Firstly an apology for my neglect in recent weeks, especially the past fortnight or so. With my final date due to redundancy rapidly approaching (Friday 29 January) I find myself focusing on setting myself up for the future. Alas maintaining this blog or reading other blogs is way down at the bottom of my list of my current priorities. Sorry. :(
Interestingly I had coffee today with a friend who went through the same experience a few years back and when I asked him how he had responded, he pretty much described emotionally what I am going through now. Bitterness. A sense of betrayal. Despair. Overwhelming tiredness (presumably from the emotional turmoil). He is in his 50s like me, was a professional like me, an office worker like me, and he has never managed to get a full time job again. So that does not bode well. But I must overcome the odds!
So please me patient with me until I get my act together.
Venice – September 2015
OK – apologies over. Now let’s talk about some fun stuff. Last year’s tour.
I truly have an epic amount of photos and stories regarding Venice, so I am thinking about breaking this down into several posts. I also won’t swamp you with my ten billion pics. The first one is our entry into Venice along the Grand Canal. And a few pics from our exit the same way.
Trafalgar gave us a hotel away from Venice – about 15 minutes drive. So there would be no popping there and back on foot. However, that is one of the prices you pay for going on the cheaper tours (a Costsaver). This said, we enjoyed it nevertheless. They got us up early and soon we were driven to a dock where water taxies awaited. Hence out entry to Venice was spectacular – a trip down the grand canal.
As you can see, the interior of a Venetian water taxi takes about 8 passengers. The seats are fairly comfortable, but most face into the centre of the taxi and away from the outside (the view!). But one place is the exception – the rear of the taxi. In almost every Venetian water taxi that I have been aboard (and this is my third time in Venice) the end of the boat has a seat where immediately above it is a an opening in the roof. This lets the people seated there stand, should they so wish. I knew this and happily headed straight for that seat. Hence the following photos.
As you can see from the two heads, it is also possible to go back out the passenger area and stand near the driver, but I prefer the back. One shot I particularly like was approaching the Rialto Bridge. Alas it was undertaking some repairs, so I did not get it in all its majesty, but it was still cool.
So what do you know about the Rialto Bridge? Well, it is the oldest of Venice’s bridges, being built in 1591. This stone one replaced an old wooden one at the time. Also, it is a rarity where bridges are concerned because it has shops across its span. The Pultney Bridge in Bath, England, also has shops. And the Ponte Vecchio in Florence does too. But not may other bridges do.
I love this bridge, not only for its appearance, but also because it reminds me of my first visit to Venice in 1997. We went in winter which is the off season. As a result we did the seemingly impossible: found an affordable but well positioned room in this glorious town. The Rialto Hotel is right next to the bridge and it was brilliant. I highly recommend it.
It was actually in the Rialto Hotel in 1997 that I was introduced to that nefarious tourist trick of purloining breakfast items to serve as lunch and snacks for the rest of the day. Every tourist I saw sneakily snuck bread rolls, packets of jam and breakfast meats into their pockets and then wandered casually out past reception. Over the decades I have been pleased to see that this tradition is maintained by tourists worldwide.
Each time I visit Venice I am struck by the beauty of the buildings. Perhaps faded beauty in some cases, but beauty nevertheless.
On the right I saw Santa Maria De La Salute, one of my favourite churches. I promised Rhiannon that we would visit it. Below is a photo of San Giorgio Maggiore, a Venetian island populated since Roman times.
After taking this last photo we approached the Doge’s Palace and San Marco. I did not take many photos as we approached it because the angle was bad, and in my next post I will tell you all about this fascinating place. But not now.
Now I will show you the pictures as we left later in the day. By this time clouds had meandered overhead. Below is the view of the Doge’s Palace (right) and the campanile (bell tower) of San Marco.
Actually the Grand Canal is quite romantic as the sun is declining. And the water taxis took us on a different route back, meaning that we could see more.
I played with my camera a bit, tried some black and white that I later played with in Lightroom and got the following picture that I really like.
Once again, thankyou for reading and putting up with me.