Viva Venice Carnivale, Feb 2013 – Martin’s Blog

Sunday 3rd Feb 2013

Hi Everyone

Left home just after 8am and drove to Manchester Airport taking only 35 minutes (Sunday traffic). Thanks to Colin for advising me to book the parking online through Saga to obtain discount. Saga is not a site I am accustomed to looking at, any way discount is discount where ever it comes from.

The flight with Monarch was very efficient and arrived on time. The only problem I had was that the luggage took over 1 hour to arrive due to operational reasons!! What ever that means, you don’t have this problem in switzerland!. The weather was sunny with lovely blue sky, I took the waterbus in to Venice taking just over 1 hour arriving at San Marco. My hotel the Hotel Flora was just a 5 minute walk away. So I settled in to my room and watched the second half of the Liverpool game on my netbook. Liverpool should have won may I suggest that the goal keeper is chained to the goal in future.

So then I walked down to St Marks Square where there were lots of people listening to live music from the big stage and also dancing. So while walking around I took a few photos which are attached. These images were taken on my Canon Ixus camera and so are not up to the quality of my proper camera.


Monday 4th Feb

After a good night’s sleep I left my hotel in semi darkness heading for St Marks square and as I arrived in the square the bells started to sound out from the campanile and the surrounding churches. The square is quiet and empty, as I arrive at the waterfront with the Island of San Giorgio in front of me the sun is just starting to rise and there is lovely sky with lots of warm colours.

I am not alone, with many photographers scurrying around to get pictures of the masquerade figures with sun rising in the background. Well photographic opportunities abound as more and more different  figures arrive. All are only to happy to pose for photographs.  As the sun rises there is a lovely blue sky and it is nice and warm so after 2 hours of photography it was now time to return to my hotel for a well earned breakfast.

Having just had a good breakfast I am just putting these words together in my room. Later I will go for a walk down to the Accademia Bridge crossing the Grand Canal and heading to the Salute Church and Guidecca area.
Well it is has been a lovely sunny day and I have walked for about 4 hours this afternoon exploring and taking photographs along the way and my feet are now sore so I am now back in my hotel resting on my bed while I finish this blog.

I have attached a number of photographs from today however as most of my images are taken on my single lens reflex camera I am unable to include these as I do not have a card reader with me for the compact flash cards. So these images were taken on my Canon Ixus or my Canon G10 both cameras use SD cards which my netbook is able to read through its internal reader.

Lets hope the weather is good tomorrow – this evening it is now getting cold. Tomorrow I am thinking of going to the Islands of San Giorgio,  Murano (famous for Venetian glass making) and Burano (famous for its coloured houses and lace making).

Tuesday 5th February

This morning  again it was an early rise from my bed and again entering St Marks square the bells began to toll at 7am. As you looked towards the lagoon there was a rich red sky. This dramatic sky lasted about 5 minutes just long enough to capture a few images. There was some good images to be had and hopefully I have captured a few that will give you the feel and the spirit of the carnival. This morning there were many more different figures in various dramatic  costumes. So the images attached are predominantly are of carnival figures.

I am writing these notes as I am having breakfast and jotting key notes in my Fossil note book a well used present courtesy of Gill & Pete.

It was a lot colder this morning and gloves were required to keep the fingers warm, as the morning developed the sky became a little overcast and such a contrast to yesterday.

For those photographic friends who like to know what equipment I am using well here goes
Canon 7D DSLR camera with a 70 / 200L lens
Canon 40D DSLR camera with 24 / 105L lens (this lens having developed an intermittent fault)
A Sigma ultra wide angle lens 8 / 16mm
Also a Canon 580 speedlite flashgun

As the light was a little flat I decided not to tour the islands so hopefully I will do this tomorrow. So I have spent some time this afternoon wandering around and getting lost in the San Marco area although I have been to Venice on numerous occasions it is so easy to get disorientated with the very narrow streets and high buildings as you are unable to see a reference points of other buildings. As some streets are so narrow they must never ever see any direct sunlight.

