Sunday, September 19, 2010

Venice....a wash out

When we arrived in Venice, we were aware that heavy rain was forecast for most of our stay, but we remained optimistic…as you do when you have absolutely no control over weather conditions while travelling. Our first day in Venice was overcast, a little cool and breezy, but we were able to wander the beautiful streets of this very unique city and see pretty much everything we wanted to. San Marco Square was a beautiful sight to behold, despite being partly covered with scaffolding. The Basilica, being the centre point of the square, impressed us with its amazing mosaic art work flooring and the ceiling covered in gold mosaics, carefully placed to create religious images and visual stories. As we meandered the alleyways of Venice and alongside the canals, we gazed upon the houses on stilts hovering on the water. How fascinating it was to see the locals pull up in their boats to their front door. We wondered about how such a city could be built and suspended above water for so long. It’s not so difficult to see however, that many buildings are struggling to stay put, with obvious leans in the structures, peeling plaster and solid stone opening up into significant crevices. These flaws may be disturbing or worrying for the local, but for the travelers eye, they simply add to the character of this enchanting city. We watched in awe of the very fancy gondolas, skillfully steered by the Italian man. We inquired about the price for a 40 minute ride and decided we would leave it until the following day. Again, we were hopeful, but this did turn out to be a wrong decision.

Apparently, Venice is known for heavy rain and thunderstorms that often lead to flooding. We were there for 2 nights and after the first night, this place definitely lived up to its name, providing extremely wet conditions in which our umbrella did not perform too well. Thankfully, our tent did a little better and apart from a slight leak, we managed to wake in the morning without any soggy feelings. That of course, changed the moment we exited the tent and discovered we could almost swim in the puddles surrounding our home away from home. To give you a picture of how hard it rained the night before….the only thing we could see fit to do before going to bed, was to watch something we had downloaded on our laptop, but with the volume set at it’s maximum, we still struggled to hear the sound over the rain drops pounding our tent. It pretty much rained like this for the whole night and into the morning. We had planned to stay at least 3 nights in Venice, but we knew the weather was going to prevent us from doing anything significant, including a gondola ride. It is not an uncommon dream for a lady planning to visit Venice, to want the romantic sunset ride on a gondola and for me this was no different. Although hopeful, the bucketing rain meant this dream was not going to become reality…at least this time round. We would have had to stay in Venice at least another 2 nights to have any possibility of sunshine, so we decided to cut our losses and move onto our next destination – Croatia. Despite our disappointment, we were thankful we were able to see Venice for at least one day.

San Marco Square & Basilica

One of the many beautiful canals

At least I captured a gondola in a pic...and I can still dream! :-)


Gwen Pittaway said...

what a shame about the weather, and the ride in the Gondola, yes you will have to dream, does that
include the guy singing to you,lol. maybe Tim could do that! Amazing photos!

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