Venice in the pouring rain…

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Well, this surprise weekend trip came at a slight, er, cost. An unforeseen one. Let’s see…The best thing to do is start at the beginning.

We left for Venice on Friday afternoon, after work, and arrived there around dinnertime. We stayed in a lovely little 3-star hotel (for which Stefano had found a lovely little discount online!), which was about a five minute walk to Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square). Perfect location. Friendly, helpful staff, nice breakfast. Things were looking good. 

On Saturday morning we awoke to the sound and grayness of rain. It was only drizzle at that point. But we’d been smart (or so we thought!): we’d checked the weather forecast and knew it was going to rain on Saturday, so we’d had packed our Skomer island, puffin-watching rain gear. Covered from head to toe, no worries! (Again, so we thought.)

IMG_4722By late morning the annoying drizzle (see gondola photo no. 1) had turned into a downpour, so much so that the hotel receptionist told us (later) that she hadn’t seen anything like it in all the years she’d been in Venice. It was chilly, too, and, as if that weren’t enough, in the afternoon the wind picked up…in Piazza San Marco, especially. Everywhere you looked there were frantic, wet tourists trying to hold onto their useless, mangled umbrellas (by the way, many of those broken umbrellas ended up getting dumped on the streets, which really irritated me…Please don’t litter…ever!!!).

P2020003Consequences for me: some rain managed to get inside my Gore Tex trekking shoes, the ones that have been through terrific downpours on all sorts of terrain in the UK and have always kept my feet warm and cosy. Always. But…not this time. This time my feet got cold and wet, and so they remained…throughout the afternoon and evening. The truth of the matter is that I was so happy to be in Venice that I didn’t really pay much attention. But by the time we returned to Florence on Sunday night, I had developed a fever, not a super high one but enough to make me sleep all day yesterday and keep me in bed part of today as well. I’m much better now, though, and I actually went back to work this afternoon (so much to do!)…from home, of course!…Translations…

IMG_4667Bottom line (an expression my Dad hates!): don’t ignore wet, cold feet! 

Anyway, getting wet and chilled to the bone and developing a fever was bad enough…but that wasn’t the worst thing. And no, we didn’t fall into a canal! 😉

On Friday night, you see, as soon as we’d arrived in Venice, parked our car at Piazzale Roma and hopped on a vaporetto (a sort of Venetian waterbus), Stefano realized that I’d grabbed my OLD camera, not my BRAND NEW one, the one with the super zoomy lens and so on. Oh noooooo!!! We’d been in such a hurry to leave Florence that I hadn’t even noticed. 😯 You have no idea how incrrrrrredibly stupid I felt…Later on, though, as we will see, I was elated at having made that mistake. But not at first, let me tell ya. I mean…in Venice with my OLD camera and, to boot!, with the batteries and accessories for my NEW camera, which of course wouldn’t work for the old one. Terrrrrrrible.

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Oh, but the worst was yet to come: on Saturday afternoon, after the first prolonged downpour, Stefano’s camera simply shut off. Poof. Wouldn’t turn back on. We took it back to the hotel, dried it off and waited. But it refused to work again. In a nutshell, too much water had gotten inside, so the only thing was to wait for everything to dry out and hope for the best. 

So Stefano didn’t have a camera. Correction: Stefano didn’t have HIS SUPER DUPER CAMERA. He was simply devastated, in shock…our vacation–ruined. Nothing like this had ever happened to us, no matter how MUCH it had rained…

And then, almost immediately afterwards, my camera did the exact same thing. It simply turned off and died (it’s still dead, by the way!). And that explains WHY I was RELIEVED, in the end, at not having brought my NEW camera. It’d would be dead, by now…and I’d be in a mental hospital, probably. 😉

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So there we were…in Venice…during Carnevale…with wet shoes and without ONE bloody working camera. An unbearable thought. So I took action. In the late afternoon we went to a camera shop recommended by the hotel folks, where I explained what had happened and asked for a digital WATERPROOF camera, the sort that you can even use underwater. We ended up buying a small waterproof Olympus. It isn’t top of the line, but it was within our budget…sort of…

Most of my Venice photos have therefore been taken with the not-so-great-but-better-than-nothing! camera. As for Stefano, well, I’m very happy to report that, after drying out overnight in the hotel room, his camera began working again on Sunday, which, as all the weather reports had promised, was a splendid sunny day…

Apart from those “small” annoyances, we had a very nice time. I mean, how can you NOT have a nice time in Venice?

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It’s a magical city. Unique. Romantic. Beautiful beyond words, beyond comprehension. Yes, even in the rain and cold. The wonder of getting lost (because you WILL get lost, and that’s part of the magic) in Venice’s narrow winding streets called “calle,” then suddenly entering a small “campo” (= public square), going over the bridges and peering down the canals, at the gondolas…And the Grand Canal, wow…You feel as though you’ve been catapulted into a different world. And I suppose the only good thing about the awful weather on Saturday is that there were very few people out and about…just a few crazy nut cases like us. On Saturday, because of the weather, all the special carnival events had been cancelled. So we almost had the city to ourselves…

But on Sunday…Well, Sunday was an entirely different story. It was a lovely sunny day (as you can see clearly in the last photo, taken in Piazza San Marco of a group of masked ladies with brilliant, rather outrageous outfits), and the masked crowds were out and about, smiling and strutting around, waiting to be admired and photographed. But that part of my story will have to wait, because it’s late in the day now, and I’m getting hungry…Ciao! 🙂

3 Comments

  1. Wow!! Photos are wonderful. Thanx 4 sharing your adventure in romantic, magical Venice. Was there 2 yrs ago & plan 2 return early September. Glad that UR feeling better & “back” on curcumin. Always enlightened by reading your posts. Molti grazie

  2. Hi Margaret.
    Wonderful photos of Carnivale in Venice. Thanx 4 sharing especially as you wrote your saga of dead cameras & wet feet. Glad 2 read that UR feeling better & back on the Curcumin. I’ve been 2 Venice & plan 2 return Sept. Molte grazie 4 sharing your saga!

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