20160612 – Padua and Venice At Last

Sunday – Warm and drizzle.

DSC_9470Take a stroll into Padua to explore. Not the most elegant of cities but it does have some impressive buildings, mind you it’s started to rain so that doesn’t help.

IMG_8116They may not know a lot about beer so no sin today. But they sure know about coffee. Stop at the famous cafe Pedrocchi. The green and chocolate lava on top of my caffee Pedrocchi is awesome and Frau Edwards has had her best cup of tea this side of the EU.

Finally find a decent restaurant for lunch. Yes, it’s lunch today as we’re not eating in the hotel again and most restaurants don’t open until 19:30, when we’re just getting ready for bed.

DSC_9509I have veal livers with polenta, they’re awesome and just mealt in your mouth. Very filling struggle to finish it. Frau Edwards has a unique tasting Lasgne.

Don’t we just love the hotel barman, all the charm and personality of a desiccated mushroom. Who employed him? Hannibal Lecter in his mask would present a more cheerful disposition. I suppose not speaking any Italian doesn’t help but do they not realise that we have a world of languages to choose from. We really can’t speak them all. Simple, they – Johnny Eu Foreigner – should be forced by the Eureaucrats to learn English.

I’ve cracked this Italien food thingy, just smoother everything in olive oil, and they smile and think you a local.

Wot no Tuti Fruiti on TV, no wonder the Italian economy is nearly as insolvent as Greece? Watch this space ready for the next bailout

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For anyone not sure of the issues in the EU referendum! this is a really good analogy of how the EU works.

Hotel Montecarlo in Venice.

Hotel Montecarlo in Venice.

A son goes to his Dad having saved up some money from his weekend job.
Son “ Dad I’ve saved up £350 pounds to buy the new laptop I need for my college course”
Dad “Well done son, give the money to me and I’ll help you”
Son “Ok now what?”
Dad “I will allow you £185 pounds back less my handling fee of £5 so £180 which you may only spend on a new phone”
Son “But I need a laptop!”
Dad “No, we’ve decided you can only buy a phone and you may only buy a phone from Germany and it must be pink. You must also source the phone within 2 days otherwise I will not release the money”
Son “But it’s my money!”
Dad “I’m afraid you are a member of this family and you must contribute to everyone else’s needs. I will decide how the money is spent”
Our Venice Hotel.

Our Venice Hotel.

Son “So what happens to the £165?”
Dad “Well your sister needs a new dress”
Son “She has already had many new dresses”
Dad “We’ve put it to the vote and I’m afraid you’re outvoted”
Son “But I need a laptop to continue my course!”
Dad “My decision is final”
Son “But that’s not fair, will I ever have a say in how my money is spent”
Dad “No, and by the way we’ve got a couple more people moving into your room and you’ll have to pay for their keep”
Son “Well I’m leaving then”
Dad “Don’t be like that lad, we need your money. And if you leave you won’t be able to buy a pink phone from Germany you’ll have to buy one here instead”
Son “I NEED A LAPTOP!”
Simple.

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Milo versus Mohammad:


Monday – hot and sunny

Dinner in Venice.

Dinner in Venice.

Trip Advisor Review of Hotel Galileo Padua – 4 Stars.

Venice St Marks square

Venice St Marks square

Hotel was bright and cheerful with handy underground car park, where our excellent and helpful receptionist said we could leave the car whilst we visit Venice. Unfortunately the hotels about a mile outside the town Centre, but it’s a pleasant walk.

Room was modern, clean, comfortable and all round good. Although there were no tea making facilities, essential for us Brits, they soon bough one up,when asked. Sadly the bed would probably best be described as firm. It’d probably escaped from a German prison, like sleeping on a concrete floor.

Venice

Venice

Breakfast was mediocre, mainly spoilt by the same stale bread and rolls they foisted on us in the restaurant.

After another mediocre breakfast we set off like a couple of decrepit backpackers. All our essentials for the next 3 nights crammed and rolled into our haversacks. This is minimalist. Wendy forgoes her multitude of lotions and potions, and hair dryers, straighteners and thingies. I even leave my MacBook. Car and none essentials are left in Padua hotel.

Long life sandwiches for sale on the train platform. It’s 13th June and sandwiches in the machine have a best before date of 12 July. You may well wonder what they’re made of but they’re bread and meat. I don’t believe it. They’ll probably walk out of the machine well before then.

Venice

Venice

Catch the train to Venice, just under 30 minutes and about €4 each.

