Read my interview on WhoHub

Read my interview on Whohub
Ask my opinion about something:

Monday, 22 August 2011

A day and night in Venice

So here I am, arrived refreshed (?) and alert in Venice after a delightful adventure on board the Paris – Venice train.

I exit the station into bright sunlight (seriously, why is it that as soon as one steps onto the continent that gorgeous weather ensues, not to mention very hot and humid?  It beats the English grey and drizzle anyway).  I follow everyone else to what looks like a queue for a taxi.  Remember we’re in Venice now, hence ‘taxi’ is a small boat shared with many people.  Before I do this though, I spy a sign for “private taxi” and wander over to take a look.

“60 euro to St Marc’s Square” he informs me, apologetically shrugging and also pointing to the long queue.  “You’re best off going there.” (I thought this was rather nice of him, given that he’d passed up a fare).

I go back to the public taxi queue.  5 mins later & it’s not moving anywhere. 

“F*ck it” I mumble under my breath, turn to the Australian couple behind me and ask if they’d like to share a private taxi to St. Marc’s Square.  Turned out they would love to, so off we trot.

“Are you a native?” the Australian man asks me. 

“No, I just like to try to look like I know what I’m doing when abroad” is my reply.

So we board the private taxi – think little mini speedboat.  I can’t hide my excitement as I feel like an extra from “The Tourist” or some kind of Bond movie.

Speeding along, we pass MANY beautiful sights and I am in awe of the many bridges and, quite frankly, the magic of the place.  This is only exacerbated when I finally reach my hotel, settle my belongings and go for a wander.  I am left simply breathless by the place: her bridges, small side streets and oh the yachts!  I even spy one with a helicopter pad!  Further enquiries reveal that it’s the Venice Film Festival quite soon, so maybe someone famous has rented it.

Can you see the helicopter on board?!

Enquiries into a gondola ride reveal that it costs 80 euros per person, even if sharing a gondola with 5 or 6 others.  I do my best not to laugh in the face of the gondola man and make my way over to another place I have spied: 30 euros for a ride on a small motor boat up the Grand Canal and back.  This is a much more agreeable price and I happily part with my money.  Having an hour to kill before said trip, I plonk myself in the park and stretch out on a bench, happily dozing whilst listening to the chatterings of many different languages around me.

The trip is a pleasant one – the boat only fits 7 of us and we are able to stand up and for the next hour we are shown the delights of Venice: the Rialto Bridge and all along the Grand Canal as well as Byron’s house (I hope Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt showed it some respect when they stayed there during filming of “The Tourist”).

I sleep well that night, having dined on gnocchi and a 4 cheese sauce.  I remember my last waking thought is that despite the people, it is so quiet, hence I’m able to drift off quickly.  In retrospect, this is because there is no traffic (cars) in Venice, hence no motor noise.

Small side streets reveal lovely buildings
Awaking early, I go for yet another wander around St Marc’s Square and eat a small salad of tomato and mozzarella.  Not wanting to pay another 60 Euros for a private transfer to the port, I pay a respectable 7 Euros instead for the public taxi.  But oh!  I know now why it’s so cheap – the queue to get on it!  And once on board, the sweat dripping off me/us as we all cram together in a space that isn’t air conditioned.

“Ok” I figure, “I can cope with this for the next half hour at least.”  Except that half hour feels like an age.  The taxi doesn’t exactly motor at full speed and all the while, people are getting ‘edgy’ and impatient.

 Upon disembarkation at the port (finally!) I then have to find my way to the ship.  I can see the Princess Cruises ship where the majority of my fellow taxi passengers seem to be heading, but my Minoan Lines ship seems to be tucked away (if that’s possible because when I eventually see it, it’s bl**dy huge!).

 Another 20 min walk ensues – in 30 degree humid heat and me dragging my case (no small transfer bus for Minoan passengers!)  By the time I finally get to board the ship, I must be looking rough as the lady asks if I need a doctor.  I just tell her I’m hot and make my way on board.

And so now I am in the middle of the Adriatic.  My jaunt in Venice was thoroughly enjoyable and I loved it.  I fell in love with her – she offered beauty, peace and tranquillity.  I must come back, albeit in the winter I think.  Or if I book in advance, maybe for Carnival in February?  I visited a small shop next to my hotel which sold masks and carnival dresses.  The lady informed me they make the dresses for carnival and they hire from 300 – 1,000 Euros.  We shall see.

Look out for the ‘Adriatic’ instalment – coming soon!

Facts:  Hotel booked through (or .com) and was £75.  Excellent value as it was 2 min walk to St Marc's Square and the room was huge.
Try to share a private taxi at least once if you can, it's well worth it.

1 comment:

  1. The overall expense of Venice can be a difficult pill to swallow, however, and going in the off-season does mean you’ll be faced with lower prices on hotel rooms and such


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...