Well you can tell it's soon time to leave because it's a more nondescript picture here at Zamyatin. The toll of beautiful buildings and baking sun has taken its toll. Plus the fact that I spent most of the time taking pictures with the Nikon and using the JVC to take video on a free trip to Murano which was free from the hotel, the weird thing initially was that the water taxi was paid for by the glass gallery especially since there was a demo and a personal tour thrown in free. Of course this was weird until it became patently clear that this was a sales trip trying to sell us hundreds of Euros of glassware. What's actually odd about it was that last time we came to Venice we paid our fare to get to Murano and when we tried to see if we could have a tour (which we would be happy to pay for) we were all but escorted off the premises but this time since they were more than happy to pay the water taxi and give us a personal tour. By way of thanks we bought EUR25 of glass, that should go some way to paying for some of the taxi fares.
Anyway lets get back to the picture. On the way to find something to eat we stopped near the Teatro Restaurant and this image looked quite nice so I took and snap. The end.
The largest and the only bridge over the Grand Canal in Venice until they built the one until 1854. The first one was wooden but the stone structure now supports shops on either side similar to a larger bridge in Florence, however the one in Florence contains shops with expensive jewellery instead of the souvenirs as with this on.
Near here there are restaurants and Gondoliers lining the sides of the canal. We at last gave in to the calls of the Gondoliers and went for the longest trip which included the Small Canal and the Grand Canal, the Grand Canal trip alone was expensive but adding the Small Canal was only EUR20 extra so why not. It was indeed enjoyable but at the end of 30 minutes (5 of which was on the Grand Canal) we did wonder what little we would have got for the (not much) cheaper trip. Of course during the whole negotiation process of price I couldn't help thinking we were paying for an investigation into the ear or the gut what with the phrases Small and Grand Canal. Perhaps that's just me.
Oh yes I start with a really rubbish pun. For those who have not guessed this is St Marks Square. The trip from Bologna was simple but tiring with a a one hour water bus journey from the airport. At least the one and a half hour trip to the airport was in an air-conditioned car.
This pic was taken during a much needed rest stop after the rigours of shopping for jewellery took their toll. Not much sightseeing today just a lot of travelling and shopping so this opportunity caused a flurry of shots from my Nikon. Needless to say this was not one of those.
On a rather speed bus trip around Bologna we saw many fantastic features of Bologna some of which we saw on the walk around Bologna on Sunday. The features we didn't we saw today at speed in an open toped bus. Here is one of the many gates that surround Bologna that would have been connected by the old town walls. Because of the speed of the bus and the unwillingness of the Touch Pro 2 to take a picture when asked the picture isn't centred, anticipating this I moved the phone hoping to get it right. I am glad however that the gates are in the picture at least.
Other sights we past were a church on a hill overlooking Bologna (San Michelle in Bosco), many statues with their back to us and a church in memory of a martyr who's head was cut off on the hill, his reaction to this was to pick up his head and wander into town to die which was quite impressive.
After the hour trip it was time for a sit. All that driving about sat down was rather tiring when hurtling down cobbled single lane roads at speed.
This is a pic of the Due Torri one of the two remaining towers in Bologna. As anyone who has seen Francheso de Mosto's program will be able to tell you, these towers were built to impress people and show power and wealth. So it would com as no surprise that there used to be hundreds in Bologna and now there are only two.
Bologna appears to be old world Italy. Buildings rather drab and square on the outside. Nothing like the impressive and ornate buildings you see in Florence. The place is nonetheless impressive, where else can you find a station where a crack in the wall caused by a terrorists bomb has been preserved or a rather surprising statue of Neptune or perhaps the grandest entrance I have ever seen to a public park?
Despite the amount of interesting stuff, it is far too warm here so there is only so much you can see before you have to run for the shelter of a bar... It's tough out here!
This weekend was pretty good so it was time to get out and try the my new camera the Nikon D5000. As far as the camera I worry that it will just allow me to take more average pictures, in face many hundreds of average pictures that I will be too sentimental to delete where with my comfy Minolta shoes would end up with quite a few bad 'uns but some real keepers. At least it is better than the strange and impossible Fuji 1600.
Anyway back to the weekend. Gawsworth is a nice enough place, a little small and at least we got there. I can't remember the hall we went to first which was about five miles away that we turned up to only to find that they needed cash, so U-turning against the traffic we found a cash machine despite GPS direction. Driving away I found the vital cash that could have got us into the other hall! Ah well it must be fate.
It's a small hall but quite pretty and there is a bit to see but not a day's worth. I personally think the best part of the day was the visit to The Phough just down from the hall which was lunch. An unexpected break and brilliant food despite not serving sandwiches on the weekend. It was also a great chance to test the camera again of course.
After a successful research trip to Knowsley Safari Park where we found out that a Proto Satria Wing Mirror could indeed support a Baboon. This time we decided to find out whether a Camel could beat a Ford Fiesta in a race. As you can see the answer is no. We gave the poor camel plenty of time and stopped a few times to allow it to pass but it still was unable to corner as fast or even keep up on the straights. I doubt even bettering the Camels suspension would help, the problem was straight line speed and traction but mainly straight line speed.
As usual the Baboon section was a melee of car bits and and scampering Baboons.
In a similar place to the last frog picture, in fact just a few meters down, but this time clearer and with a better camera and probably just about the same size I think.
Of course the day did not start with frog watching, in fact the day started with Tabley Hall. We started out late but obviously not late enough, but we didn't realise at the time when we arrived because we were all starving and ended up in the Tea Room there which was pretty fantastic. After feasting on a weird but really nice ploghmans and coffee we went off to view the hall that was closed until 2pm and there was no way that we were ready to wait for another hour for it to open no matter how great the idea of going back to the Tea Room and eating cake and grabbing another coffee seem to be, so we headed off to Cotebrook to find some beads. Needless to say I did not partake in the bead mania that followed.