Saturday, 4 October 2008

Feeling a bit land-sick

After three days in Venice I'm starting to feel a bit land-sick; when I get back to our camp on the Lido di Jesolo I feel like I'm still at sea, swaying a bit to remembered waves and generally feeling a bit woozy. The cold I have is playing havoc with my ear canal and that probably isn't helping, though strangely I feel fine when actually on the vaporetti or Venice proper. Odd.

Making best use of our 72-hour travel passes we've ridden the boat-busses (that's what the vaporretti are) all across the lagoon, visiting not only the six sestiere of Venice, but also the Lido di Venezia, Burano and Murano, other inhabited islands in the lagoon. In Venice itself I think we both liked the Carnareggio district best; not quite so spectacular as other areas, though still beautiful, we at least stood a chance there of escaping the worst of the crowds and finding a reasonably priced drink. Early October has been a beautiful time to visit, with brilliantly huge skies and warm sunshine and if there was sometimes a stiff breeze on the sea front, then we could always find a still, calm spot alongside one of the inner canals. We've done touristy things - looking around the spectacular Doge's Palace and St Mark's Cathedral, crossing the Rialto and riding a Traghetto - the 50 cent, 2 minute grand canal crossing in a gondola piloted by trainees - the budget gondola experience! But mostly we just saw Venice - on foot and on the boats, a sight to see and a marvel to gawp at.

This evening we were treated to the spectacle of two massive cruise ships being tugged down the Guidecca. As the sun set over the lagoon, lighting up the jagged peaks of the Dolomites, our vaporretto kept an easy pace with one of them all the way back to Jesolo. The silhouetted shapes lining the cruiser's rails probably had an amazing view of Venice, but I hope they had a chance to look up close too.

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