I've kept so many journals and travel diaries over the years. They are all in a drawer or two in our back room. After finding the travel journal from 2004 yesterday, I decided to find the one from 1989. Yes, my first impressions of Venice as a 21 year old backpacker:
Sunday 2nd April 1989, Venice, Italy. Cloudy, cool.
[text removed] We arrived in Venice at 3.44pm precisely. I rang a few numbers, got a map and headed off to a pensione near the station that was "cheap, clean and central" according to the guidebook. The lady running it was very nice. All the female pensione owners have been lovely. We then ventured out and wandered through this AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL city, past bridges, gondolas, vaporettos, shop after shop, restaurant after restaurant. We walked into piazzas and watched kids play soccer. We found dead-ends and like most people we got lost in the canals. Not surprising afterall there are 117 islands connected to one another. It ain't hard to get lost! We then found our way back to a restaurant that looked nice and had a great meal. Probably the nicest we've had in Italy so far. For [equiv] $AUS 15.00 we had pizza, drink, wine, coffee and a crepe. I had a Banana and Grand Marnier one. It was delicious!
Monday 3rd April 1989, Venice, Italy. OK...cool...rainy... cool.
Woke up this morning to the sound of church bells chiming and birds singing - very nice! I then had a long, hot shower which was WONDERFUL and we left to go walkies. We strolled around the canals, looked through all the shops, changed money and sat down for a breakfast of coffee and cake.
We caught a vaporetto to St Mark's Square which took ages. We walked through the Doge's Palace which was incredible - one room had drawings of Venice from 1400-1700 and it hasn't changed at all! The drawings were brilliant as were all the paintings on the walls, on the ceilings. The dungeons were cold though. You could almost hear the prisoners screaming and clawing through the bars. I found it a little scary actually.
After the Palace we went to St Mark's Basilica which like ALL churches in Italy is amazing. However it's older and different. It was mostly gold mosaics in the domes and ceiling. It was wonderful. It was interesting.
We walked back to the pensione, filled in some postcards we picked up and had dinner at the same restaurant again.
Oh, by the way, mum would LOVE this place. Paperweights and eggs are in every shop window. I'll try and buy her a paperweight even if they are expensive.
I'm going to leave the memories there. I did buy mum a paperweight. She had it in her paperweight collection for years. As you know, this next Venice trip is in memory of mum who passed away at the end of April. On the weekend I will be arranging to collect some of her belongings that we've had in storage since she died. Mum left me her paperweight collection. I'll let everyone in the family choose something they'd like from it and send some to her friends. But the one from Venice will be removed from the batch. That one is returning home. To me.