Sunday, 27 April 2014

Venice, Day Three

Venice, Italy

Bus story #1: Traveling in to Venice on our third day, we struck up conversation with a Swiss man who spoke five languages, including English to a high standard. He was vacationing for ten days, as he did every year. He had been to Venice before several times, and declared it to be good. 

Bus story #2: Lady on the water bus. Didn't buy a ticket or tickets for all her friends. The ticket inspector fined her €59 per person (and she had a lot of friends) for this oversight. As we alighted at our stop they were still in a heated argument. 

Church. The lady sitting on the steps didn't move the whole time we were there. She was real, though, unless she was a very lifelike robot. Convinced me. 

Waiting for Yannick to take a photograph of the above church. 

Lots of bedsheets. And how cool would it be to walk over this little bridge into your house? We happened to look at properties to rent in Venice, and were surprised to find that a loft apartment would be cheaper to rent than our flat in Wellington. Time to move to Venice! 

More bedsheets! This time high up. How did they get there? If they blew off in the wind you couldn't just chase them across the lawn and pop them back up. I wonder how many Venetians have lost their pants this way. 

The ghetto. The Jewish community was once restricted to this part of Venice. As it was a confined area and the population grew, they had to build higher and higher rather than outwards. Many buildings in the ghetto rise to five storeys. This picture shows a synagogue in one of these rickety buildings. Innovative. 

More pigeons bathing - this time with photographic evidence.

A tiny patch of grass! You have no idea how excited I was to see grass. Obviously there was grass at the campground, but I had seen absolutely none in Venice's historic centre.
While we sat on a bench here and tried to find out where to go next, I watched as a young boy walked his puppy. He was having some difficulty. It seemed that the puppy did not want to go for a walk. Eventually, after much pleading, the boy simply picked up the dog, but there was much whining and he had to put him down again. The boy sat sullenly on a bench, and the puppy sat sadly at his feet. I don't know why the puppy was sad.

Dozens of white statues looked down from this church. What we didn't catch in the photo were the Nordic walkers who wore bright colours and had mountaineering poles. Apparently they were on a treasure hunt as part of the annual carnival. Didn't know there was a carnival on at the time, although there were certainly hoards of crazy Nords.  

Burano. We took a fifty minute water bus ride to this little island known for its brightly painted buildings. 

It was a vibrant contrast to the main island. We had lunch here: more pizza. Near us was an Asian couple - she kept taking selfies and trying to pull him into the shot, but he seemed disinterested, as though this was a constant undertaking. 

The Leaning Tower of Burano.

As Pompeii has its funny shaped ambulance tractor with tall thin wheels, Venice has ambulance boats! 

For our last meal in Venice, we went in search of a restaurant. Our first choice was full up, so we found our second choice a little further down the bank. Initially it looked full as well, but then the server asked us if we would mind sitting outside. She took us to an outdoor courtyard by a canal, lit by candlelight. I had the carpaccio followed by pasta and veal. As we were sitting and enjoying our memories of the last three days in this place, digesting, a cockney man sitting behind us asked for vanilla ice cream. He was unsatisfied when the server explained that they didn't have any and suggested pistachio as an alternative. 
We travelled back to our tent with our bellies full, determined to return again some day. Three days is not enough. 

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