Wednesday 10 October 2012

Rainy Days and Holidays

 The above photo shows the sun setting over the industrial side of the Veneto. What very different memories I have of Venice! Such as the sunset making beauty of the view and then the photo which shows the modern side of the Gondoliere. Where are we without our mobiles? The contrasts are almost too hard to take in. We imagine that history should stay in its place and progress shouldn't impinge on our touristy views and yet as in the sunset... how wonderful to know that there is also permanence in the nature of things and how beauty can transform even the most resistant of places.
Our gondola tour included looking up at a hotel that was once the home of Casanova and our gondolier didn't once check his phone but spoke perfect English as he shared his love of Venice. He was able to share facts that weren't in any guide book as he worked at manoeuvering us around the canals... seemingly effortlessly! We experienced a little of history while history itself was being made out in the busy, busy Grand Canal.

And what do you think of these two  rain-drenched friends? We are having such fun. Yep that's right, such fun! The heavens opened while we were in St Mark's Square and we dived into a little bar for an alcoholic beverage, as you do, to while away some time until the rain stopped. Well it didn't. It rained and rained and so we decided to make our way through the raindrops to our hotel and lo and behold there appeared vendors with rainmacs especially just for us. One size fits all, the short and the tall. We are crossing the Rialto Bridge and enjoying every splish and splash, puddle and dribble knowing that we too are part of history in the making.

Talking about crossing bridges, the famous Bridge of Sighs is just as it is in this photo! This is the bridge that prisoners crossed on the way to their incarceration having been judged for their crimes. A beautiful bridge on the outside holding an ugly truth on the inside. We visited the cells during our visit to the Doge's Palace and were informed that one of the prisoners had been Casanova. It was hard to imagine anyone surviving such hardship, never mind managing to escape, as it seems that the bold boy, Casanova did. Venice was everything we expected and more. From the grandeur of the architecture to the rabbit warren of streets where being lost over and over again was part of the charm of this city of contradictions... with its obvious beauty, its unbelievable history and its precarious future...

... and yes we enjoyed the city's unique ambience and the fabulous views around every corner... such as the Doge's Palace from the Grand Canal, see below. However what I treasure the most, is the memory of a city being built on the flimsiest of physical structures and yet still managed to flourish throughout all the vagaries of war until ultimately it became the present day's magnetic city with its' very own unique identity. It draws every nationality to come, explore and experience its' perfect elegant style of living. Thank you Venice and the Veneto for all the memories. I will be back...