Well we’ve finally arrived, this is Venice.
(Our first sight… so familiar)
We took a local bus to the island (well not exactly an island, it’s joined by a bridge to the mainland) and within two minutes of getting off we were taking pictures of familiar scenes. It’s exactly what you’ve ever seen on TV or in magazines. Exactly and it’s beautiful. And it’s surprising. Yesterday was Friday and there were a lot of people around but there’s plenty of space for them. It’s a pedestrians paradise, no cars, no bikes, no scooters, even no motorbikes! No waiting to cross the road… well, the road is a river so no waiting to cross because there’s a bridge or two for that.
(Everything, everything has to travel on water)
We have four days here so we just wandered. Wandered down by the river, picking this lane way or that, coming to a little plaza and thinking it was a dead-end only to find there was a narrow alley hidden on the other side. Oh and the shade, wonderful shade from the tall buildings and the breeze, wonderful breezes from the sea. By the way, I was a little concerned that there might be a bad smell – there isn’t, just the smell of sea water – nice.
As we were wandering we came to a bus stop (bus that goes on water – very biblical) and decided to check out the busses. There was a lady in front using the machine but having a problem with it. She allowed Denis go ahead of her. She spoke English so I took the opportunity to use my best language. It turned out she lived in Canada! Hello Canada people! She was on a school reunion with some friends and was taking time out to visit the modern art exhibition which her friends thought was a crazy thing to do with all the old art in Venice! Anyway, we chatted until the bus came and then we got on together. We were just starting to enjoy the spin when our new friend realise we had all forgotten to validate our tickets. We thought “oh dear, does that mean we will get to use these tickets again?” Our friend thought, “there’s a huge fine!”
(Example of a small alley. What looks like graffiti on the left is actually directions to St. Mark’s square!)
Now, it was a genuine mistake (no, really it was!) and I was remembering my charming (!) way with the waiter the day before… so we weren’t too worried. Until our new friend pointed out the inspector that had just got on – oops. She disappeared – fair-weather friend! We hung tight, Denis considering, me shining up my charm offensive. There was a bit of a kerfuffle at the next stop (throwing someone without a ticket off the bus?) and when we started again our friend had returned and the inspector had disappeared….. (have you heard of the opera Death in Venice?)
(We’re saving our Gondola ride for a day without cameras or photos)
It turned out she had got off at that stop, validated her ticket and got back on… what a good idea. We hadn’t so we were left with the burden of having to use our ticket later for another bus journey… mmmm.
All is well here in Venice, Mairead