Wednesday, December 30, 2015

travelogue: venice, we go

Stop # 4 of euromoon: Venice, Italy

Somehow, it feels like cheating to put up a post for a trip you did not like.

So many people love it! We met a woman on this trip that has summer-long vacations in Venice every year.

Every. Year.

We didn't last 48 hours before we were imploding and exploding in a furnace of sweat and rage.

Everything smelled like pee.

Very, very hot pee.

(I should mention that I can't handle extreme heat)

(I sort of melt like a wicked witch. Very dramatic and yowly.)

Who knows, maybe this post will be a nice change of pace! You're so used to my over-the-top fawning at all the places we go to; all these adjectives involving magic and light and impossible beauty.

Why not a post about pee instead.

Before I get too cynical, I must admit that looking at these photos we took, makes me second guess myself. 

I mean, Venice is a city FLOATING ON WATER (this may not be the exact, er, engineering term for it.) That's pretty neat. The architecture is stunning, given the modern landscapes we hail from. And even in spite of the fact that I am not the biggest fan of Marble Statue Things, I stared at some of these stony faces and stony fingers and stony lions for a long time. 

This was my second time in Venice, and Bry's first. I had gone a decade or so prior, when my family and I took a five week trip around Italy. I remember being fond of Venice. This may have been due to reasons such as:
  • air conditioning 
  • staying in a super ritzy hotel for free (parent-journalist connections)
  • being well fed
  • pleasantly mild weather

That is my jaunty 21-year-old self in Italy in 2005. She seems very smug to me. Also, she is not sweating.

On the other hand, 31-year old-Joann was full of sweats as Venice experienced a heat wave at 35C for the two nights we were there. Staying in the city centre is expensive, and we had opted for a room in our host's house that was up four flights of (very steep) stairs. Hot air rises. Suffice to say the nights were not much better than the scorching days, and we lay in bed with the pitiful desk fan trained on our bodies, while feeling like we were being slowly prepared in a sous-vide cooking contraption. Leaving the cool mountains of Cortina felt a bit like a mistake.

After one night of this, I decided that we would go to the Peggy Guggenheim museum the next day--yes for the incredible art collection she amassed, which I was impressed with on my previous journey here, but moreover, for the air conditioning. 

I love you, AC.

The museum was solid, just like I remember. It's worth the admission fee even without the promise of cool, artificial air. We spent the rest of our last day wandering around Peggy's collection of Dali's and Picassos, before heading off for dinner (where we got swindled to pay $90 CDN for a baked sea bass, AKA our new inside-joke / warning of staying away from "basshole" situations where we may get charged an arm and a leg for no reason. Usage in sentence: "Should we add gravel insurance protection to this rental?" "No, we're being basshole-d.")

I'm not used to being so candidly negative about any city, so after this paragraph I am going to use an internet gadget that will give you amnesia as your look at the rest of our photos. You deserve to look at these canals with wonder.

Imagine it when it was old and ancient, with no threat of gelato-frenzied tourists. Get lost in the labyrinth of passages that seemingly make no sense.

Go walk around a city where water is your sidewalk.

Just make sure you bring nose plugs if you go in the July/August heat! Kekekekekeke.


  1. I recall getting bassholed on food too...I think gelato and the public market are the only safe choices for food in Venice, unless you have an insider to guide you to where the locals eat. I was there once for three days in was very nice for touring but I didn't really like it either, as picturesque as it is, until one day I went in search of the Frari church. The Frari has some of the only Titian's that are still in the place they were painted for, with their original architectural surrounds, definitely worth a trip. To get there I had to go on the vaporetto and get off a few stops down on the far side from St. Mark's and start walking inland. I found myself suddenly in what felt like a Venetian neighborhood, with small shops, local squares, etc. That was the third day....then I wanted to stay longer but didn't have any time left. I think it would take time to love Venice and it's an expensive place to hang around. Thanks for your take on "La Serenissima" (I think it's called)and great photos. Love, Karen

  2. I appreciate the #tbt 10 years ago photo :)