Friday, September 29, 2006
Spent part of the morning moving hotels from the Hotel Ala near St Mark's sq to Hotel Laguna Palace which is in the next town of Mestre. Its only a 10 minute drive from the western part of Venice, but a good 1 hr walk through the canals of Venice with luggage...so took the express airport watertaxi from St Mark's square back to the airport and took a taxis like I was just arriving. Prices in this town are outrageous....a beer on St Mark's sq is 10 Euro...a meal would bankrupt you. Gondola's cost 1.80 a minute, so reckon on 100 Euro's an hour. Public water transport is better (5 Euro for a ticket valid for an hour, 12 Euro for the day) but be prepared to get crushed.
The buildings are indeed spectacular - but what with the floods in Nov/December getting worse each year, I think global warming is going to have a major impact on this place, more than anyone can ever imagine. I have been shooting some HD video of the "Amsterdam of the South" (some people regard Amsterdam as the Venice of the North..though Brugge and Stockholm have similar claims). Some great signs for my collection....my favourite being "If you think the masks in the window are rubbish, be advised it is worse inside!".
Logged on at the hotel website to discover their .com website had expired and no-one had renewed. It is out in the marine harbour in Mestre. Not bad....but Hotel Ala was better. The staff at this hotel front desk all seem to be training each other and chatting with boyfriends on the phone. Still, the shuttle into Venice is cheap...7 Euros return (40 if you take a regular taxi).