparkle and become grey and un-interesting. Even St Marks lost it's luster that even a coffee costing E8.50 wouldn't be able to re-capture.
The rain did stop and we headed back for dinner. We fell in our beds expecting to sleep the sleep of the dead but no, there was this huge lamp directly outside our window. We both tossed and turned. E put her head under the sheets and I had a flannel over my eyes to block the light out. The next morning after complaining the receptionist asked why we hadn't closed the shutters? Shutters?, what shutters???? D'oh!!
The next morning we caught several Vaperettos over to Murano. We looked around the glass museum and then went on the bead hunt. And to be truthful it was a bit disappointing. A couple of shops had some beads but on the whole it was other glass in various forms. We met some lovely people who were happy to chat and a few not so nice ones who tried to pressurise us into buying a very expensive polar bear sculptures and chandeliers (do I look like I have that sort of cash to spend?) E had incidents with young and old slimy men, one who suggested she could have something for free if SHE did something for free!!!! =:0( We then travelled onto Burano who's claim to fame is its brightly coloured houses. These were beautiful, so we sat back, had a drink and an ice cream to chill out....only for E to find a piece of glass in her ice cream. It just wasn't her day was it!Finally, our last day was spent snapping St Marks in the sun and wandering around the back streets which were lovely and cool. Someone must have been smiling on us and we happened to find two shops selling beads and the people in there were lovely. After spending a fortune we had some lunch by a beautiful canal where 2 Gondoliers were plying their trade. Pity the older, greasy one had his flies open! Imagine being flashed on a gondola down a back canal!!!!! We navigated the tiny maze-like streets back to the Rialto Bridge to pick up our luggage and begin to say our goodbyes. Venice IS beautiful, but it is spoilt too. The Rialto Bridge has graffiti on it & everything is so expensive. We sat in a little cafe and had two cans of cold drink and it was E7.40. This is out of place even for central London. Also, there's no-where to sit and watch the world go by as there are no benches. So it's either keep walking or spend a kings ransom on drinks in a side cafe. I also think the WOW factor has been lost as it's such a popular photographic topic. If I hadn't seen the Basilica before I'm sure I would have gasped in delight. When G & I were in Las Vegas we had a gondola ride at the Venetian Hotel. It was expensive and quite short but it was very romantic. The Gondolier explained a few things and sang to us. We kissed under the bridge and said loving things to each other. By comparison, the people in Gondolas in Venice looked a little non-plussed. Usually one party was taking video footage or photos, or the gondola was being sidled upto by 3 Vaperettos and on one occasion the Gondolier was on his mobile. I didn't hear one of them sing.....such a shame!I enjoyed Venice, but I'm not sure whether I would go back again.