Relatively lazy day today, bit of shopping, the variety of fresh fruit and veg, cheese and pasta is amazing. So a great lunch of super fresh salad, bresaola, burrata, five different kinds of olives and three different kinds of bread was thoroughly enjoyed. Amr was very disappointed that the forecasted thunder storm turned out to be nothing more than a shower of rain. But after the rain we found everywhere a strange yellow colour, washed out of the trees by the rain, only hope it washes off the tent! As it brightened up I the evening we went for a walk to the pine wood – pineta- to find that most of the wood has been taken up with development, but the trees are getting their own back, the road is ruined by tree roots! There was a small church to St Theresa which looked like it had open air services judging by the way the benches were arranged. Adjacent to the church area was a series of religious pictures in the woodland, telling the story of Jesus birth. The pine trees here, which I have previously referred to as umbrella trees, because they look like umbrellas, have huge pine cones, so memories of my first ever holiday in Bournmouth where my dad found a huge pine cone which sat on their plate rail in the hall for ever, meant Amr had to find me a huge pine cone! He duly did of course!!
As it was raining again when we got up we abandoned our plan to go into Venice and spent the morning with Amr teaching me how do do formulas on spreadsheets!
As it cleared up we set of in the direction of a Laguna which I had seen on the map. Driving by the side of a canal we found ourselves in an area pointing us to the Laguna and beach so off we set. There was a wooded area which we saw a family heading off to, but not sure ourselves we followed the road, which ended with a choice of two way, one to the beach, one into the wooded area signposted bird watching. Sure enough as soon as we stepped that way we were met by a beautiful bird, which we haven’t seen before. Following the path alongside of the inlet we soon found it muddy and ventured further into the wood. It was beautiful, and loads of huge pine cones, so we had to find the biggest ones. We kept wandering and met an older couple obviously foraging, but for what we were not sure, looked a bit like samphire. Further along – not sure who was the most surprised – there was a large gentleman coming towards us ( me in the lead on the narrow path). As I saw him coming towards us bare chested, I thought ooh nice tan, till I realised that it was an allover tan, fortunately for my modesty he placed his large bag strategically across himself! Thinking we may be headed for a nudist beach we decided it safer if we turned back. On our way back we passed a number of shifty looking single men all headed in the same direction, I was pleased to get out of the wood and into the car and out of the car park!!
We headed on further to Caorle, a town further up the coast. All the fishing boats were in, and we found it was a lovely town, with huge beaches each side of the main town.
The seafront was protected by large boulders which had been sculpted by various sculptors and looked great, much better than just a pile of rocks. We couldn’t resist a gelato of course, and my liquorice and lemon scoops were absolutely delicious.
Wednesday 25th May
An early start by bus and ferry got us into Venice San Marco by 9.30am, before even the shops and most cafes were open! Best time to arrive, the difference between San Marco when we arrived and when we left was incredible. We spent the day just following our instincts, where ever looked interesting we followed, easier than trying to follow a map and much more interesting! Amr couldn’t remember anything other than the cost of the meal from the last time we were in Venice together… 1983 on our honeymoon! I did keep boring him with ‘ when Sally and I were here….’. The sun was shining this time so the colours were bright and vivid, the water aquamarine, the gondolas in full swing, many with musical accompaniment which sounded great. The cathedral of San Marco was sparkling in the sunlight the gold paint standing out beautifully. The one disappointment was that the Rialto Bridge is under renovation so we could not see it in all its glory, just walk over the bridge from the centre.
We walked in and out of alleyways and streets as far as Punto Roma near the railway station, and got the vaparetto back down the grand canal as far as the Rialto Market. A fabulous market with so much really fresh produce, loads of different kinds of fish which looked really appealing. All this food gave us an appetite – not to mention all the walking – so whilst deciding whether to have a takeaway pizza slice or a meal, Amr spotted a table right next to the Grand Canal and made a beeline for it! We knew we would be stung on the price, but hey the view was fabulous, just by the Rialto Bridge, In front of the gondola station, great for people and boat watching. The amount of water traffic on the grand canal, and the rest of the waterways is phenomenal, how no one crashes I don’t know.
After a tasty lunch, more walking, this time to the south Island of Guidecca, where while taking a rest on the steps of the church we watched a group flying a drone, must have been something official they had a police escort! What was fascinating was the way the seagulls reacted to it. Obviously thinking it was an invading bird, they joined forces to attack and protect their territory. By now nine miles of walking in the sun, up and down bridges, was taking its toll so we made our way back to the ferry terminal, just in time for the next ferry home.