Island Hopping

Wednesday 18th April 2018

Cathy posting,

So today we decided to go back to Venice as we wanted to go up the San Marco Campanile tower in St. Mark’s Square and look at the views over Venice. We used our 2 day €30 each ticket, it covers the ferry over, the Grand Canal water bus and trips to any islands.

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St Marks Campanile

The tower dates back to the 9th century, is 98 metres high and was used as a watchtower and lighthouse. It collapsed in 1902 due to dodgy construction and was rebuilt in 1912 and it is one of the most recognised symbols of Venice.

It was €8 each which seems pretty expensive, there are no stairs, just a lift and there was a queue, we waited 30 mins for our turn, but the views were fantastic, sometimes things are worth paying for and we’re glad we went up.

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From the tower St Marks Campanile

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From the tower St Marks Campanile

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From the tower St Marks Campanile

 

P1040109Ok, that’s done now, we decided to visit the small island of Burano which is actually four little islands connected by bridges and it’s said to resemble a mini Venice, we may go to the island of Murano also.

We got the No 4.1 water bus from San Marco and 30 mins later we transfer at Fondamonte Nove on to water bus No. 12 for Burano, this however took 41 mins, I hoped I wouldn’t be ill but no, I was ok, can’t tell you how happy I am about my new “sea legs!”

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Beautiful Burano

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Burano is so pretty every little fisherman’s cottage is a different colour, bright colours of yellow, vivid green, blue and pink. Burano is well known for its lace making as Murano another island is known for its glass, we may go there later also.

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We wandered around the little streets enjoying the sun for an hour or so and then stopped for lunch, no picnic today as we think it will be cheaper here, Dave had seafood spaghetti and I had my favourite, tuna, tomato, mozzarella and sweetcorn salad, both were delicious and of course there was a beer and a Prosecco!

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Watching the world go by………

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Great use of space

We walked around Burano for another hour or so over the little bridges Dave taking photos and me admiring the lovely little houses, some had made a garden with little partitions with plants growing up them & a bench outside just the sort of thing I would do, you had to admire their use of space. We stopped at a shop which sold Murano glass jewellery and I decided to treat myself to a necklace and earring set in a lovely azure blue, we probably won’t go to Murano now, so I’ll get something here.

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It was really hot so we stopped for an iced coffee for me and a grapefruit juice and lemonade for Dave, sat in the shade it was lovely and watching people passing by, however the locals still had their coats on! We are really relaxed and can’t believe we are having this long holiday, we are not at all concerned about our house being lived in by other people and in fact we don’t even think about it we are just loving this nomadic life!

We’d done Burano so set off for the ferry, but we had 25 mins to wait, so Dave decided it was time to try the famous Stracciatella ice cream, we had a small cone each (only €1.50 each) and it was very creamy with irregular dark chocolate shavings and chunks.

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It only took 30 mins back to Punta Sabbioni and I fell asleep again! Once back at Pogo I made Thai green salmon curry with sticky rice, we wrote some blog and off to bed early, we don’t know where we are going tomorrow but it’s in the direction of Croatia……

Cathy

We’ve found gold!

Saturday 14th April 2018

Dave posting,

This morning, from the camp site we walked to Sirmione, it’s a glorious day, we are wearing shorts, tee shirts, caps & walking trainers, sun tan lotion has been applied. It’s such a fantastic day that the Italians have come out to play, the atmosphere is positive, vibrant, cars trying to park to visit the old town, bars and cafes’ are busy, the sun umbrellas are out, everybody wants a drink and a view of the lake.

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Gold Rolls Royce

The sky is azure blue, the sun is beating down, the water is gentle moving around and is a bluey grey colour, there’s no breeze and there’s a feeling that summer is coming and just around the corner.

We amble around for a while, we feel like getting a drink and sitting by the water, we find the perfect spot facing West in to the sun on a hotel wharf, the water is gently lapping under us as we can see through the decking.

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Our lunch spot!

We sit watching the boats trips coming and going, passengers alighting and boarding, life feels very good for us right at his moment. We ordered a small lager and small wine, it arrives with some tapas snacks, mini pizza pasties and olives wrapped in sausage and breadcrumbs and deep fried mmmm, lovely, let’s order some food. A club sandwich arrives 15 mins later and we are glad that we ordered just one to share as it’s large! And they’ve put chips alongside, it was delicious too.

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What a great place for a bite to eat!

We are so relaxed and content at this moment, but we will have to move from our seats soon, as we want to go and see the castle. We paid €26.00 for 3 drinks and the sandwich and made our way to the castle entrance.

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Sirmione Castle

Sirmione castle is considered one of the finest examples of a medieval fortification including a very rare fortified port, the castle is also known as the Scalinge castle after the ruling family of the area until 1387. Entry fee was €6 each but you can visit for free on the 1st Sunday of every month and it’s closed every Monday by the way.

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Castle drawbridge

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Fortified port

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Super view looking back down the Sirmione peninsula

There are many ice cream shops selling a huge and I mean a huge variety of flavours, they are in the chiller cabinets in waves, rolls undulating, certainly not kept in plastic boxes. The local infamous flavour is Stracciatella, allegedly this flavour was created by a local man here in Sirmione, but history mentions it was in fact Enrico Panattoni from Bergamo, a traditionally made ice cream with fine, irregular shavings of chocolate.  All the shops make a big effort to display their ice cream in such an appetising way! There are so well presented.

We continued walking through town towards the coastal path, following our noses and a small number of folk in front of us, we passed a jetty.

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He’s so relaxed!

Then we end up at the point where the path ceases, and we can’t go any further, but we are at the tip, we thought we could walk all the way around the further point of the peninsula, but not so.

As we head back we come inland a little and find a small public park with a tree lined boulevard and a plaque referencing Maria Callas, the famous Greek/Amercian soprano opera singer (1923-1977) who lived here in Sirmione.

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Through the park

We both agree that’s it’s been a wonderful surprise discovering Sirmione, water as far as the eye can see, mountains, snow, park, walkways and paths, beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees, everywhere is clean and spotless, fantastic buildings everywhere.

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It’s been a fantastic day and we have fallen in love with Sirmione! We will be back…… Arrivederci!

Dave