I got an internet connection so this is on proper keyboard, photos will follow in separate post from Blackbery.
We’re out of here tomorrow and I think, in August, three nights is about as much as anyone can stand, or afford! We’ve kombinowaczed different restaurants and ordering different stuff but it really doesn’t matter if you order a pizza or the langoustine a la fantastic, it is going to cost us €100 for dinner. They have a technique of adding up the things you actually ordered and then inventing a bunch of other charges so it comes to €97.50 or thereabouts. They can charge €20 for water and a coke without even blinking, then another €10 for bread you didn’t ask for, another €10 for just sitting down and yet another €10 for giving you a knife and fork. Perhaps if you buy your drinks in Warsaw, bring them with you and then only eat slices of pizza from take-away windows you might get away with €50.
Today we did the Jewish Ghetto. Why do they always have to have a ghetto everywhere you go? Actually, I had a chance to comiserate with a proper Hasidic Jew who stopped me in St. Mark’s square and asked me “Are you Jewish?”. I replied with “No, but do you think I should be?”, which had him a little confused. To be honest, I think I’m being stalked on account of possibly looking very remotely Jewish from 7 generations back. The guy popped up again later in the day, him and his sidekick, and I’m certain it’s the same guy I snapped over at the ghetto earlier. Strange encounter. The Venice ghetto is where the word ghetto originated from because the area was known for iron works way back and the term for foundry was ‘geto’, in Italian accent jetto but for the Ashkenazic Jews it came out as geto, which became the ghetto we know today. There were Jews here since the C10th but it was in 1382 that they became better established when laws were passed allowing them to live in this small area, with curfews, as money lenders charging interest. This was really the beginnings of the banking industry, whcih the Medici then cashed in on big time.
We also did the Peggy Guggenheim museum and saw a load of old Pollocks! Boom boom! It was pretty neat actually and we’d thoroughly recommend it and that whole area of Venice. Make sure you take drinks with you though, for some reason the area is VERY short of cafes and all the restaurants we asked if we could sit and drink told us to bog off, even though they had numerous empty tables. To hell with them!
We then crossed the Accademia bridge over the Grand Canal and headed for La Fenice, the disaster ridden opera house. We had a ‘plug it in your ear’ tour of the place, which was actually pretty good. After that we headed to San Marco, which was wall to wall people (including one Hasidic Jew scouting for new recruits). We tried to find Harry’s Bar and failed so we did the whole Doge’s palace thing including the prisons and a walk across the Bridge of Sighs so we could get a close-up view of the adverts. It was then a bit more walking followed by shopping for masks, we bought four of them, and finally to a restaurant.
It really is so hot and sticky it is complete madness to be walking around in it. This place would be a great advert for any drink company right now as all you can see everywhere you look is people drinking.
Tomorrow we head across Italy, to Milano and turn right, for the hopefully better climate and prices of lake Como, Bellagio to be precise. Wish us luck with dragging the bags across town, finding the car in that garage and with the sat-nav!
As I said, photos to follow shortly. Night all!