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Monday, 2nd January, 2012

Last day of the winter holidays - for those that work, and back to normal for everyone.  Oh the lawyers and the non-essentials as in executives will still be on theirs, as they have much longer ones, but most of the world will be business as usual.  It's kinda having a stretch and a yawn and then getting down to it again... But it's good to have a break from the norm.  All good holidays are like that.  You really need to get right away from what you do day to day, even if it is going to stay with a relative or friend but best if you manage to get out of the country; doesn't have to be super far-away, you could spend a day in most any European city, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam or even Barcelona, with quick flights or ferries.  You do need to be a little more ambulatory than i am, of course, or you need help with it.  Even negotiating an airport on my own isn't do-able any more, but for those that can, you should do it.
A good break refreshes the mind as well as the body and that's really what it's all about.  i well recall the mix of  delight/terror of going somewhere i have never been before, especially on my own.  Standing in Marco Polo airport, saying to myself 'i'm in Venice' and taking a water taxi with a couple of others to the St Marks Square stop.  Loving the trip through the Lagoon, surprisingly long and quite cool, as it is February.  When i reached my hotel, i found they had booked my room on the top floor and the room was not only quite unsuitable but really tiny.  i hadn't realised that none of the hotels have lifts and i would have to take the stairs.
The Concierge clicked his tongue a lot taking me up there and said he would move me as soon as possible to something more suitable, and the very next day, did just that.  On the first floor [there were no rooms on the ground floor], a nice interior room for a couple of nights and then into a superior single with an outside french door onto a tiny balcony.  The porters were attentive and brought me anything i wanted.  Tiny but quite serviceable little ensuite and some of the most elaborate decorations throughout that i have ever seen - real flocked-paper & chandelier opulence that had to be seen to be believed!  A real tart's boud-war!
This little jewel was called the American Hotel [i have no idea why] and was on a tiny side canal ten minutes walk from the Academia Bridge.  There was a restaurant one door away [expensive] with a bakery round the corner [very nice].  Across the tiny footbridge going towards the Academia, there were little shops and a small restaurant [much cheaper] that i ate at several times.  Just next to the Bridge, there was a lovely little pizzeria and i ate there too.  Wish i could have kidnapped a couple of the waiters, quite as delicious as their menu!  Nice atmosphere and very relaxed.
i never felt threatened or in any danger walking at night through Venice and i frequently saw police on foot in and around the area; mostly getting cash at the ATM just down from the pizzeria.  Even in and around St Marks Square, there is a very relaxed vibe in Venice - don't bother getting up early to be wherever you want to go, very little opens before 9am.  You can take photos of the Square with about 5 visible people at 8am on the weekend, quite amazing.  The weekdays aren't much busier, though i'm sure there's more traffic in the busy side streets.
i watched out for the local workmen at lunchtimes to see where they ate.  You could be sure it would be the cheapest places and down at the Ferrovia vaparetto stop [last one on the Grand Canal], i followed a couple to a small place that had some small tables and a bar at the front and the main eating area through to the rear.  You could eat very cheaply there or add on salads etc to your wishes for a little more.  i ate there frequently.

Hmmmm, i hadn't meant to write a quick Guide To Venice when i started this post!  i guess it is a holiday i really loved and i would really like to go back.  Sadly it is a walking city with lots of steps, though you can go many places in a wheelchair; though heaven only knows how you'd get on in the hotels.

Writing about food always makes me hungry!  So i'm off to make myself a sandwich.  i hope you had a terrific Christmas and New Year break and that 2012 is a fabulous year for you, my f-list mateys!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
I've always wanted to go to Venice...I could never go anywhere on my own unfortunately. You are so brave. Smashing post. Happy New Year. x
Jan. 4th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
Brave? Not really, just if i waited for someone to go with me, i'd never get to go! And don't forget, i'm used to my own company... :D
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )