Venezia in the Crowds

20 July 2013

First things first: the Travel Card worked fine today! We woke up to an email from ANZ saying that they had been experiencing system problems with their Travel Cards yesterday, and all should be functional again today. Happily, they were right. Phew.

A few chores first up: to make sure we had the ticket for the transfer to the airport for Wednesday (and knew where to go to get on which boat, and at what time); and pick up the Museum Pass tickets that I’d bought on line.

We’re not far from the fish market, so needed to walk past it to get anywhere. It’s pretty big, and there are iced tables covered with all manner of fresh seafood. Need to get a wide shot of the whole thing tomorrow.

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Our walk took us over the Rialto Bridge…

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(Yes, I know I need to get back there in good light)

… and back in the vicinity of the ‘New Zealand Auckland’ shop. So had to get photographic evidence.

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Our identity is definitely getting ripped off!

The Grand Canal is a veritable hive of activity.

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Everybody has somewhere to go:

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We had purchased on line last night (when we were unsure of the ongoing viability of our Travel Card) the 14-euro tickets for the boat to take us to the airport when we leave on Wednesday. We were emailed a voucher which we were instructed to then take to the ticket office, in order to be issued with a ticket. Nowhere did it say that you had to print the voucher and, as the other things I have booked online for Italy have accepted either a digital or printed copy of the voucher, we pretty much assumed that presenting the voucher on the iPad would be OK. Nope. More orienteering to find an Internet cafe (down a tiny walkway just past the Disney shop — why is there a Disney shop in Venice?) and 5.50 euro for half an hour’s access to the Internet and one page of printing. Sigh.

That done, we had to go back to the ticket office and get the tickets. Job one, check.

Then it was on to Piazza San Marco, the heart of activity in Venice, to pick up the museum tickets. The Piazza is about 150 m long, and flanked on three sides by buildings…

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… that have high-end Murano glass shops on the ground floor under the “verandah”…

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…as well as shady places that people sit and have lunch.

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The museums on the pass are all situated in the buildings around the square. The pass (16 euro in total) entitles us to one entry to each of four museums: the Palazzo Ducale; Museo Correr; Museo Archeologico; and the Sale Monumental Biblioteca Marciana. The pass is valid for a month, so we can plan our museum-visiting activities during the hot parts of the next few days.

Jobs done, we wandered around in the midday sun. Not great for photographs, so didn’t take many.

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It will be here, in Bacino di San Marco, that the boats and fireworks will happen from 11.30 tonight.

Across the basin is a prominent church, the Chiesa San Maria della Salute. Getting there by foot requires some more orienteering, back up and over the Grand Canal via a different bridge. We made our way slowly there, me stopping at every other shop to have a look at the Murano glass necklaces on offer. I finally settled on a simple round pendant, for which I just need a chain.

If the church wasn’t shut for the midday siesta, we might have popped in. We were there just after 1pm, and it didn’t reopen until 3pm.

The laundry problem needs to be addressed again, and we had located directions to a coin-operated laundry mat, which we then set out to find. Not too hard. Monday’s job before we leave for Dubai.

On the slow trundle back ‘home’, dodging more and more tourists (for whom I am completely losing my patience — and yes, I know I’m one of them) we saw a wooden water taxi with an elaborate floral decoration.

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The bride and groom (an older couple) came out of the church and into the boat about five minutes after I took the photo.

More window shopping on the way home, and stopped for a snapshot here and there when there was a minute or two of peace.

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I am definitely going for a ‘camera walk’ at either sunrise or sunset before I leave. Given that tonight will be a late night, tomorrow won’t be the sunrise walk!

Back in our cool, air-conditioned apartment, camera still in hand, I got some images of our specially kitted out surroundings.

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The boudoir.

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The (frankly odd) chandelier. Perhaps this is what is meant by ‘phantasmagorical’, the adjective used to describe the Festa del Redentore fireworks in every reference I have found!

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Dave chillin’.

Ciao.

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