Thursday, 7 October 2010

Venice, it's just like being in Pauanui...

See, just like Pauanui ('cause you know, canals and stuff)
As we head back to Bayreuth after any excursion, on the sometimes nice, sometimes run-down, train from N├╝rnberg to Bayreuth, sitting with a squirming Matilda (or beside Sara struggling with a squirming Matilda), I spend my thoughts on plotting my next blog post.  These intended posts are not only beautifully written, riotously funny and remarkably insightful, but they're written as soon as I get back to Bayreuth.  Clearly, the reality is somewhat different (just the one post in September?  So pathetic).



Part of the awesomeness is the "why factor", as in "why would you build that there?
We got away for an extended trip to Verona and its surrounds in early September, flying Lufthansa subsidiary Air Dolomite and hosted by the ridiculous generous and tolerant Alana M, who allowed us to muscle in and take over her single room apartment for a few nights.  Just to cement her path to sainthood, Alana also had a car and some free time, so in addition to wandering Verona, we took a trip to Venice, about 120 km to the east.




Venice, not exactly the best kept secret in Italy
Venice has been described to death, but there's no denying is one of those places you must visit if you get the chance.  Perhaps only once, and perhaps just for a day, but there is something about the city for which the phrase "je ne sais quoi" is the only one I know that comes close to explaining why.  It's crowded, confusing, in some parts dirty and smelly, and yet, despite all that, it's utterly romantic and utterly magical.






Tasty, and affordable.  God bless them Italians
Despite the weather forecast, which was all doom and gloom, and the big dark clouds that hovered on the horizon for most of the morning, no rain eventuated and by the afternoon it was practically warm. We pretty much spent the day strolling the streets, crossing random bridges and occasionally getting quite lost.   In a nutshell, it was plain-out fun, even if by the end of the day we'd had quite enough. The highlight of the day was discovering a back alley restaurant filled what what appeared to be locals rather than tourists, where we dined on deep fried balls of risotto and mince, and dishes of pasta and drank better than average house wine all the way.  Sara had her first "authentic" gelato too, served by possibly the rudest woman in Italy, but it all added to the experience.

In the evening we returned to Verona for cheap and excellent pizza in a small local joint, and topped that off with a glass of wine out on Alana's balcony, which overlooked the River x, which runs through the middle of Verona.  An excellent day to start an excellent little getaway.

The perfect place for an aqua-car no?


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