Simple pic of a Gondola in Carnival season. I like the reflection from the water personally, it almost looks like it's reflecting off his hull which I think for me makes this picture. So as usual a complete chance causes a good picture. Well I say It's good. As in the (new) old tradition of Big Brother “You Decide”. Hmmm... perhaps I should put a voting thing on this site... on the other hand since comments didn't work then perhaps not.
When all the frock wearing is quite wearing this is what to do in Carnival Season in Venice. I snapped this chap from afar. I assume that he'd only got his head down as his dog was still quite alert and I do think that it was his dog but I could be wrong. Of course I didn't snap this is his face which is one of the many great things of a zoom lens. The other great thing is that (and it helps if you're tall like me) you can step back from the scrum as you get in Venice at Carnival time and take a picture at your leisure. Whilst the scrum are all trying to get as close and get the right picture, you can step back and zoom in and take it or leave it. Of course the worst thing about a zoom lens is the fact that you might be over 10-20 feet from a shot so no-one actually knows what you're looking at so people walk right in front of you. Of course being a little patient is a must. For the camera lovers out there then you'll also know that if you zoom in then the depth of field closes up so you do end up with a sharp picture of the subject with the background out of focus with a zoom lens. I have some pictures of this with the Minolta that I am waiting for so these may be scanned in at some point.
Anyway back to the picture. It's one of those pictures that I think... I'll swap with him... just for a few hours.
With my luck there will be a film star of blue movies called Venice and now my hits will go through the roof. What is worse is as that when I started writing this wrote "With my luck there will be a" and Word Mobile suggested a word which it seems to wants to do anyway. It's an interesting feature that never works out the right word. In this case it suggested several words and suggested a line of three, in this case it suggested a word that made me chuckle. Top selection was a word that rhymed with plucker and started with an f. What is potty mouthed Word Mobile thinking about. It's got all post watershed.
Well today Murano (Uvavu) was a rather bad choice. If you like glass then perhaps it would be OK for you but after a while it starts getting boring. I got bored from the start. Also whilst there were interesting glass sculptures to snap (only photographically) I had no time to do it. I planned to take photos on the way back but there was no way back as we found a bus stop at the far end. We would have watched some glass blowing but it was a book only event and we were escorted off the premises quite literally. After such nice treatment and the fact the my Wife and I started to feel like we were bobbing about on the water despite being on dry land (no involvement with alcohol at all honest) it appeared time to go.
Back to San Marco and as luck would have it we stumbled upon the Helosphere, one of the performances we saw in the program that we though might be good but we thought we would just never happen to chance upon and here we were chancing upon it.
Now after a cultured day we are in Wylie Coyote territory on TV. In Italian or English it still makes as much sense.
In the search of Juliet's house we headed off by train to Verona. As luck would have it she was out which I found ignorant of a dead fictional character, but it did give us chance to nosey around her pad along with a few other people. I found it quite basic there were none of the mod cons that I would have expected and I've seen the film with Leonadro Di Caprio.
As for the picture I couldn't find any information on it. I think it's part of the old walls of the city as there are hints on the map to them existing and this could be them just near the Piazza Bra (no sniggering at the back please). This is just near the rather large Roman arena that I didn't have the guts to get to the top of but my eight year old had no problem with. I'm sure in time many more Verona pictures will appear her on wet Mancunian weekends.
From the balcony of the basilica you can get a better view of St Marks Square this time with huge shadows cast. We had to come back here, for a start our boat home leaves quite near here. Also all the pictures I had taken yesterday with the Minolta were all taken at a fixed exposure by accident so I was pretty sure most of them would turn out poor, so I wanted to come back and take more. I always feel that there is a strong relationship between how much you are looking forward to the pictures and the severity of the bungle you have just made during all of them, the worst bungle of all is only finding out afterwards that you had no film in the camera.
Today's jaunt was a trip to the ghetto which resides in the most attractive part of Venice, apparently. The ghetto was where the Venetian Jews lived and so there were a couple of second world memorials and little else of note.
Today the opposite was true than of yesterday. We elected to take the water bus that then stopped frequently whereas the walk back appeared to be shorter. Perhaps we will get it right at some point. The water bus ride would have been more comfortable than the walk but for the fact that I decided to film the whole trip. By the time we got off my hands were frozen. I popped into the train station to warm my hands on a hand dryer which was a painful experience, silly boy.