Wearing my Fire Service hat it is difficult not to wonder about the closely located buildings some separated by only a few feet. You can see the special needs of the Fire Service no roads just a canal network and an area so densely populated with buildings. It makes you think of how the Great Fire of London developed that said fire safety is key to keeping Venice safe. There have been serious fires one of note being the Fenice Opera House.
So this afternoon has seen a little shopping so I have been able to tick off a few items from my list.

In respect of my Hotel it is the Hotel Flora which is a good with it’s own garden area which will be more likely to be used in the summer. The hotel is just a couple of minutes from St Marks Square and just behind one of the main shopping streets that has the famous brands such as Fendi, Vitton, Visachi and many many more, the shop window displays are all a work of art very Italian and classy and also very expensive.

So that’s it for today will go out this evening and probably have a meal in The Hard Rock Cafe

Wednesday 6th February

Hi Everyone

Well this morning there was no sunrise just an overcast morning but that did not stop the photography and it just makes you look for different things or try to be more creative. It is not cold or though there has been a little breeze coming off the lagoon. As a consequence there is water coming over the quay side.

There are large pools of water within St Marks Square which is a result of a high tide during the night. Work is ongoing and has been for many years to raise the level of St Marks Square to stop it flooding.  One thing so far I have not bumped in to anyone I know maybe it is because I have gone to so much trouble with my costume that nobody could recognise me as pointed out by Brian (Fire Brigade whit!!) The mask was courtesy of Canon who are one of the main sponsors. Well I have just had my breakfast lovely fruit salad, Cappuchino and fresh quoissants. So now it is off Island hopping firstly to San Giorgio, then Murano and lastly Burano.

Well the Island of San Giorgio is what you see from the San Marco promenade with it’s Church Bell, Tower and Monastery, this is the best place to go for the best view of Venice,  that is from the top of the Bell Tower. So I take the vaperetto (water bus) just one stop. From the top of the Bell Tower you can see Venice and beyond, also attached to the island is a marina with many very expensive boats.

So next a 45 minute boat ride to Murano the island of Glass this is where all the glass is made. Previously the glass was made in Venice however after a number of great fires glass making was moved to Murano. Well if you want anything made out of glass this is the only place to go. Some stunning things and other things that you would definitely not want in your home.  One problem here I managed to drop my glasses while crossing a bridge and they managed to find the only gap available so they are now at the bottom of a canal. Never mind I have a second pair. At about midday the sun decided to shine.

Lastly and a further 30 minute boat ride to Burano, famous for it’s coloured houses which looks like a colour chart for Dulux or all the unwanted shades that you would not consider to paint your home. This is also the island famous for the production of lace. By the time I arrived at Burano there was a very dark sky as if a storm was on its way, but lucky enough the sun came out a good combination for photographs.

Thanks for all the comments, well later I will have to pack although I do not leave for the airport until about 5pm so I will have another full day. Enjoy the images. For those fire safety experts check out the image of the fire exit!! yes it does go straight in to the canal.

Well tomorrow I am going to concentrate on detail, texture and hopefully reflections.

Thursday 7th February

Hi Everyone

Well today the weather is glorious lovely and warm just ready for Ken & Mel who arrive next week. This is just a short blog as I will send a finale hopefully in a couple of days, with some very special pictures. My flight is at 7-45 so hopefully I will back home 10pm. I now need a rest nearly filled all my memory cards.

Had a good time!


Friday 8th February

Hi Everyone

I arrived back home at 10pm after leaving my hotel at 4pm having taken the quick water bus from San Zaccaria to Piazzale Roma (Bus Station) this route take you down the Guidecca Canal and cuts through the Cruise Liner terminal. From the bus station I took the airport shuttle bus which takes about 20 minutes. As I had checked in on line this was not a problem especially when you see the queues for the flight. The only problem being the very slow security process, having to queue for ages, basically not enough staff on duty. Good flight back, picked my car up and home in 35 minutes.

So today I have uploaded all my digital files on to the computer, there are nearly 1800 images. So I have had a quick trawl and I have selected the attached images and I trust you have enjoyed my exploits. From losing my glasses to having my main camera lens malfunctioning. Well considering everything I am very pleased with the results, what do you think?