I have but 2 days left in Venezia. It has gone by much too quickly. I can feel that she is beckoning me, ‘Stay. Don’t go Rae.’ I know that she has much more to show me. But alas, reality comes slamming back into view and I have to return to work. If I don’t return to work, how will I afford to visit next year? It is that thought, knowing I will return, that will get me through these next 48 hours. Come, come with my on the final leg of my journey through Venezia.
Wednesday September 30, 2015
It is once again a beautiful, sunny day. As if Venezia knows that I will be leaving soon, the forecast for Friday, the day we leave is cloudy, cool and rain. I make my way back to San Trevaso once again and this morning, I am in luck! As I walk behind the shop I see an open door that I’d never noticed before because it doesn’t really look like a door when it is closed. I peer inside the darkness and see a young man busy buffing the side of a Gondola. I look through to the wide open door beyond and don’t see any other sign of movement. I continue walking around the building and across the bridge to look from the other side of the canal but there isn’t anyone else working that I can see.
I continued on to the Zattere and went inside the Santa Maria Del Rosario church taking pictures and admiring the beautiful interior. Shortly a man approached me and told me I was welcome to stay, but no more pictures as there was a funeral taking place soon. I did not stay thinking that would be an awful intrusion regardless if I were taking pictures or not. I left to return home and start a load of laundry. With that done I knew I had at least 2 hours and returned to my wandering outside.
As I passed the Scuola Grande Dei Carmini I was intrigued and went inside. The cost was €5 but because I had a museum pass the young man charged me 4. There was no one else inside other than an elderly English couple so we were free to roam and take many, many pictures and gasp in awe. The interior is breathtaking, especially the ceilings. There are mirrors laying around so that you can see them easier. No matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t able to hold my phone straight while attempting to bend down to get any decent photos. I will return here on my next trip to be sure.
As I wandered across Campo Santa Margherita I noticed for the first time that there is a market here as well, but again, it was almost noon so the last of it was being cleaned up. A fish monger was cleaning up for the day. Why is it that I always get somewhere either too early, or too late? I know that there is a lot going on in Piazza Novona in Rome for instance, yet each time I was there, nothing. This was my 4th trip to San Trevaso and finally saw 1 guy working. Rialto Mercato, also too late.
I was getting hungry and got a slice of pizza that was the best I’d had yet for €2. I also realized that I was indeed coming down with a cold. I’d woke up with a sore throat and now I was congested and feeling like I had a slight fever. After sitting outside and eating my pizza I stopped in the Farmacia for some cold medicine and then for a Lemon Granita to soothe my throat.
I returned home to check on the wash machine and it still wasn’t done but I knew that it should be soon so I waited. I hung my clothes inside with one exception – I hung the bottoms that I wear as PJ’s outside. I mean, I had to hang something out right? It was again a very windy day and seeing as how we didn’t have any clothes pins, nor were there any in the apartment, I used 2 binder clips that I had. I was afraid to put any more out there fearing that they would blow away, or at the very least, blow off and onto the roof below and I had no idea how I’d get anything off the roof. The day before I had been walking down our Calle and saw clothes pins and clothes fall down because it was so windy. A shop keeper scooped them up, chatting amiably and laughing with the person above in the open window.
A few random shots of the day:
On the way upstairs to our apartment, I met Nancy who was staying with her husband in the apartment on the main floor. Earlier I’d run into some people staying in the other ground floor apartment. I had not realized before this that it was a door on the main floor – the door to Nancy’s apartment. It was a mirrored door and I just never realized it. Nancy was quite chatty and invited me inside to see their apartment since I said I was going to be returning to Venice. It was nice, but very small. There was a door that opened directly on the canal just off the living space that was also the bedroom. It was a step down and through a glass door. The water level was low at the time, but I could see where it did indeed rise and this is one of the big reasons why I had not wanted to stay on the ground floor if it were on a canal. Sure, it was pretty awesome having direct access, but at the same time, my mind went directly to mold and mildew. I’d read a book by a couple who had moved to Venice and their first apartment was on the ground floor and they talked about the mold on the walls of the apartment and in the closets forcing them to move to another. I am allergic to both mold and mildew so this would not be ideal for me.
Back to the Zattere to catch a Vaporetto to Santa Maria della Salute. It really was windy and quite cold standing near the front of the Vaporetto taking pictures and a few video’s. I had not brought anything on the trip heavier than a light zippered sweater so between having a slight fever and the cold wind, I was freezing. I wasn’t paying attention and I got off at Zitelle on the Giudecca island. Angry at myself and feeling miserable from my escalating cold, I waited for the next Vaporetto and went home. It was 4:30 so it wouldn’t have left me much time were I to continue to Santa Maria since it closed at 5:00.
