The weather had been bad, so much so, I had to buy a broken umbrella for 5 euros, so with no photo ops in the making and the Carneval not kicking off until we leave we headed for the Guggenheim gallery for a bit of fun. Well it was OK if you're into your modern art and I don't mind it, just some of it I find a little pointless like the elongated graph paper which I was someone taking a picture of... why? I assumed that the nearest WHSmiths to him was quite a way away so printing his own from the picture was his best option. Of course the joke is on him because the squares weren't square. I must admit I doubted that this chap didn't know of a decent WHSmiths, after all there's a nice little branch in Paris just outside the Louvre, so if there's one there in that far flung distant backwater then I suspect the Amazon rain forests are overrun with them walking C90s with Code masters games at 99p and oils paints for goodness knows who.
Anyway back to the pic, the is of a Jackson Pollock would you believe. Of course this is prior to his association with the Stone Roses, after which hemust have hit the big time so surely he retired on his huge royalties and will be regularly seen in Ibiza.
After a purchase of a 24h ticket on the water bus there was no stopping us. We headed to the train station to investigate the smallest park ever, which filled all of an hour, which included the 58 minute water bus there. Then we headed off to the Lido to have a quick check whether things had changed there since our stay and they hadnt, so we stopped for some refreshment and then headed back to St Marks Square rather than head to our hotel directly, so we then meandered through the streets back to the hotel, stopping off at the art gallery and the bridge to the Academia which this was taken from. The gallery wasn't up to much but the weather had improved so the views out to S. Maria were better than they would have been in the morning when it was overcast. Of course this is one of a group of 4 Gondala men sitting around waiting to pounce on tourists.
More trolling about today and variable weather, some of today was spent inside the the Doge's house which was quite special but no photography is allowed. The main attraction was tripping across the Bridge of Sighs and from my point of view the only sighing that happened was as you would expect when we saw the view, it was so average I sighed from tiredness after walking all around the Doge's pad. Don't get me wrong, if you're off down to chokey in Venice then perhaps you would sigh at your last visions of the view, but owing to the fact that I would soon be out and enjoying a beer in the sunshine the the sigh was more about the waste of time to see an average view of a bridge full of people taking a picture of the Bridge of Sighs, which of course is the wrong way around supposedly.
We also got to the Naval Museum which was OK and full off... boats and stuff. Some of the contraptions were interesting like the two man torpedo which would run for 10 hours at a time and when the target was acquired they would pop off the nose of the thing, attach it to a boat and drive off, safe in the knowledge that the newly detached nose would explode.
Anyway, this is a pic of the Dome of Saint Maria which sits on the mouth of the Grand Canal and is quite impressive to visit but if memory serves then it can be a little awkward to get to. The steps to it drop right into the water too which makes you assume that you can get there direct by boat which would be impressive, this taken from the bridge from the Academia, which is another bridge that seems to have been taken over by padlocks.
It's day one in Venice and it has been a tiring day with all the walking and getting in late last night. It's funny how your memory of trips ignores the long and partly arduous bits. I just never remembered that the water bus from the airport took that long. So as you could imagine I was getting more bored with each stop. Of course little chance to eat anything all day didn't help any as my hunger grew. Not that I am complaining. Whilst it was overcast taking this picture,and overcast weather is really difficult to take pictures in, it brightened up towards midday which was welcomed by a beer and then a glut of masked people with frilly wigs, some bizarre and some slightly scary to say the least. Anyway what tonight is to bring is anyone's guess, perhaps a trip into San Marco, a Bellini and a longer in Harry's Bar perhaps, who knows.
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.
As promised in this post here's a scanned picture of the Venice Carnival. Standing back from the scrum I got my Minolta out with it's zoom to it's full extent and snapped this jewel. Probably not to everyone's taste I might guess. As I have probably mentioned to those of a more photographic bent the zoom crops the depth of field massively so that the focusing is really tight, which is another reason why I like standing back from the scene and zooming in.
It would have been better if I had have got the whole of the left guys face in focus but it's quite difficult because of the tight focus and human targets and the fact that I'm such an amateur. Of course that then reminds me of the other picture like this which is of the Carrera Cup. Again a good picture for me but not something a real photographer will shout about.
Simple pic of a Gondola in Carnival season. I like the reflection from the water personally, it almost looks like it's reflecting off his hull which I think for me makes this picture. So as usual a complete chance causes a good picture. Well I say It's good. As in the (new) old tradition of Big Brother “You Decide”. Hmmm... perhaps I should put a voting thing on this site... on the other hand since comments didn't work then perhaps not.
When all the frock wearing is quite wearing this is what to do in Carnival Season in Venice. I snapped this chap from afar. I assume that he'd only got his head down as his dog was still quite alert and I do think that it was his dog but I could be wrong. Of course I didn't snap this is his face which is one of the many great things of a zoom lens. The other great thing is that (and it helps if you're tall like me) you can step back from the scrum as you get in Venice at Carnival time and take a picture at your leisure. Whilst the scrum are all trying to get as close and get the right picture, you can step back and zoom in and take it or leave it. Of course the worst thing about a zoom lens is the fact that you might be over 10-20 feet from a shot so no-one actually knows what you're looking at so people walk right in front of you. Of course being a little patient is a must. For the camera lovers out there then you'll also know that if you zoom in then the depth of field closes up so you do end up with a sharp picture of the subject with the background out of focus with a zoom lens. I have some pictures of this with the Minolta that I am waiting for so these may be scanned in at some point.
Anyway back to the picture. It's one of those pictures that I think... I'll swap with him... just for a few hours.