Monday, June 26, 2017

Venice: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

I once again woke early; looked out of our window and saw that we were pulling into Venice! The sight from our window was breathtaking, so I quickly showered and dressed and made my way to the back of the ship, in the shade to marvel at the beauty which surrounded me. The old buildings, churches, domes and canals were crazy! It was so much larger than I envisioned and I couldn’t wait to explore, it all!
We had lunch on the ship before heading out for the day, and as I feared, it was much hotter than I had hoped. Since my legs and feet were nearly back to normal, I didn’t think that I was at risk of having another reaction, although we knew it was a possibility, so we all vowed to go slow, and keep an eye on my legs.

We bought tickets to the people mover for 3 euros, round trip; it basically took us from the cruise port to an area where there were water taxis and buses, and bridges which we could walk over. We met a few guys on the mover and they told us that they had been to Venice many times and that we should go to San Marco Square, which was on our list, so we headed in that direction; or so we thought! They told us it was “close”to where we were. HA!

After a good hike, we came to a bridge, and didn’t know which way to go, after asking someone, we headed off in the direction they told us to go; we were in a square, but not the the right one. But it was very cool and we saw tons of old buildings and windows, on our walk, and in the square.

Eventually we came to another bridge, a large wooden bridge, and we went part of the way up; one direction you could not see what was up ahead, the other, you could see a very unique building with many domes. It looked like it was really close, like just down a street, on the left, so we decided to take a quick detour and see what that building was, before going to San Marco Square. We did NOT find what we were looking for, easily, but we did see many, many other interesting buildings and shops. One of the shops was a mask shop, and one of the artists was painting a beautiful mask, we spoke to her about her work and admired the many different masks that were in her shop. Joe and Cindy actually bought a gorgeous one to bring home, for their travel corner.

Eventually, we turned a corner, and there was the building, we had been looking for; right smack dab in front of us! it was a massive church, which did not allow picture taking, which is really annoying! I loved that France allowed you to take photos of all of the incredible things that you saw, as this chemo brain of mine has a short term memory, and I want to be able to look back and remember all of the beauty that I have seen. It seemed that since we arrived in Italy, it was much more common to NOT allow photos, inside the buildings.

After cooling down a bit in the church, we decided to look for someplace to sit down, with internet to catch up with things back home, have a drink, and go to the bathroom; apparently Italians have HUGE bladders, and no need for toilettes, so they are nearly impossible to find. Wouldn’t it just figure that there was not a cafĂ©’ to be seen; we had passed dozens, but now there were none. We started looking down alley-ways, me, all the while taking photo,  after photo and eventually asked someone on the street where we could sit down, and get some drinks.

She pointed a direction and we headed that way, finding a musical instrument museum, along our path. Due to the heat, we ducked in, to view the instruments and to cool off. Once again, no photos; I so wanted to take a photo of the flutes, for my daughter, who has a God given talent, and plays the flute like an angel, but sad to say, I was unable. I understand when they have the no photo rules, if taking the photo would cause harm, but if there is no flash, and no harm, I think it sucks! They do it just so you will be forced to purchase their photos, I suppose; haven’t they heard of Google images? I am sure I can find one there…if I remember.

I guess I shouldn’t complain, as there were so many, many photo options, and really, what am I going to do with them all, anyway? I just wanted a pic of those gorgeous flutes! Lol
Fortunately, just as I was about to collapse from the heat, we found a restaurant; with air conditioning, a bathroom, AND internet!! Score!!! We went in and ordered drinks; in France you got awesome bottles, filled with delicious tap water, in Italy you paid a high price for cheap, bottled water. A small price to pay for the amenities, I suppose, although the guys, beers were quite spendy, too! Before this pit stop, I was ready to go back to ship and have dinner and then come back in the evening, but we were all afraid if we did that, that we would never make it back! This cool reprieve revitalized me, and I was up for the mission of finding San Marcos Plaza.

We actually weren’t too far away at that point, and managed to get up, and over the wooden bridge, down a few alley ways and between a few buildings and there it was; a sight for sore eyes! The Basilica was MASSIVE, and intricate and ornate, and CLOSED!!! We missed going into the church by fifteen minutes! Lol Just our luck; we were all hot, and tired and I figured that I had probably pushed myself too far, once again.

But we had found the golden nugget, so I took tons of photos outside, went around to the exit and talked to the guy there; he allowed me to peek into the exit area, and I could see all of the gold leaf mosaics; it was beautiful, but just seeing the sculptures and mosaics on the outside of the church, was reward enough for me. After spending some time around the square, I think we were all hot and exhausted enough to call an end to our day.

We had intended to do a gondola ride, when the sun went down, but there were just SO many of them, stuck in traffic jams, that it just did not look like much fun; not to mention that we were ALL hot, tired and grumpy! Lol When we did stumble across a dock with rides, they were covering their gondolas, probably for a break, so we decided to just go back to the ship; the big fat question was how were we going to get there; there was NO way I could walk, an I don’t think any one else wanted to either, so we started looking for options.

I saw a water taxi drop off a group or people and their luggage at a hotel, so I ran over and asked, “How much?” To the port; 60 euros! For a fifteen minute ride, and I didn’t care! I was miserable! And they all must have been too, as everyone agreed; so off to the port we go.

I considered our taxi ride, our gondola ride, for one third the cost! It took us up and down canals, and eventually to the people mover, near the ship; once on the people mover, I noticed my legs; worse than before! Horribly broken blood vessels, all of the way up my thighs, this time, not to mention a larger area, with brighter, redder splotches covering my lower legs. I was not a happy girl. As a matter of fact, I was quite disgusted.

Joe and I noticed a man sitting across from us, you could see below his pant leg, that his legs probably looked like mine. His wife noticed my legs and came over and said that her husbands legs looked like mine, and showed me something they had picked up at the pharmacy; I am not sure what it was, but Arnica, and staying off of them and out of the heat seemed to help mine. I could not decipher the ingredients, so I didn’t want to risk using it; odd coincidence….he also has cancer. I seems that us cancer warriors do not like the heat or walking as much as we have been! He and I both reacted the same way, on the same “heat” day, after over doing it. Such a bother…..

It was a slow walk from the mover to the ship and I collapsed in the air conditioning in our cabin; I applied Arnica and relaxed until dinner. We had a great dinner and returned immediately back to our cabin for the night. I am feeling a bit bummed that I have yet to be able to explore the ship, and have seen little of it, other than our cabin and where we eat! Maybe tomorrow…..

Once back in our room, my favorite thing to do is to download all of my photos of the day from my camera, to my iPad; I have been doing this every day, so I can keep track of what is where. Tonight, I started the process, which continued like it has every other night since we left home. Downloading 467 photos! I was excited to see them and felt as though I had earned each and every one, and despite my. Painful legs, at least I was going to have some great photos, right?

WRONG!!!! I do not know what happened, but every single photo loaded, with absolutely no picture to view; every single one was nothing butt a blank screen. Not one photo transferred properly and had nothing to show for the day except my UGLY, RED, Throbbing legs!
Yup, just felt like crying, but was grateful that we would be in Venice another day; I went to sleep, bound and determined to to get more photos tomorrow, sick about the ones I had lost…sometimes, life makes you wonder, but hey….I am still alive, I can  breathe and I am traveling in Europe, with my husband and dear friends!!!How lucky am i? What a blessing!

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading about Venice. I was fortunate to see it many years ago. Could never do it now. Your legs look just like mine do at times. Stops me in my tracks. God bless you.


Bricks for the Brave!!