Venice on Foot: San Marco

If Venice on the canals was chaotic — on land was far worse! We were woefully short on research and needed to find directions to our departure point for the ferry that went up the Grand Canal to the airport. The Italians are hopeless at directions.

The ticket officer for the ferry line we were using sent us in totally the wrong direction. She sent us back into St Marks square — over the narrow canal bridge and into the hordes of tourists which flock here in the summer.

All of my senses were telling me we were going in the wrong direction and Mr P had to agree with me that something was wrong when I fished out our basic map and said we should be going that way not this way.

I took refuge from the heat of the sun under the arches of the Doges Palace while Mr P went off in search of someone who knew their way around and to get us some sensible directions.

As you can see, I was not the only person hiding from the heat!

After my experiences, in Vienna I almost automatically found myself looking up — the view did not disappoint and gives a good indication of how narrow some of the spaces in Venice are.

This next picture is the most accidental photograph of a worldwide landmark ever taken. I thought I would go down to the canals edge and photograph up the canal alongside the Doges Palace.

Like the English woman I am, I dutifully waited in line to let a large family with several children each have their photographs taken leaning out from the pillars into the canal. I thought nothing more of it at the time.

Yesterday, when I am looking at the layout of St Mark’s Square to make sure I get all my names and spellings correct I note with great surprise that I did see the Bridge of Sighs and not only that — I had a photograph of it to boot — all without realizing it!

Meanwhile, Mr P returned and confirmed we were going to wrong way — time to run the gauntlet of St Marks Square again but not before I managed to catch this detail from one of the columns.

The symbol of Venice — the winged lion is everywhere — this one is on top of the San Marco column in Mark’s Square.

One last look back at St Mark’s bell tower before we ask the local policeman how to get to our next boarding point.

He confirmed we had been sent in the wrong direction and explained in broken English and a lot of gestures that our boarding pier was about a 100 yards down the main canal in the other direction, but to get into it we had to go inland and cross over the adjoining canal and back down to the main canal. Yes we had to do three sides of a square — something that often happens when one of the streets is a waterway and not a street at all.

We decided to fuel ourselves before starting off on the unbeaten track — no visit to Venice is complete without an ice cream.