After a thoroughly interesting day yesterday the plan was to see what bits of Venice looked liked without so many people. Sure there would still be loads of people but less than yesterday and we might even get a better view of St Marks Square. Unfortunately the amount of clutter still in the square diminished its impressiveness so I still couldn't imagine a sniper in the bell tower gunning down a lone man causing the pidgins to fly away as in an episode of The Saint or perhaps it was something else.
With the only Piazza in Venice complete we embarked on a trip to the Church of Della Salute (Cheisa Della Salute). Why? Well like all good and bad searches and escapades the answer is purely because it is there. Taking the long way around by foot to save the water bus fair and so we could take in Venice we converted a two minute water ride into a slightly arduous and confusing wriggle through cold back streets using nothing more than a tourist map and a GPS and Google Maps. BTW because of the narrowness of the allies the poor old GPS did have it's work cut out but we got there to find... A Church. Hooray now lets get back taking a far shorter route than we took to arrive.
The picture is of the Grand Canal just as it stops at the Cheisa Della Salute on the right. Whilst it was tiring and some of the trip seemed a chore because we went around the long way, if we had have taken the bus we might not have heard an American express an interest in only staying in England for one more year, so they could go somewhere that they could go out when it's February. They did however say this whilst being fully clad in winter wear. I suspect England is no colder at the moment it just doesn't have Gondolas.
No self-respecting person should be without a mask at the Venice Carnival. It's just a good job that I lost all my self respect many years ago or I too may have glamed up like Elton John and joined in.
It's definitely an interesting place to be at this time though at some point you do wonder when it will stop what with all the crowds funnelling onto the many bridges. Despite this a happy but tiring day was had by all so back to the hotel for a well earned Nastro and Cigarette. Mind you we saw nothing much as we were always at the back of the crowd but we did see someone descend from the tower in St Marks Square which in the end felt more like an stress position endured by interrogated POWs because of the time the chap took to come down.
Blimey have I been busy. So busy that I you're unfortunately going to have to put up with another old picture.
I think it's amazing that whilst you're in this Cathedral you have a small courtyard with walkways around that contains such a beautiful view... well I think so. It's seems to be a similar scene in taly and Spain with tower and a beautiful courtyard. It does make you forget the scary steps up and the scary steps that you will have to descend on your way out that you can see on this picture.
What do you expect to see on the outside of an ancient Greek city in Italy? Yes that's right, a great big papier mache ball chained to a post. As if finding is the biggest and most pointless papier mache ball outside Paestum's side gets, imagine my surprise to find papiermache.co.uk a whole site dedicated to everything that is papier mache. I suppose natural questions are who made it? Why is it there? Is it around all the time? When was it created? And who created it?s Of course those questions could be asked of the ball in Paestum too.
Because I forgot I had my phone with me you will never see any pictures of the Grotto Smeraldo, but if the grotto is pretty famous then someone will have a brilliant picture somewhere of it on the web. Mind you this was never the idea behind Zamyatin so I don't know why I said that other than to console you that if you were that interested in it you could find pictures elsewhere. It's a place to go alright but there is little to see; but with a backdrop of other places such as Solerno and the Paper Museum on the Amalfi tourist landscape seeing a small cave with an under the sea opening letting in the light causing the water glow blue is an attraction in itself. Add to this a boat ride in the cave that takes you round in a ten yard circle captained by a mad man then you feel that the fifteen Euros were all worth it. Well it was more than fifteen, the chap in the boat does remind you not to forget him, as if you can. Ten of the fifteen includes the boat trip to the grotto attended by a chap telling you about all the sights all down the coast as you pass whilst he smells of beer from the night before and by the smell of it he smells of beer from today.
So back to Amalfi and lunch and then back. There appears to be what looks like a fifties style ferry that appears a couple of times a day. Half the size of the Duke of Lancaster it awkwardly and gingerly docks in harbour that doesn't seem large enough. I only mention this because it looks an impressive beast just like the Duke of Lancaster and if the pictures come out alright then I'll put them up here.
On a traffic note. On the way back to the hotel we saw an exasperated American complaining to her husband that when crossing the road a car nearly hit her. I never saw the incident but I would say that in Italy a "nearly hit" counts as a miss.