Venice 2017 Four days in a wonderful city

Our arrival in Venice

This is as far as our taxi could take us. From here, it was walking. They gave us a very small scale map and I thought I knew where we were going. But that canal behind us isn't the Grand Canal, it's a side canal! Investigating the taxi rank / bus / tram station, we saw the trees had lights in them

After getting lost going down the wrong canals and passing our previous visit's Hotel Papdopoli, we found our Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal.

A quick look round then we went in, dropped off our suitcases and enquiries about food. The receptionist pointed us in the direction of a Trattoria, but it was closed and the only place we found open was Burger King!! Luckily Burger King is featured in the WW app, so we had wraps. Christine had Chicken, no fries and I had Beef with fries.

Our room was very stylish. We think the light fitting might be Murano Glass, it had a blue tint

The mirror and bed head were beautiful. There was Wi-Fi in the room, so photo backups were assured, if rather slow!

Walking to St. Mark's Square and back

On the Saturday morning, we set off early to walk to St. Mark's Square. I copied a Google Maps route onto a larger scale map the hotel gave us, then followed signs "Per Rialto", "Per S. Marco".

The route to St. Mark's Square was down narrow alleys, over bridges on small canals. Down one narrow alley, we found a shop selling gloves. Christine had left hers T home and was very happy to buy these for 6€

We also passed through a large Square with and Ice Rink!

There were also some stalls, which looked like they were left over from a Christmas Market!

Everywhere we walked there were amazing sights. We passed a music shop with a window full of harmonicas, New's harps and Occarinas. The other window was full of guitars.

We passed a church with an archway featuring this odd 24 hour clock in a bell tower.

After a while, we reached the Rialto Btidge, which had shops on either side and is lit up overhead at. Ought.

One of the shops was full of quill style and other Calligraphy pens

At the top of the Rialto Bridge is a balcony area which was full to the brim with tourists trying to take photos and selfies overlooking the Grand Canal.

Onward from the Rialto Bridge, we came upon this Square with a rather tall column. Over a couple more bridges and small canals and we were approaching St. Mark's Square where there was a shop with these string puppets in the window.

We arrived at St. Mark's Square just befor lunchtime. This is St. Mark's Basilica, a marvellous piece of architecture. Before finding a café for coffee and Earl Grey to emulate Mam and Dad's visit to St. Mark's Square, I took some more photos of the Square. Later, we went for a walk inside but no cameras were allowed.

Above I s the dome over the altar and structures adorning the chapels. On the main photo Christine is in front of the main entrance. It was shortly after this photo that we went wound inside. Some people were climbing stairs to go up in the balcony. We stayed on solid and holy ground.

The Campanile (bell tower) of St. Mark's dominated the Square and this magnificent 24 hour clock tower stood over the exit from the Square back towards Rialto Bridge.

Here we are, probably sat at the same café where Mam and Dad had their coffees, looking at the menu to decide what to have with our Cappuccino and Earl Grey.

Our café was the Gran Caffe Quadri. We decided on Gelato, including one Mango Sorbet, a safer bet for Christine on WeightWatchers, to go with our Cappuccino and Earl Grey. My Earl Grey came in a black cast iron teapot you can see bottom right of the main picture.

I tried several attempts at getting a good Panorama of the square and this is the best I could produce. Its created in the Blackberry Priv phone camera!

From here we walked round the palisades and looked in all the shops, before walking down to the gondolas and water taxis on the Grand Canal just near St. Mark's Square.

Amongst the shops we found round the square and down towards the Grand Canal was this Calligraphy shop with quill style pens with nibs to dip in the red and blue ink supplied.

There was also this wonderful glass ball shop selling balls similar to those Sue Gemmell in Chilliwack, Vancouver makes. I've sent her this picture by email.

We loved this Fabergé shop, with real Fabergé eggs

Christine spotted this backlit silhouette picture, which is brilliant, so I took it. In the main picture, Christine stands by a large pillar with what looks like a crocodile!

This is the widest part of the Grand Canal, where our Cruise Ship went out to sea to the left of the main photo. Rather choppy for Gondolas.

The water in the wide stretch of the Grand Canal is too rough for Gondolas, so they all head down this smaller canal, back towards the Rialto Bridge

After getting shot of St. Theodore slaying a crocodile (?!), we set off to walk back to the hotel.

A posh watch shop had this Ferrari watch, though my personal preference is for a huge square Diesel watch that looks like a TV on your wrist!

Further on, we spotted our second lot of washing out over the street, just to show Venice is really lived in!

Almost back to the hotel and we spotted this church with wonderful marble walls and pillars. Back in the extension the hotel reception, Christine found this highly illuminated statue!

