Last Travel Diary – Black & White Como! Colourful Venice!

Now when it rains, it can be dreary, Not on Lake Como. I can’t imagine a more beautiful setting than the impressive mountains and lakes of Como in Italy. Magic at its best. We found ourselves in rapture of the natural beauty set against the foothills of the Alps. The lake is shaped like an upside down Y. You gaze into the ancient villages, villas, attractive homes and gardens along the way to Bellagio. Everything you read about the northern lakes of Italy is true – serene, magnificent, inspiring and beautiful. Perhaps even a glimpse into George Clooney’s mansion.

It’s a good 2 hour ride to visit some of the towns and unfortunately time ran out for us to see Varenna. Starting up on deck in sunshine, we ended up downstairs with dripping leaks from the roof when the thunder and rain hit. Cosy, coffee and strangers aboard.

Lake Como is a place I would return to because it’s enchanting and wondrous. Apart from the scenic vistas, we enjoyed a terrific pizza with salad at The Ox bar and grill, lured in by a handsome waiter who offered us champagne on arrival and finished with a free limoncello and melon cream. YUM!!

Now I really thought I had seen beauty, but arriving in Venice, well, my senses were overloaded. Charm, mystery and intense beauty lies in the mirror images of the gondolas and boats that stream pass on the waters. Have you visited Venice? Have you been lost even with a map? This sparkling and timeless landscape captivated Bill and me. Venice and its lagoon are UNESCO World Heritage listed and the whole city is an extraordinary architectural masterpiece. Romance is in the air.

We decided to walk to St Mark’s Square from the bus station. 45 minutes but if you stroll leisurely and look at shop windows like I do, then add another hour onto this journey. All the way there was magic and mystery. Dead ends. Narrow streets with washing flapping in the breeze. Black and white striped men with their proud boats. A maritime vista, but so different to peaceful lake Como.

There are vaporettos, water taxis, ferry boats, commercial boats, private vessels, speed boats. There are families pushing prams, children chasing pigeons, guides signalling their tourists, lovers hand in hand, groups of friends, travellers from all over the globe. Alas, we didn’t meet anyone from Queensland – yes to Midura, New York, California, UK, Dublin, Melbourne and a couple of waiters who catch a bus every day to work in a restaurant for 10 hour shifts 6 days a week.

The Doges palace – well, I haven’t the time to tell you about this beautiful treasure and its art work and history. Serenaded St Mark’s Square makes your heart beat faster. So many people going in all directions. Bill found a quiet place on a step to read and fall asleep. I rummaged around looking at Murano glass and masks, handbags and stationery. After a long, full day, my legs were aching and I knew that we had to say goodbye to Venice, the Grand Canal, the basilica, the bridges, the Campos and Piazzas.

Ditch the map, buy a beer ( Riegele) and catch that overcrowded bus back to our beautiful Airbnb room.

Here are some precious memories, mostly in colour. Farewell to beautiful Venezia, the most unique city in the world.

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June 9, 2017 at 10:52 pm

Thanks for your memories of Venice. A gondola ride always appealed to me. I imagined by looking at the canal photos just how breath taking the ride would be. The water flapping at the boat, the narrow canals so close to buildings. The other buildings look so huge and interesting. I love to browse as well, so my legs would have been aching by days end. I was amused with the washing hanging over the water. A good gust of wind; and how would you retrieve it! Take care my friend, and enjoy the rest of your trip. Hello to Bill.

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    June 10, 2017 at 5:45 am

    We shared a gondola ride with 2 other couples. Both young women were jittery about losing their phones into the water every time the boat swayed or tilted. Funny really!

June 10, 2017 at 1:17 am

Both you and Bill look really happy … like you are really enjoying each other’s company and the trip. Lovely.

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    June 10, 2017 at 5:51 am

    We have responded very well to each other, blundering along with our mistakes and feeling secure in each other’s company. Thanks Margot!

June 16, 2017 at 7:27 pm

Margaret, your black and white photos of Lake Como and surrounds are beautiful. Then came Venice. I am thrilled you got there. I admit I felt a twinge of envy as this is the biennial year and the city is filled with art. Oh, how I wish I was travelling along side you to soak it all in again.

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June 17, 2017 at 12:50 am

Shannyn, the art on the ceilings in the Doge’s Palace was breath taking – painstakingly in detail and beauty. I only glimpsed a tiny part of the art and need to return in the future. Sounds like we would both soak up the atmosphere with joy.

M.J. Gibbs
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