Wednesday, 18 January 2006


Following on from our trip to Ljubljana, we spent four days and four nights in Venice, and I have to
say it is at once a really great place to visit and seemingly an awful place to live. It's really cool taking a water bus down the Grand Canal, but on
the other hand it's really annoying to find that you can't get to your destination which is about 20m away because there is a canal in the way. On
the other hand it must have been a great defence against marauding Lombards.

Some of the views in the city are fantastic. As a bonus they really seem to have a thing for towers, so you can get a great view of the whole setting from 60m up, where you can see right out to the Adriatic, or to the Alps.

We were staying on the island of Lido, which is a long, thin island that has the rest of the islands on one side and the Adriatic on the other. I was surprised to find that it actually has cars, something that isn't present in the main Venice islands, since, I mean, what would be the point? We stayed at a hotel called the Villa Mabapa, which was nice, but not as nice as the place in Slovenia. Eric had gone home to Coburg, and was replaced by super-sub Matthew, who flew in from the UK.

The first day we spent basically looking around. We had four full days to check out the place, so we weren't in any hurry. The second day we went through San Marco's Basilica and the Doge's Palace, both of which were amazing. I tell you, that Doge was sure on a good thing, except that it seemed like a lot of politicians spent all their time tramping through his place. Basically every inch of every floor, wall or ceiling was covered in some kind of decoration or painting representing some aspect of Venice. Those visiting dignitaries surely couldn't help but be a little intimidated. The other issue with the residence, as I see it, is that it is connected directly to a prison via a bridge.

The Basilica is similarly ornate. The walls and domed ceilings are covered in all kinds of, I'm sure, deeply profound images. There are also many cool Latin phrases, few of which I could interpret, but were cool anyway because they were in Latin.

On day 3 we went to see the Peggy Guggenheim collection. While little of it made any sense to me, there were lots of people there who looked very impressed, so I guess it was good. There were certainly a lot of famous names represented there, so at least I can claim to have seen the art that I don't understand. We also visited the Jewish quarter to have lunch at a place that we had heard about. We would have had dinner there, but they were closed for Sabbath after sundown since it was Friday.

By day 4 we had seen most of the interesting stuff, so we took the bus across to some of the other islands. We went to a museum on the island of Murano, which is the centre of the supposedly famous Venetian glass industry. However, this museum was not as impressive as many of the other sights. After this it was time to catch the night train back to Coburg. It wasn't the most comfortable ride ever, and we didn't get much sleep, since we had to get up at about 6:00 to change trains in Munich. However, by this time I was somewhat tired, and glad to be able to catch up on some sleep.

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