Great Expectations ???
Venice Travel Blog› entry 20 of 23 › view all entries
Got up and ready to go and decided to a bit of proper sightseeing today. Getting more acquainted with the streets around us we walked down to the Grand Canal to get the vapereto at Ca D'Oro. It's only the number 1 bus that stops here and it was packed, and made for a rather unpleasant trip down the canal. Did have the rather unusual sight of a boat with a coffin sitting on it overtaking us as we sailed down towards the piazza San Marco.
Again as we got off here it was the same throng of people, and I started to get the feeling that, for me, this was going to be like Barcelona, been and seen it, but wouldn't rush to go back. Entering the square you could see the big queues for the Basilica San Marco and for the Doge's Palace. Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea we decided to join the queue for the palace.
Went to pay for the tickets using a card, and was told it was cash only. One of the major attractions in Venice doesn't accept plastic, but the tat stalls in the street in the Rialto Market do. Something amiss with all that :D ï»¿There was a big no photos sign as well :( but I ignored that as much as I could, only in the big open areas did I feel I couldn't get away with it, as they were quite alert, not just with cameras, but with folk looking like they were playing with their mobile phones.
First bit youcome to is basically just some old pillars, quite ornate, but only so many you can look at before the fascination wears off.
Didn't do the audio tour, as we had a guide book and read it as we went along. The first of the two large rooms the Sala Del Collegio had great paintings on the ceilings and near the end you come to the second The Chamber Of The Great Council that could hold up to 1500 people. From here we headed down through the armory and over the Bridge Of Sighs and down to the prison.
After stocking up on drinks again, we went and waited to go into Basilica San Marco. Again the queue kept moving forward, a lot to do with so many folk having waited getting turned away because they had bags. Any large bags or haversacks have to be checked in at a left luggage bit just along from the enterance. You also have to be appropriately dressed, and having brought a a long sleeve cotton top out with me I did a quick change in the queue, less I fall foul of the local police again :D.
The outside of the Basilica is really impressive and ornate, pity the inside left me so underwhelmed. Not quite sure why ? Maybe compared to the outside it doesn't match up, or the fact that it gothic but doesn't come close to the cathedral in Sevilla. Anyway the place managed to hold my attention for about 10 minutes before I had had enough. Decided we'd had enough of queueing, so skipped going up the bell tower, since it was destroyed and rebuilt in 1906 with a lift it seemed cheating. Not a proper bell tower unless you have to climb all the way to the top ;)
Since it was only me that had gone to the Rialto brige already we made for there.
Got to the Rialto and crossed over and had a wander round the market, and bought some touristy stuff this time for taking back. Spent about an hour around Rialto before decideing to head for Murano.If I'd ever heard of Murano Glass before it must never have sunk in, but my wife wanted to see it , so we walked from Rialto back up to the vapereto stop next to the apartment was,passing by canal 'roadworks' :O, and caught the boat out past the cemetery island, to Murano.
Really far from the madding crowd out here, and it was lovely walking down the deserted streets. It was late afternoon, so we didn't have time to go into any of the glass factories, but did take a gander round some of the shops and saw the amazing things they can do with glass. The only thing that was as amazing as the artwork were the amazing prices :O. Wish we'd done it sooner to go to one of the factories, and if there ever is a next time, it'll be top of my list of things to do .
Caught a boat heading back to Fondamente Nove, and stopped and bought ice cream there. Not particularly significant but it was my first success in four years of actually getting to eat an ice cream cone .
Went back to the apartment and relaxed for a bit and had a couple of beers before heading out for dinner, our last for this holiday. Went to a nearby restaurant back up on the Fondamente Nove, which was really more of a pizzeria than a restaurant, but had again been recommended by the guy that showed us to the apartment. It was OK, and while three went for pizza, I chose the lamb loin chops just to different.
Headed back after the meal and threw as much as possible into the rucksacks, since we had to be out of the apartment for 10am next day, before the cleaner arrived.