Once back in the hotel, we changed to go out to Ristorante Da Nino, which we found while out walking after the St. Mark's marathon. Christine had Spaghetti Carbonara followed by Fruit Salad.

I had Spaghetti Bolognese followed by Gelato.

All delicious. A member of staff took our picture, one of the very few of both os us. Then we retired to the hotel and bed.

Our Gondola Ride

We chose a 445 minute ride on the Gondolas just outside our Hotel, but the Gondolier gave us a one hour ride for the same price. This would take us via the smaller canals and the Rialto Bridge on another section of the Grand Canal and all the way back.

Soon after setting off from Santa Croce, we spotted this scurrying bride and party crossing a bridge.

and a boat called Nicola. The reflections under the bridges were very picturesque.

While moving through the canals and under the bridges, I gook this selfie, including our jolly Gondolier!

We came back out onto the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge, with Venice Town Hall on our left. That's the right had part of these two buildings.

Colourful Glass Herons

Window boxes with real flowers, roof boxes with Murano Glass flowers!

Another building or two and we saw the Rialto Bridge just round the corner.

As we wound our way through the back canals we came upon this giant Gondola,

a Romeo and Juliet style balcony

Gondolas Onlhy Sign

and a footpath (well, Gondolas only!) sign.

Looking backwards, you can see our Gondolier working his way round behind the Rialto Bridge then back out into the Grand Canal, the other side of it.

We travelled along the Grand Canal for a while, seeing row after row of Gondolas...

...and this powerful looking very old motor launch, possible a Water Taxi.

Then it was out onto the main canal for a short trip to the Gondola pier near our Hotel. Here our Gondolier of 22 years experience posed for a photo taken by one of the other Gondoliers, showing his big smile and stripy jumper.

We were both very pleased with my extra birthday present, which we'll never forget.

A Day to Explore

The next morning, our last full day in Venice, we decided to do some exploring, so started by finding the Hotel Papadopoli we stayed at on our fit visit, passing the cafe where we watched the birds over coffee.

This was much easier in the daylight than when we found it accidentally on our arrival here.

Then over to the taxi rank / bus station so we could see the best way to drag our suitcases tomorrow afternoon. There is also this tram which commutes between Mestre, outside Venice and here into the Piazza Roma.

We walked over the Constitution Bridge near the Water Bus terminal, whose steps were slippy and shallow,...

...then along to the Ferruvia (Train Station), which is opposite our hotel...

...and this Church.

After passing the Ferruvia (translation: Iron Way?), through its marvellous shopping arcade and past the two Ristorantes we'd visited, we crossed the Guglie bridge over aside canal and found a smaller shopping are which included the Goppion Cafe, where Christie had her last Cappuccino in Venice...

...and I had my last Earl Grey.

We shared a muffin too, with Christine having the bottom part while I had the top sugary part.

We then walked back to our Hotel, but it was too early yet so we again walked towards the taxi rank / bus station and bought the bracelet Christine had picked earlier for Melissa.

Christine's spare time job

Then through a garden decorated with posters advertising Chris Moss in hr Act D.J. guise (secret identity!).

We'd seen this picture on the side of a monastery before and it has a collection box underneath.

Walking over a smaller bridge over this side canal, we came upon these love locks which we'd seen in a few places in England, including Liverpool most recently

After our second walk out, we came back to get changed and walked through the extended reception / guest lounge, with these lovely lights.

After getting changed, we walked over the Scalzi Bridge, very close to the hotel, which gave us a lovely view at night.

Then on to the other of the two Ristorante we'd investigated before. This one had given us a free drinks token!

We had our last evening meal at the Ristorante Al Brindisi, next door to Da Niño. Christine had Seafood Risotto, which included Mussels, Shrimps and Clams.

I had Veal Steak, which was actually two, with chips and salad,...

...followed by a Black Forest Sundae (Christine had a little bit at the end).

A lovely meal, thought it was cold near the window.

Travel Home Day

Venice Marco Polo Departures was a work in progress! After checking in, you had to exit here and go up an escalator on the left to get to Departures.

Once up there we had plenty of time so stopped to have Earl Grey Tea and Cappuccino

Christine had some fruit salad while I had a chocolate muffin, having stayed away from chocolate all holiday.

Once home to Manchester Airport and with our luggage collected, we took the 'Skyway' to Terminal 2 for the Long Stay Car Park. The Skyway turned out to be several travelators end to end, except they didn't all work! When we got there we had no idea where to pick up the shuttle bus, though with some help we found it eventually.

On the way home, we had some sandwiches from M&S at Wetherby with Costa Cappuccino and Earl Grey. We also bought some M&S Mini Jaffa Cakes, quite yummy.

Created By
Colin Begg


Some photos by Christine Begg

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