January 2, 2007

So, from Hotel Heaven on to Venice.

This was a slightly odd bit of the trip. On paper it made absolute sense to spend time in Venice but Mandy was, well, indifferent. However, we needed to be in Venice early on Sunday morning to catch Ferry #1 and she’d never been there so she was a bit thin on decent arguments to stay anywhere else. So, she did the obligatory hotel search and booked us into a place near to the Jewish quarter.

We left Hotel Heaven, reluctantly, and drove East towards Venice. Then, just a quick trip over the causeway and into the biggest car park in Europe. Amazing the stuff that you find in these guidebooks! The car was parked – or ransomed considering the cost of a couple of nights in this place – and we headed off to catch a vaporetto to the hotel.

It turned out that the stock room photo that the hotel used to show how grand and spacious their rooms were (a likely story – this is Venice you know) was the one that they’d put us in. Really, a king size bed, spare chaise long and more cherubs and gold leaf than was strictly necessary.

Absurdly opulent hotel room
Venice Hotel

The hotel turned out to be perfectly placed for hopping on vaparettos and exploring Venice.

So we did, all weekend. And Mandy loved every minute of it ;-)

We did the usual touristy things, including a visit to the island of Murano, home of the glassmakers of Venice. Whilst Mandy was ogling a hand-painted vase a salesman was calculating his commission, seeing an easy sale. Our glib response of Sorry, driving to Cyprus and there’s no spare room in the car was countered, very quickly, with an offer to ship the vase anywhere in the world for an extra €40, complete with insurance so that if it was damaged in transit they would replace it free of charge. We came close to giving in but escaped with the credit card intact.

Handmade Murano glass vase
The Vase

Apart from the Murano trip we worked our way across Venice, periodically bumping into crowds of Brits watching England exit the World Cup. We visited St Mark’s, ate pasta and generally acted like tourists. The pace was entirely different to the previous couple of stops and we probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it quite so much if we hadn’t had the peacefulness of Lake Garda.

Anyway, early Sunday morning saw us checking out of the hotel and heading off in search of Ferry #1.

Obligatory photo of the Rialto Bridge


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