Arrive in Venice in glorious sunshine. What a spectacular first impression as we walk out the station.

Then it’s a 1 mile walk through the back alleys and bridges to our hotel. Hotels very comfortable and only 100 yards from St Marks square. Rooms are ver chintzy and regal, not really our style but clean, roomy and well fitted out.

Have a stroll around and some lunch with a sinful Paulaner for me.

First impressions are vibrant, decaying, scruffy back streets, a lot of it well past its demolish by date, and spoilt by too many tourists. It’s heaving, we really do spoil it. But then you see the grand canal and St Marks square and are awestruck by the magnificent architecture.

After 6 miles, and more bridges than hangers onto the Evil Union gravy train, we go back for a rest before heading out for tea.

DSC_9567After having some awesome Italian food in Australia by our friend Peter I just have to eat MELANZANE ALLA PARMIGIANA again. We scour the 1,000’s of restaurants and amazingly the one next to our hotel does it. Go in but no one there, so we vote with our feet. Never mind one round the corner has cannelloni on the menu board, order some drinks and Cannelloni. “Oh I’m sorry sir but we don’t have that”. “But it’s on your menu black board”. “Yes, I know but that’s out of date”. “Well why don’t you update the board”? We walk out in disgust. Finally find a place that does MELANZANE ALLA PARMIGIANA as a starter. Check that it’s on today. Great starter, but nowhere near as good as Peters. Sadly I resort to a pizza, it’s fine, but really must be more adventurous.

Back to hotel and watch the Apple update. Sadly no hardware announcements. I “want” a new MacBook.
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Tuesday – rain then hot and sunny

Venice

Venice

I’m up at the crack o sparrows and join the street sweepers for a pleasant stroll around an unspoilt Venice. Definitely the best time of the day. You can actually photograph places without the selfie stick hoards getting underfoot.

Breakfast is good. Plenty of choice, even strawberries and champagne. I’ll save that retirement sin for tomorrow.

Venice early morning - civilised.

Venice early morning – civilised.

We’re off on a cultural trip, Dogs Palace and the Basic Church. Sadly it’s raining and St Marks square, where we have to meet, is a nightmare of bodies and umbrellas. Fortunately I’ve got two eyes so to all the idiots who still had their umbrellas, up even when under cover, in an attempt to blind me, tough I managed to survive. Just.

Pick up our tickets and audio gizmo so that we can here the guide. Very knowledgeable but she had no red flag to follow, we kept loosing her. She kept asking inane questions like “are we all here”. Not that she’d bothered to count us.

Just 5 minutes into the tour and sure enough some feeble minded and weak bladdered adult women wanted potty.

By the end of the 90 minute palace tour we’ve had enough culture to last a year.

Venice early morning.

Venice early morning.

But hey ho there’s more culture to come as we troop into the Basic San Marco church. What a mistake this was. By now we’re both suffering from anaphylactic culture shock and in need of some intravenous caffeine. Strikes me Starbucks and MacDonalds are missing a real opportunity in this church, a coffee shop with free wifi would go down a treat and drag the church into the 21st century.

Finally escape the clutches of our not so organised guide and head for a well deserved coffee and lunch. Yet another 3rd world toilet, this time not just a hole in the ground, but the added advantage of a door with no lock. When opened it will knock you off your feet. Just what you need when you’re draining the snake or having a crouch. And they want us to remain in the EU when they can’t even ban 3rd world toilets.

I suggest a gondola ride. It’s something you have to do, when Frau Edwards learns the price she baulks at it and does a hasty conversion as to how many hand bags she could buy with that. We pass and instead have a 5 mile hike around Venice.

Venice early morning.

Venice early morning.

Wendy’s, typical Brit abroad statement, “why do they misspell Venice”?

Greed and stupidity are common bedfellows, nowhere more so than here in St Marks square, famous for it’s overpriced coffee. It’s actually only €1.50 for a coffee to go, but you want to sit down then it’s €6.00. Now any manager with any sense would look around and see that less than 10% of the chairs are occupied yet the whole of Europe is milling around in the square, not even standing room. Does that not tell them that stupidity has taken over from rampant greed. Reduce your price a tad and you’ll get more punters.

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They, the government, lied to us before the last referendum in 1975, and now a different gang of lying clowns are lying to us yet again in oh so many ways.

I defy you to watch this and not vote BREXIT, it’s really disturbing – especially when you discover the Evil Union banned us lowering tax on beer, how dare they.

