Friday, October 31, 2014

Venice - Tidbits

A few more sights from Venice before our trip comes to a close:

Produce store on a boat

There was a Visual Public Service project in the city that included statements posted on shop windows.  This one was my favorite:

This dog was playing fetch with her owner.  The owner was walking and chatting and would kick the ball from time to time.  The dog was intense and hilarious, not wanting anyone but her owner to touch the ball.

Without a lot of wide open spaces, it is common to find kids playing on whatever flat surface they can.  Even better if it isn't bordered by water!

There are lots of reliquaries to be found on the streets of Venice.  This one was a unique one.

There were also a ton of faces to be spotted if you open your eyes to them.  This one is having a bit of an issue with her eyebrows.

This dog was on a solo adventure and did not want to be caught.  He was doing something else when I aimed my camera but the shot turned into this by the time I hit the shutter! Leaving some pee-mail, as they say.

This doggy was waiting patiently outside of a market without a leash.  The perils to unleashed dogs are dramatically reduced when you take cars out of the equation so it was really common to see unleashed dogs in the neighborhood.

Spazzy poodle has the advantage of being unleashed.

Traffic jam!

Commentary on tourists near the area where all of the designer brands have stores.

A canal wall that is the exact gray/green combo as my Timbuk 2 bag:

In Venice, the bars commonly serve chichetti, which are small portions of food served along with drinks (basically Italian tapas).  On our last evening, we stopped for some at a bar in our neighorbood.  We each had 2 delicious, small sandwiches while I drank prosecco and my mom drank a spritz.  Spritz drinks are all the rage in Venice right now, according to the bartender.  A Spritz consists of prosecco, aperol or campari, soda water, an orange wedge and an olive.  It is a great idea to get a wine buzz before packing, right?

And here we find ourselves at the end of the last day of the 2 whirlwind weeks we spent in Italy.  As you can see, we experienced so many wonderful, beautiful, memorable things that it took me over a month to post about it all.

The next morning, with a quick, blurry selfie to cap it off, we boarded the boat to the airport.  In another near miss, the air traffic controllers were scheduled to strike the morning we were leaving.  Thankfully, it was called off at the last minute and we departed without any drama or delays. 

In the month that has passed since our return, I have already mostly forgotten how hard it is on your body to fly that far and long (24 hour journey each way) with such little sleep.  I am already excitedly thinking about what my next faraway adventure might be.

Thanks for sharing the trip with me, Mom!  It was a pleasure to share the journey with you.

And, thanks to you, my blog readers, too.  It is fun for me to know you are reliving the journey with me through these shared pictures and stories.  I hope you enjoyed your time in Italy!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Venetian Island of Burano - Lace, lace, lace.

Let's just take care of that selfie-a-day requirement right off the bat, shall we?

Another day in Venice, another vaporetto ride to adventure.  This time to Burano, where the ladies make lace and the houses are brightly colored.

This style of lace is made with thread.  As someone who knits in fine gauge yarn, I should be used to investing tons of time in one project.  Still, I was astonished at the time, detail and skill needed to create a small area of this type of lace.

They have a museum, too. We went in.  It didn't knock my socks off.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ventian Island of Murano - Glass, glass, glass.

I would have been completely happy spending the duration of our time in Venice wandering around the main island. However, the allure of the surrounding islands was strong enough that we decided to spend some time on 2 of them. We chose to visit Murano, which is famous for glassmaking, and Burano, which has a strong history of lacemaking.  To get to the other islands, you can take the vaporetto (city boat).  Today, I have some scenes from Murano to share with you and we'll cover Burano tomorrow.

We visited the glass museum during our time on Murano.

It is also common to step into a store and watch an artisan at work.  This woman was making beads using a lampwork technique.

A selfie a day is an important part of tourism. Ha!

On the vaporetto ride back to the main island, I spotted this dad who had his hands full with 2 kids in a stroller and 2 large dogs that he wrangled on and off the boat with ease. Impressive!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Venice - Canals and City Sights

Imagine if all of the roads in your city suddenly adjusted so that they shifted direction every block, none of them following a straight path.  Imagine the streets become 1/4 as wide and that 1/3 of them are now dead ends.  Now turn the road into water.  Imagine on these water roads that all of the buses, cars, taxis, ambulances and delivery trucks have turned into boats.  Now imagine that your city is completely surrounded by the ocean.  There!  Now you are starting to get the feeling of being in Venice!

Venice is such a spectacle for the eyes.  All I needed to do to find contentment was tuck my map away and head out with my camera, following my whims at each corner.  It is an enthralling city for those that love the aesthetic of slight disrepair balanced with a bit of grandiose and ornate.

Thanks for the photo, Mom!

We rented an apartment for the 4 nights we stayed in Venice. I had visited Venice for a week when I studied in Italy and got the feeling that nobody actually lived in the city. It felt like Venice was for tourists. Well, it is true that the city is swarming with tourists, but the neighborhood we stayed in this time proved that people do live there and that you can find areas of Venice where the residents outnumber the tourists.

 From our apartment windows, we could hear the shouts of kids heading to school on the streets below. On Via Garibaldi, the main street in the neighborhood, we saw many people going about their daily business of grocery shopping, walking the dog and ushering home overly tired children after a dinner out or a nighttime walk around the neighborhood. On the side streets we saw laundry drying, teenagers saying goodbye after school and neighbors catching up with each other. As you might imagine, we were thrilled we ended up staying in that neighborhood.

Remember those transportation options I went over before?  Here are some examples:



Taxi (masks optional)


If you lived here, this is what your neighborhood parking lot would look like:

We didn't spend a lot of time out at night, but I did take one solo walk in which I started out on the main road and saw some enormous boats docked in the lagoon.

And then I headed to the smaller roads and walkways. I ended up completely alone in some really narrow passageways, which spooked me a bit. Nothing happened, but I did have a moment where my hair on my neck raised up and my instincts shouted, "This is unwise!" I was really happy when I emerged out of the twisting corridor onto a familiar main road that was populated.

Remember those tourists, I mentioned?  Here are some of their favorite spots:

I think this gondolier wins the award for most fashion shoot ready.

Don't worry. I am not done with Venice yet.  There are a few more posts coming up!
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