Friday, December 23, 2011

And so we return

It's been one year and 12 days since we were last in Venice.  When we were planning for this latest trip we thought it would be too soon but the minute we got off the train, we realised we were home.  It seemed like only yesterday we left.  The church opposite Santa Lucia was still being restored!  We went straight to the Venice Connected stand to pick up our vaporetto weekly ticket and toilet passes.  We pre-ordered them about a month ago and simply handed over our printed confirmation and a few minutes later we were on the 2 express up to San Marco.  Apart from a couple of photos on the Blackberry to load quickly onto Facebook to let our friends know we had arrived safely, the cameras stayed tucked away and we chatted quitely away as the vaporetto took us up to the hub of Venice. 

We rented an apartment again from Lux-Rest and the lovely Barbara met us at the Ferrari shop next door.  It was good we knew where the apartment was - it was the one we stayed in back in January 2008.  Very central but probably good for this time of year.  NEXT time we'd like to try another sestiere.  A few changes had been made since our last visit.  Once the formalities were done, cleaner money, and tourist tax handed over, we headed off to an ATM for some money and then to a restaurant just off San Lio which we hadn't been to previously.  We had a relatively simple meal and then popped into our a favourite restaurant of ours to book it for New Year's Eve.  We were a little surprised we had to leave credit card details OR 50 euros to reserve our table!  We ended up going for a 9pm setting, after which we'll head off to San Marco Piazza for midnight. 

A coop supermarket was in the area so we filled the apartment with some groceries - coffee, sugar, milk, bread etc - and then headed back out to the square (a minute away!) and walked up the Riva Schiavoni to via Garibaldi and back again, watching the sun set beautifully over the water, San Giorgio Maggiore, Salute and other wonderful churches. 

My love of the pink lamps of Venice was also getting a workout.  This time I photographed them as the sun set behind - just glorious.

We had a little hiccup tonight when all the power went out.  About 90 minutes inconvenience but then it righted itself, with the help of an electrician, and we ended up going somewhere close to the apartment for dinner.  Not usually a wise suggestion, seeing we are so close to San Marco, and we ended up choosing Ristorante "da Carletto" in Castello along Calle delle Bande.  The menu was in multiple languages but we both just wanted a pasta.  We both enjoyed what we ordered - salmon pasta and a fresh crab one - but were shocked with the bill.  The salmon pasta was only 14 euros but the crab one (a special of the day) was a whopping 25 euros.  I would have recommended the pasta there and indeed the restaurant itself - even though it was more touristy than we usually like - but the bill - at 52 euros for two pastas and a mineral water - was too expensive for what we got.  Ah, we all get caught doing things the wrong way.  Live and learn. 

Part of us doesn't really care, we're in Venice and we are happy. 

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