More trolling about today and variable weather, some of today was spent inside the the Doge's house which was quite special but no photography is allowed. The main attraction was tripping across the Bridge of Sighs and from my point of view the only sighing that happened was as you would expect when we saw the view, it was so average I sighed from tiredness after walking all around the Doge's pad. Don't get me wrong, if you're off down to chokey in Venice then perhaps you would sigh at your last visions of the view, but owing to the fact that I would soon be out and enjoying a beer in the sunshine the the sigh was more about the waste of time to see an average view of a bridge full of people taking a picture of the Bridge of Sighs, which of course is the wrong way around supposedly.
We also got to the Naval Museum which was OK and full off... boats and stuff. Some of the contraptions were interesting like the two man torpedo which would run for 10 hours at a time and when the target was acquired they would pop off the nose of the thing, attach it to a boat and drive off, safe in the knowledge that the newly detached nose would explode.
Anyway, this is a pic of the Dome of Saint Maria which sits on the mouth of the Grand Canal and is quite impressive to visit but if memory serves then it can be a little awkward to get to. The steps to it drop right into the water too which makes you assume that you can get there direct by boat which would be impressive, this taken from the bridge from the Academia, which is another bridge that seems to have been taken over by padlocks.
It's day one in Venice and it has been a tiring day with all the walking and getting in late last night. It's funny how your memory of trips ignores the long and partly arduous bits. I just never remembered that the water bus from the airport took that long. So as you could imagine I was getting more bored with each stop. Of course little chance to eat anything all day didn't help any as my hunger grew. Not that I am complaining. Whilst it was overcast taking this picture,and overcast weather is really difficult to take pictures in, it brightened up towards midday which was welcomed by a beer and then a glut of masked people with frilly wigs, some bizarre and some slightly scary to say the least. Anyway what tonight is to bring is anyone's guess, perhaps a trip into San Marco, a Bellini and a longer in Harry's Bar perhaps, who knows.
Whilst I did write about Bologna's train station bomb I never realised that there were two clocks on the station. To be honest I are really three. There are two analogue clocks and a digital one in the middle. I never had the gust to take a picture of the crack in the wall but this I could take because with a zoom lens you can see from our room.
What's weird is that nothing of this is in the guide books but perhaps that's not that weird. It came to light at the end of the swift bus tour of Bologna. It turns out that the clock in the picture that is on the left side of the ticket hall stopped at the time of the bomb and in memory of the incident was kept at the time, the other one on the right still ticks away. Of course the digital one is probably as accurate as it could be.
Well you can tell it's soon time to leave because it's a more nondescript picture here at Zamyatin. The toll of beautiful buildings and baking sun has taken its toll. Plus the fact that I spent most of the time taking pictures with the Nikon and using the JVC to take video on a free trip to Murano which was free from the hotel, the weird thing initially was that the water taxi was paid for by the glass gallery especially since there was a demo and a personal tour thrown in free. Of course this was weird until it became patently clear that this was a sales trip trying to sell us hundreds of Euros of glassware. What's actually odd about it was that last time we came to Venice we paid our fare to get to Murano and when we tried to see if we could have a tour (which we would be happy to pay for) we were all but escorted off the premises but this time since they were more than happy to pay the water taxi and give us a personal tour. By way of thanks we bought EUR25 of glass, that should go some way to paying for some of the taxi fares.
Anyway lets get back to the picture. On the way to find something to eat we stopped near the Teatro Restaurant and this image looked quite nice so I took and snap. The end.
The largest and the only bridge over the Grand Canal in Venice until they built the one until 1854. The first one was wooden but the stone structure now supports shops on either side similar to a larger bridge in Florence, however the one in Florence contains shops with expensive jewellery instead of the souvenirs as with this on.
Near here there are restaurants and Gondoliers lining the sides of the canal. We at last gave in to the calls of the Gondoliers and went for the longest trip which included the Small Canal and the Grand Canal, the Grand Canal trip alone was expensive but adding the Small Canal was only EUR20 extra so why not. It was indeed enjoyable but at the end of 30 minutes (5 of which was on the Grand Canal) we did wonder what little we would have got for the (not much) cheaper trip. Of course during the whole negotiation process of price I couldn't help thinking we were paying for an investigation into the ear or the gut what with the phrases Small and Grand Canal. Perhaps that's just me.
Oh yes I start with a really rubbish pun. For those who have not guessed this is St Marks Square. The trip from Bologna was simple but tiring with a a one hour water bus journey from the airport. At least the one and a half hour trip to the airport was in an air-conditioned car.
This pic was taken during a much needed rest stop after the rigours of shopping for jewellery took their toll. Not much sightseeing today just a lot of travelling and shopping so this opportunity caused a flurry of shots from my Nikon. Needless to say this was not one of those.
On a rather speed bus trip around Bologna we saw many fantastic features of Bologna some of which we saw on the walk around Bologna on Sunday. The features we didn't we saw today at speed in an open toped bus. Here is one of the many gates that surround Bologna that would have been connected by the old town walls. Because of the speed of the bus and the unwillingness of the Touch Pro 2 to take a picture when asked the picture isn't centred, anticipating this I moved the phone hoping to get it right. I am glad however that the gates are in the picture at least.
Other sights we past were a church on a hill overlooking Bologna (San Michelle in Bosco), many statues with their back to us and a church in memory of a martyr who's head was cut off on the hill, his reaction to this was to pick up his head and wander into town to die which was quite impressive.
After the hour trip it was time for a sit. All that driving about sat down was rather tiring when hurtling down cobbled single lane roads at speed.
This is a pic of the Due Torri one of the two remaining towers in Bologna. As anyone who has seen Francheso de Mosto's program will be able to tell you, these towers were built to impress people and show power and wealth. So it would com as no surprise that there used to be hundreds in Bologna and now there are only two.
Bologna appears to be old world Italy. Buildings rather drab and square on the outside. Nothing like the impressive and ornate buildings you see in Florence. The place is nonetheless impressive, where else can you find a station where a crack in the wall caused by a terrorists bomb has been preserved or a rather surprising statue of Neptune or perhaps the grandest entrance I have ever seen to a public park?
Despite the amount of interesting stuff, it is far too warm here so there is only so much you can see before you have to run for the shelter of a bar... It's tough out here!
Not sure I realised how this would turn out when I took it. I seem to remember I went out early to take pictures with this one (and many more). They always say that when there is a bit of mist then the photo appears two dimensional, I thought of this when I took it but I took it anyway. I think in this instance it seems to work because of the two dimensional thing in that the far peninsular looks like it's been dropped in which makes it work as well as the blue feel, but what do I know.
As promised in this post here's a scanned picture of the Venice Carnival. Standing back from the scrum I got my Minolta out with it's zoom to it's full extent and snapped this jewel. Probably not to everyone's taste I might guess. As I have probably mentioned to those of a more photographic bent the zoom crops the depth of field massively so that the focusing is really tight, which is another reason why I like standing back from the scene and zooming in.
It would have been better if I had have got the whole of the left guys face in focus but it's quite difficult because of the tight focus and human targets and the fact that I'm such an amateur. Of course that then reminds me of the other picture like this which is of the Carrera Cup. Again a good picture for me but not something a real photographer will shout about.