DATE: Tuesday 18 July, 1995

PLACE: Jesolo to Venice


The beach at Jesolo

REMARKS: Venice - here we come! But first: the kids want a swim. The Beach is my worst nightmare in glaring reality. A strip of sand several kilometres long, divided into 'private' beaches; rows of hotel / apartment buildings fronting the beach; overlooking serried rows of deck-chairs in pairs with sun umbrellas, and a wooden pier every few hundred metres. A concrete path, changing tents, itinerant vendors of everything - the works!

And people everywhere - most of them sunburned. Here are family groups - holidaymakers rather than tourists, especially north Europeans - Germans and French seem to predominate.

The kids are oblivious to all this, and enjoy 2 hours of water and sun and frolic before we get back in the car and head for Venice.

We end up in huge parking building (worrying continuously about the safety of the bags left in the car) and drag those we need to the vaporetto (water taxi) and head for Castello. It is absolutely jam-packed!

Venice itself is like other Italian cities: a medieval/Renaissance maze of lanes and alleys, but with canals of various sizes added, and of course with gondolas and no cars or bikes. We struggle through to the hotel only to be lead further into the maze to our apartment. It is a bit ramshackle & a jumble of tacky fittings, but spacious, central and ours for 3 nights.

We have to get new Visa cards from the Deutsche Bank but miss it by about 3 minutes because we got lost earlier. Never mind: tomorrow will have to do.

Like other Italian cities, Venice looks a tad scruffy. Many buildings appear in dire need of a good clean, some clearly in need of repair or replacement. But its very age has given it a diversity of form, style, size, decoration, colour, and perspective; and I am enchanted.

I have never before been so struck by the possibilities of curved streets, short lanes, and piazzas and squares to give an endless variety of perspectives and views in an urban landscape. Certainly New Zealand cities lack this seemingly casual approach to building placement, and suffer accordingly.

Everyone is starting to suffer from the pace: Charlotte is looking forward to Scotland 'because it will be cooler'; Desiree is getting tired of harsh stone cities; Jayne and I are just getting tired in the heat. I'm hanging on for a few days of indolence on the canal. And Sarah? Sarah is just Sarah: a quiet observer with big eyes drinking it all in - I hope!









All the photos in one place!





Maps & Aerial Photos

Our thanks to all & sundry