Venice

29 Apr

Venice
Nice scenic bus ride through the mountains to Venice. The weather has as usual been raining. Not letting it worry us though, there’s still heaps to see. The mountain ranges are majestic and look very similar to what you see in the movies, the big scenic views of snow covered mountains right next to us. The few times we did get to stretch off the bus it wasn’t cold, just mild, and wet.
Venice is built on an archipelago of 118 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon, connected by 409 bridges.The classical Venetian boat is the gondola, although it is now mostly used for tourists, weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies. Venice is Europe’s largest urban car-free area. Venice is unique in Europe, in having remained a large functioning city in the twenty-first century entirely without motorcars or trucks. During the 20th century, when many artesian wells were sunk into the periphery of the lagoon to draw water for local industry, Venice began to subside. It was realised that extraction of water from the aquifer was the cause. The sinking has slowed markedly since artesian wells were banned in the 1960s. However, the city is still threatened by more frequent low-level floods that creep to a height of several centimetres over its quays, regularly following certain tides. In many old houses the former staircases used to unload goods are now flooded, rendering the former ground floor uninhabitable. We got to see that first hand after watching the obligatory demonstration of glass blowing before being allowed to roam round the city. The water started creeping into the bottom floor of the building we were in.

The main driving force of economy is tourism, with the manufacture of the famed Murano glass, which depending where you buy and if it’s authentic can be dirt cheap or dam right ludicrous. Everyone should do a gondola ride though the canals. Unfortunately for us we were packed into the gondolas 6 people each. Normally I think it’s 4. Our sailer was not impressed, we were seated that still, we couldn’t really move for fear of overbalancing and tipping, he had his work cut out for him. As per ruling conditions for the tour as soon as we were seated guess what?? It started raining. Up go the umbrellas and swish there goes our views. The champagne helped, sort of.
Back on a dry water taxi to the bus and off to the next motel on the mainland.We are excited when we arrive, there is a laundry in the hotel, we won the race and clothes are now clean. For dinner there was bread, pasta and fish. I had the chicken. Once again really nice table settings and waiters are dressed up in their suits.
Back into Venice for our free time of shopping and dunch ( early dinner, late lunch). We walked up to the realto bridge which was full of graffiti and to be honest not as nice as I expected. The views were quite good from the bridge though. Walking round through the people is at times a struggle, it must cost a fortune for movie directors to have these places crowd free, it’s nothing like the movies such as James Bond in Casino Royale.
Lunch was a little quiet island called burano, not many people here, this is where they make the nice lace garments & tablecloths. Lunch was nice, we introduced ourselves to some other people from our tour great and much wine, food and grappa was had. Back on the boat to the bus and goodbye to Venice. Quiet night get your own dinner.

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One Response to “Venice”

  1. Linda May 7, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    Waiting to hear more… What is happening? Where is MAY?.
    Gondola ride is over rated, I remember when we did it, felt similar to you guys, although we only had 4 of us.

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