Monday, April 12, 2010

Venice 2010 - Part two

On our first full day in Venice we traveled to Murano, an island just north of Venice, which is well known for its glass factories and glass artisans. Our concierge arranged for us to travel via taxi down the Grand Canal and to have a private tour of the factory, its museum and grand showrooms. The grand showroom has some of the most exquisite handmade glass I have seen, ranging from chandeliers that are a quarter of million dollars to vases costing up to $20,000, to drinking glass sets trimmed in gold. Below are some pictures taken at Murano.

The first picture has the factory on the left. The water taxi is parked in front of the sales shop where we bought some items to bring home. The water taxi took us around to Venice from the opposite direction from which we came, thereby affording us a chance to see the other end of Venice from the one we had seen coming in from the airport and on the way to Murano.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Venice 2010 - part one

Though weary Evie and I arrived at our hotel in Venice, Hotel Bauer, Saturday afternoon around 3:30. We were to arrive just after 12:30 but just as our aircraft out of Rome was cleared for take-off a warning light went off. The aircraft returned to the gate, and we had to be rebooked to the next flight. A number of passengers were angry, but I am more than willing to be delayed rather than risk my life. The crew and Alitalia did the right thing. Alitalia even gave us a free coupon for lunch.

Out of Washington we almost missed our flight. We were there in plenty of time and were sitting at the gate almost 2 hours ahead. I nodded off and Evie with her hearing difficulties did not hear the boarding call. I awoke and was in the restroom when I heard them calling us by name…so we made the run for it and were the next to the last onboard the puddle jumper. The flight out of Boston was very comfortable, but long when you cannot sleep. Dinner was a lovely meal, breakfast was so-so. I spent much of the night reading my Kindle and listening to my iPod before trying to catch some sleep when I was too exhausted to read any more.

Though our flight was late, the firm with which we had booked our shared water taxi understood and once another couple arrive shortly after us, we were on the way to the hotel. We are staying at the Hotel Bauer, a lovely hotel that is on the Grand Canal and has its own taxi stop. Part of this upscale hotel which is a 3 minute walk from St. Mark’s Square was at one time a monastery built that was built in the early 1700s. It became a family run hotel around 1890 and ten years ago finished $38 million in renovations.

Our room is in the newer section that overlooks a small canal. We can highly recommend the Bauer if you were to visit. After taking a much needed shower and getting about 2.5 hrs of sleep we wondered down street and made our way northeast to backside of Teatro La Fenice (opera house) and up to Campo S. Angelo via small narrow streets. Just north of the campo (square) we found a lovely restaurant for dinner. We enjoyed a pleasant unhurried dinner, I had lasagna and Evie penne, for less than 50 Euros. Afterwards we wondered north a little further before cutting east via small out of the way streets to a major shopping street which we took to within a few streets from our hotel.

The visit to Venice has been pleasant to this point. The room is comfortable and the company is very enjoyable. Following are a few pictures from Venice. The first is the water taxis shots, the dock at the airport and the interior of the taxi (the back has a glass ceiling which can be pushed under the wooden ceiling, which we did to take in the sun and to take pictures).

Above, glass item in the Brauer Hotel lobby.

Below is the little canal beside our hotel...beyond in the Grand Canal. Our room is on the third flow overlooking the canal and the gondolas.