Friday, January 05, 2007

Venice is always a good idea

We went to Venice for a week in December. I had muttered from time to time that despite our traveling life I had never been there - or to Istanbul - but that will have to wait.

Bob - who has never really lusted to see it - spent ages on the internet researching places to go and stay. He found a gem - one of the Lonely Planet's 'picks'. It was a small hotel called the Galleria right on the Academia bridge. Bob even managed to book THE room - hanging only fifteen feet above the Grand Canal and with a beautiful painted ceiling.

We flew to Milan. I have a love/hate relationship with Malpensa airport. I missed a flight there once. I was told that three quarters of an hour was plenty to make a connection. It wasn't. This was patently obvious from the beginning when the doors stayed resolutely closed as hunched and standing passengers grumbled and groaned as the stairway to the ground had not arrived. It was even more obvious about half an hour later when the stairs had arrived but the bus to the terminal had not. Fifteen minutes later We were put on the bus - and my flight was taking off on the other side of the runway.

I was in that airport for five hours. I could not get a plane until next morning. We queued for hours at a counter with about sixty angry people waiting and one girl very slowly trying to get them onto flights. At one stage she stood up and put on her jacket and started to walk away.
"Where are you going," said someone.

"My shift is finished," she said, and I would swear she walked faster.

"What about us?"

"Someone will come."

It was almost midnight when they finally put us on a bus that took us to a hotel - I still don't know where it was - and fed us a very simple meal and put us to bed for four hours, before loading us onto another bus for the airport again.

Anyway - this time we were actually ending the flight in Milan but as we walked past the counter I saw a very familiar group of annoyed-looking people and one tired girl behind the counter.

We took a train to Venice.

We walked out of the station and there it was spread out before us, like a gift.

It seemed unbelievable that we had arrived by something as land-bound as a train.

Broad stairs take you down from the station to the edge of the Grand Canal. Opposite is a green domed church, and palaces line the canal, drifting off as far as the eye can see where the canal curves away to promise infinity.

Ferries slide in, parking (can a ferry park?) by sound as they jam in hard against the floating docks and passengers lurch and rapidly regain their balance.

It was absolutely magical. It was Winter, and a holiday weekend, but busy, not crowded.

We had one wet day with San Marco flooded and it was hilarious as people walked the boardwalks in single file, like lemmings. Others donned brilliantly plastic long boots and waded through the flood - cold, but quicker.


A gorgeous little girl was feeding pigeons which swirled around her in a flurry of wings.


I loved the way the water marks contoured the body on this sculpture.


The Grand Canal


This is the view from our hotel window - right opposite.


and looking down the canal...


And best of all - we spent one afternoon in Burano. I have wanted to see this since I leant over a friend's shoulder as she flicked through her daughter's photographs. We arrived on the first sunny day after a week of rain and it was washing day. I have not put in a blog entry for so long that I am going to give you a feast of Burano photographs!





OK. There are so many more. Clicking on these will take you to my Flickr site - or you can follow the link on the left. Then click on the Burano set on the left and look at all of them!

Then connect to your friendly travel agent and make your booking.


Blogger herhimnbryn said...

Oh I am so glad you have posted again. Your site was recommended to me by beadbabe.

I want to go to Venice and wander and wander. Thankyou for the glorious images.....have you read Miss Garnet's Angel by Sally Vickers? Set in Venice and just magical.

4:45 pm  
Blogger Lisa Walton said...

Venice is my most favouritist city in the world. When I stood amongst the pigeons outside San Marco I had tears in my eyes. Thanks for bringing it back.

5:53 pm  
Blogger Del said...

Happy New Year! I have missed your postings and wondered how things were with you. Thanks for such a lovely view of Venice. Del in SCalifornia

8:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for finally updating mum! :) I know how busy you've been, and it is nice to see your take on such a fabulous place.

For all other readers, mum is in Syria now for at least 10 days, so please be patient - she should have a feast of anecdotes for us upon her return!

love you, tabs

8:37 am  
Blogger Helen said...

Jenny, there is a quilt in that statue. What fantastic lines.

8:51 am  
Blogger Liz Needle said...

Lovely to hear from you again, Jenny. I hope you had a great Christmas.
Love your Venice photos, especially Burano. What a fascinating town. Colours are superb.

11:45 pm  
Blogger Helen said...

We are working in Arizona (dusty desert country)at the moment and to read about Venice and see your photos was absolutely delightful. It's years since I was there.

12:31 pm  
Anonymous Di Jobbins said...

Dear Jenny, I wish you weren't such a wonderful wordsmith - you've evoked all the magic I love about Venice! Boak and I have been 3 times now, and always stay at the Pensione Accademia (spitting distance from your hotel - same view). There is something other-worldly about this splendid city and everyone needs to spend time-out there and forget that cars and trucks and so much of the unwelcome paraphernalia of the modern world exist. Thank you for your fantastic picture ..but now I want to go back!

7:17 pm  
Blogger Carol said...

Beautiful beautiful photographs!

11:08 am  
Blogger Carol said...

Beautiful beautiful photographs!

11:09 am  
Blogger Carol said...

Beautiful beautiful photographs!

11:10 am  
Blogger Meow said...

Loved Venice myself. But went in the summer. I love being warm. Doesn't bother me at all. I've been to Istanbul and it was the coolest.
I'll be in Cairo in two months. Woo hoo!!!!
Keep posting Cairo tid bits mate.

3:17 pm  
Anonymous Lin Ewen. said...

Hi Jenny! How good to see your blog again. For all of last year, I could not log on, something to do with China and their govt controls of what we are allowed to access from here. But, wow, I clicked on the link, and I got into it, just like that.
My online journal is at, if you are interested!!
I just loved the photos, of your trip to Venice, and will be able to go into the archives now, and see what else you have been doing!!

3:29 am  
Anonymous Susie Monday said...

What great travel and work stories. Thanks for sharing. I am going to Venice in May and will certainly now make time for Burano. Thanks

1:16 pm  

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