Water World

So Venice was beautiful. I bet you’re surprised, eh? To be honest, it’s very difficult to write about Venice without using the word ‘beautiful’, because that’s pretty much Venice’s raison d’etre – to be beautiful.

It also means that it’s hard to talk about the place without saying things people already know. (“It’s full of canals!” “There are gondolas everywhere!” “The ice cream is amazing!”)

I guess I’ll start by answering the two questions I’ve been asked most since I got home:

1) The weather was beautiful, despite the BBC weather office predicting three days of solid rain.

2) It didn’t smell. Although I have a feeling it must honk like a rubbish tip in the summer. Which reminds me: never book a trip to Venice in the height of the season, because everybody I’ve spoken to tells me it’s too hot, too crowded and too whiffy. October was perfect.

I walked for miles and miles through tiny Venetian alleyways, and there was always something to see, no matter where I ended up (and not all of it entirely upright):

Despite the expense, I also partook of the ultimate Venice cliche, a gondola ride – but I avoided the touristy spots (where the gondolas piled beside each other like buses over Waterloo Bridge, and the tourists were herded on and off them like cattle). Instead I found a secluded canal and punted off – past Marco Polo’s house – to the Grand Canal, where other gondoliers were singing ‘O Sole Mio’ as the sun was setting the church bells rang. It was, cheesiness aside, the most amazing, wonderful moment…

And obviously my gondolier was pretty hunky, too, which helped:

There WERE a few surprises to be found, of course, such as this stone sculpture on the shores of the Lido…

But Venice was Venice the rest of the time.

All in all, a marvellous holiday, and the perfect way to spend my birthday. Hmm. Where shall I go next year? Although I think the taxman may scupper any adventures from now on, curse his eyes…

In other news: today I’m writing four DVD reviews, one SFX column and two features, which I’m hoping to finish by lunchtime tomorrow because my best mate Biddy is arriving for a week-long visit. It’s going to be wonderful doing nothing while she’s here – no writing, no subbing, no worrying. We intend to geek out about Supernatural and eat vast quantities of junk food. As far as I’m concerned, life doesn’t get much better than that!

Hope you enjoy your week too…

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

10 responses to “Water World

  1. Lerxst

    “We are renaissance children,
    Becalmed beneath the Bridge of Sighs
    Forever throwing firebrands at the stonework…”

    Glad to hear you had a great time Jayne. Have to admit I was studiously not mentioning the stink, as that WAS my experience of Venice (but I went in an August).

    Venice itself is a beautiful city but my general memory of Northern Italy is thinking how, hmm, rundown parts of it looked – or maybe it was just very noticeable if you entered from Austria. The joke was you could tell which side of the border you were on by the state of the buildings: one side the chalets were all pristine, painted and just a bit chocolate-box, with beautiful window box displays, and the other they looked like they’d fall down if you lent on them 🙂

    BTW I hope you don’t mind me saying but nice last photo – you look stunning! Venice obviously suits you.

  2. Never been to Italy (yet!), but we love to travel. We have just returned from a few nice and sunny days in Edinburgh, and enjoyed it tremendously.
    And Jayne, you know about our standing invitation to come and stay with us so we can show you some big windmills and stuff, right? It’s quite affordable to hop over to the Netherlands, and when you take the overnight STENA-ferry, you can have a mini-cruise experience (without the loveboat-song or the corny jokes, laughtrack or has-been actors). Consider it, okay?
    We have chocolate (for breakfast!)
    And I agree with Lerxt about that last photograph!

  3. Lerxst

    Jayne, I think Ruud is trying to give you a subtle hint 🙂

  4. Lerxst

    Ps.. if you haven’t heard them, check out the Penny Dreadfuls & their Brothers Faversham… hilarious stuff

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00dxf2n

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00dy521
    ‘flocking like angsty suckling lambs to the gloom teat’…
    Oh and spot the Star Wars reference….

  5. …hm, according to my wife, any more sublte would involve hitting Jayne on the head with a tulip wrapped around a wooden shoe (size optional), and dumping her unconcious on the Hook of Holland ferry….
    But yes, we enjoyed her company a lot, and would like to show her a bit of the Netherlands. I am sure she will find things to like and squee about….

  6. Lerxst

    Indeed I’m sure you’re right though it’s years since I’ve visited the Netherlands. Indeed, I must have been around six.

    I have vague memories of the Euromast in Rotterdam. However, I think the most memorable part of the trip came in Amsterdam. My parents had had their honeymoon there and my mum was keen to show my brother and I ‘all the lovely little shops’. Ah, the gentle teasing she’s had to put with since it turned out that all the little shops in the particular area she wanted to show us, now had women in the window displays….. 🙂

  7. …I think I know them (but only from others telling me about them of course!)
    When I was a seacadet in my teens, I once spend the day in Amsterdam as part of a group showing visiting cadets from the UK, Canada and Sweden around. Strangely enough, all the guests were curious about The District of Amsterdam.
    You have no idea what effect a naval uniform has on these women…
    I still think it’s a nice city.
    But only to visit…

  8. …I think I know them (but only from others telling me about them of course!)
    When I was a seacadet in my teens, I once spend the day in Amsterdam as part of a group showing visiting cadets from the UK, Canada and Sweden around. Strangely enough, all the guests were curious about That District of Amsterdam.
    You have no idea what effect a naval uniform has on these women…
    I still think it’s a nice city.
    But only to visit…

  9. Lerxst

    Well, I guess all cities have these areas, if not necessarily quite as ‘in your face’.

    One of my occasional haunts in London used to be the old Intrepid Fox pub in Soho – basically a goth/metal/biker pub, with the best background music in London. But the window seats there looked out across the street onto what, if you sat there for any time, you realised was an unmarked ‘walk-up’, with a regular stream of nervous-looking men heading in and out

    (And that’s not even mentioning the rather more obvious places in Soho…)

  10. …well, they Red Light district remains quite popular with visitors.
    Yup, while the Rembrants, van Gogh’s and Anne Frank’s house are within walkingdistance, bothings seems to beat looking at exploited women from eastern Europe, south America or the Filipines…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s