The Boys called at 5:30 saying they were heading back and did I want to go to dinner. We ate at Ai Sporivi on Campo San Barnaba, inside although there were just a few brave souls eating outside in the cold on the Campo. I enjoyed everything except my prawns as they were a lot of work for very little ‘meat’ and despite being grilled with garlic they had very little taste. When we were finished with our meal, we were given small glasses of Limoncello, it was then that I remembered I had a bottle in the fridge. After dinner Richard wanted to stop at a Gelateria that he said was one of Rick Steve’s suggestions and it turned out to be the same place I’d been the night before. By this time I really was feeling pretty crummy, I was still so cold and shivering, it was after 10:00 before we got home and I ended my nite with more cold medicine and another glass of Limoncello 🙂
Thursday, October 1, 2015
It is my last day in Venezia and I am dreading having to go home, it has just not been enough time. I am really feeling awful from this cold too, and as if Venezia senses all of this, it is cold and overcast today. I do manage to get out of the apartment by 9:30 walking the back way to the Zattere to catch a Vaporetto to St. Mark’s. On my way, I see Cantione Gia’ Schiavi is already open – I had not noticed it open this early before. On the ride to St. Mark’s I was really wishing I had something warmer to wear, although it could also be because I am certainly running a fever, I am freezing and just generally feeling miserable. I am the biggest baby when it comes to a cold – give me pain and I am fine with that, I can deal with all kinds of pain, but a cold? Nope, I’m a big ole’ baby.
Some photos of the Doges Palace and inside St. Mark’s Basilica. I saw that there were signs everywhere inside St. Mark’s saying ‘No Photos’, but I saw all kinds of people stopping and taking photos. Even some people with big ole’ DSLR’s taking their time and no one was stopping them or saying anything – so I quickly snapped a few with my phone, without using the flash of course, as I was walking out.
Doges Palace –
St. Mark’s Basilica –
Stopping outside on the Piazza there were several vendors selling the usual tourist stuff and I had to at least buy a tee shirt since I buy them wherever I go. Certainly couldn’t beat the price of €10. In fact everything that was being sold was a whole lot less expensive than what it would sell for here in the US. I normally pay at least $24.99 anywhere I go for a short sleeve tee shirt, unless there is a sale. This was certainly a bargain. So far I have not thought that Venice or any of Italy was all that expensive.
It being my last day in Venice, I had to stop at my favorite Wine Bar, Cantione Gia’ Schiavi, for my last cicchetti. Smoked Swordfish; Egg Yolks & Flower Petals; Octopus; Shrimp, Artichoke & Truffle were today’s choices. Of course there are other things & flavors going on in each one, but I am hard pressed to know just what. The Octopus had a little kick to it. Suffice it to say, each one I have had on this trip has been molto bene! You’ll notice that today I have a real plate! I stood inside, at the bar just like a real Italian.
Because I’d taken some videos this morning, my phone was in need of charging so I headed back to the apartment for a quick charge. On the way, I received an email letting me know that I could check in for our flight tomorrow. Since it is not a direct flight, we had a layover in Montreal, Quebec and you cannot select seats when flying into Montreal (at least this has been my experience on 3 previous flights) until 24 hours before your flight. The email I received was not from United, but from some company that I didn’t recognize, RV Air? The email link took me to their website and I had to re-enter all of our personal and passport information, and we had already been assigned seats. The entire procedure was quite confusing and took 45 minutes to complete as I was re-directed a few times, the connection was lost and I had to start over, but finally I got copies of our boarding passes. With this done I decided to take a Vaporetto ride over to the Cannaregio neighborhood. Oh it was indeed a cold and blustery day only compounded by my feverish state.
The ride over to the Ca’ d’Oro stop was longer than I thought it would be. I walked up and down Str. Nuova which is a broad walkway quite unlike any I’ve seen so far. It of course was lined with shops and places to eat. Oh no.. a McDonald’s! This is the first one that I have seen in Venice, and my heart sank a little, OK, a lot. It was disheartening to say the least, as was the number of ‘trinkets’ being sold in most of the shops. This was not the part of the Cannaregio that I meant to visit, but today is not the day to go wandering. I did stop and picked up some sweets as I have not had any dinner, and well, I do love my sweets. Unfortunately, as has been the trend on this trip, when I got home I took a bite out of each and that was all I could eat. I am just not understanding this at all.. I have never in my life had an appetite problem, well other than I always have a huge one that is!
A few random shots while in the Cannaregio
On the trip back home the Grand Canal was quite busy with all manner of water craft. I took a video but cannot upload video’s on my blog. The Boys had returned shortly after I got home, about 6:30, to have dinner. I decided to stay and start packing instead since I really wasn’t hungry and thought going to bed early might be a good thing. I was not looking forward to flying with the way I was feeling. The cold medicine that I’d been taking was not really helping, and I was taking Aspirin as well to keep the fever from getting too high. My night was spent packing and cleaning up my room and doing what few dishes we had and gathering garbage etc….. We were leaving the apartment at 8:00 in the morning, walking to the San Basilio stop to take a Vaporetto from there to Piazzale Roma and from there, the bus to the airport.
My heart is heavy as I go about packing up on this last evening. Solace comes from knowing that I will return. This trip has meant many things to me and will forever change me. It will take some time to gather all of my thoughts and emotions, but I will and I will be writing about them.
Ciao for now, and Grazie Millie to all who joined me on My Dream Trip.