A little break in the weather today. Still some flooding this morning but only some drizzle for most of the day which I spent in Cannaregio, visiting churches, finding shrines, and occasionally walking through some high water. I hate to complain but this is the third day wearing these stupid rubber boots and while I'm so glad to have them, they are NOT comfortable and my feet are taking a toll, complete with some ankle blisters that are quite annoying. I am ready to switch back to my comfy hiking sneakers, for sure.
As I was wandering around today, I kept seeing all this flood debris...abandoned wet shoes and destroyed mangled umbrellas. I have a feeling that it was tourists, not Venetians, who left this stuff lying about. My umbrella finally bit the dust too but I did find a trash can to put it in.
I had lunch at Anice Stellato, close to the church of Sant Alvise, and it's a very nice place to eat. The guys I met from NC raved about it and I'm glad I stumbled across it. Funniest experience of the day...I have been going into every sotoportego I've seen, since there are often shrines inside, and today I found a most unusual thing inside one of them...a self-service condom vending machine. At first, I thought it was a cigarette machine but when I looked more closely and realized what it was selling, I cracked up! I have a photo that I'll post when I get home!
Speaking of photos, I went down to Piazza San Marco last night after midnight when the water was very high, and I think I got some good photos of the Xmas lights reflected in the lake-piazza. I can't wait to get home and check out my pics, though I don't think they will be quite as good as last year when I had so many more sunny blue sky days.
Gigi, who works here at the Locanda, is a photographer, and he showed me some of his photos from the Dolomites which used to be part of the Venetian Republic. He is a hiker and spelunker, and he told me that in the caves up there in the mountains, they sometimes find these ancient marble reliefs that show the Lion of San Marco. His photos of the ones he has found were very cool!
Tonight I met an American woman from Minnesota, who is teaching school in Kuwait and is in Venice on holiday. She told me that there were some big time Obama election night celebrations in Kuwait too!!
Alas, the evening of Tango at the Xmas market got rained out tonight. I did go down there and drink some Vin Brule and slosh around for a while. The market has booths from almost every region of Italy, and they were all giving out samples of meats and cheeses, so I walked around with my hot spiced wine and tried some of the cheese. The winner was the booth from Sardinia which had this pecorino that was just amazing.
So this is it for me... heading home tomorrow. I have such mixed emotions. Sad to leave ( and there are so many things I didn't see or do, simply ran out of time and stamina). But on the other hand, I can't wait to see my cats and start getting ready for Xmas! So anyway, I probably won't post again until I am home (but I have lots more stories...and photos to come).