It’s not just about now, but our children and grand children’s freedom and future.

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Islam a peaceful religion! More lies and balderdash from David Cameron and the rest of these progressive do gooders who fail to face up to the truth.


Wednesday – hot and sunny

Our Gondola ride.

Our Gondola ride.

Champagne for breakfast, now that’s decadent.

Our gondola on the grand canal

Our gondola on the grand canal

Took the FREE hotel trip to see the glass factory at Murano. There and back by private water taxi, a great experience. Very pleasant and lovely expensive glass ware if you’re into that sort of thing.

Bridge of Sighs from the gondola.

Bridge of Sighs from the gondola.

Back in Venice we succumb to a Gondola ride. We pass on the €2, 2 minute ferry option, and go for the full Monty even under the bridge of Sighs – very romantic. What a superb way to fritter away your kids inheritance. I think we’ll have one on standby 24 * 7 just in case Frau Edwards needs to nip to Aldi or buy another new handbag. Expensive but I’m the one who said we should do it and dam the rip off.

Then it’s a spot of fodder for her in doors and a sinful beer for me before we buy a 24 hour valporetta ticket and take the long cruise all around the island and over to Lido, then a trip down the Grand Canal and back. Great way to see Venice but by the end of it Wendy’s lost the will to live.
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Thursday – hot and sunny

Venice bridge of Sighs

Venice bridge of Sighs

Trip Advisor Review Hotel Monte Carlo – 5 Stars

Dogges palace

Dogges palace

Great location, just a 100 yards from St Marc’s Square.

Quality Best Western hotel, they’ve certainly gone up yet another notch in my estimation and we’ll be using them more in the future. All staff were friendly and very helpful. Arrived early, no problem. Can we have a double bed room rather than a twin, no problem. Can you change this room to a 1st floor room, no problem.

A 15th Century Venetian suggestion box.

A 15th Century Venetian suggestion box.

Room was spacious, clean and well kitted out with quality fittings, including tea and coffee making facilities. Furniture and style was very regal and chintzy, very much in keeping with the Venice experience, but not really our taste.

Breakfast was great. Good choice of quality hot and cold food.

Wifi is excellent, just a shame it needs the password palaver, but more understandable in the close confines of Venice.

St Marks square

St Marks square

Even managed to save €200 on a 3 night stay by booking on booking.com rather than direct with Best Western. Pity their web site doesn’t treat customers with the respect their hotel staff do, but €200 is better in my pocket to pay for the excesses of Venice.

Highly recommend this hotel.

After another great breakfast we catch the valporetta to the station for the train back to Padua.

Venice

Venice

Well we’ve enjoyed Venice. It lived up to my expectations – spoilt by hoards of tourists. Selfie sticks of the vain and eye gouging umbrellas just add to its charm. It’s one of those places you’re glad you’ve been there and done it, but wouldn’t ever want to come back again. We both agreed, even if we called in on a cruise I think we’d be tempted to give it a miss and stay on board all day.

View from a gondola

View from a gondola

Get back to our Padua hotel and pick the car up from the secure underground garage, so much better than taking the car to Venice and parking up. All credit to Hotel Galileo, it was ok with them and free. Best Western go up again in my estimation.

Then it’s a 3 hour drive to our VRBO home for the next 10 days, just outside Siena. As per their photos it’s lovely. After all our travels it will be a well deserved rest.

Venice

Venice

When we arrive I carefully inspect my exhaust pipe. I’m sure there must be something of interest up it. All these Italian drivers are a load of screaming exhaust bandits, as they hurtle down, and then seem determined to crawl up my exhaust pipe like a boll weevil trying to lay its eggs in a cotton boll.

Sadly it’s then a trip to the local supermarket for supplies. I soon loose the will to live once I’ve chose my coffee, beer, wine and breakfast cereal. Amazing how different the goods are in different countries. Gladly outside our everyday sphere of comfort and one of the joys of travel is to adopt a “when in Rome approach”, even if it does take us 5 minutes to figure out which milk is whole and which is Frau Edwards white water. Strange though not a tin of baked beans in site but walnuts, dates and more aubergines than muslims at a stoning.

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The-answer-is-yes

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yazidi-018271447955171Now ISIS, from the religion of pieces and of permanent offence, is selling sex slaves online. But talk about buying a pig in a poke, instead it’s a sex slave in a burka. What a shock when you’ve paid your shekels or camels, lift the veil and find she’s a poster girl for the a celibacy campaign.