A Palazzo on the Grand Canal

The Grand Hotel of Venice is lined with huge mansions and you would love to see inside. With some of them this is possible as they have been made into museums. We visited one called Ca’Rezzonica and it was gorgeous as expected.

There were elegant stairs to the main level.

Sumptuous decorations although not much furniture remained. There were some chairs carved by a famous artist with slaves from Africa carved on the legs.

A red velvet throne against a red velvet wall should a Pope or royalty arrive. One of the Rezzonica family was in fact a pope.

I saw these two girls alone in one of rooms looking like it might have in the past.

I love this painting showing a couple ready for Carnival.

A view of a canal below from the third floor.

More From Venice

As usual, I have many photos so I want to share them. Venice is so full of photo ops.

The famous Realto Bridge was teaming with people.

So many lovely courtyards and gardens, most of which are private.

Wouldn’t you love to sit here along the canal and have a drink? It was in front of a hotel in the Carnaggio area of Venice which have way fewer tourists. Even at this time of year Venice was crowded but not like it will be this summer.

An unusual and bit crooked statue on the side of a building where the famous Italian artist, Tinoretto, once lived, also in Carnaggio.

Drying laundry when you don’t have a back yard line.

Evening light on a canal.

Canal Saint Martin

Here it is, January 1st, 2014. My 2013 sure went by quickly. I’m here at the home of my son in Switzerland where we “rang in the New Year”. Here is a post that I put together a couple of weeks ago:

The new hot area to either live in or just visit for a walk along the water, a cup of coffee or a meal is that around the Canal Saint Martin. On a pretty Sunday afternoon Maurice and I ventured out to explore a bit.

Photogenic bridges arch over the canal. If you haven’t seen the French movie Amelie, do so. One of these bridges is in the movie and you get a look at a lot of other places in Paris.

A look from a bridge down the canal.

The other direction as it curves away.

It’s always fun to watch a boat move through the locks.

Many cafes and coffee places abound. Most of them sell vegan or vegetarian fare.

Cute window of a toy store.

It was a little chilly so Maurice and I stopped for hot chocolate.

Marais Poitevin

Still exploring with our friends we headed to the Marais Poitevin which is a large swampy area. It was once all a bay but it silted up over time.
We started out in the town of Coulon and took a boat trip out into the channels on a flat boat guided by Alain.

This area is called the Green Venice as you can see by this sign in Coulon.

What we saw as we arrived-a larger canal lined with boats for tourists. The local inhabitants have their own boats to get around. Alain told us many a woman takes her groceries from her car, loads them into a boat and then rows her way home. The boats are rowed on the back while standing up like you see in Venice unless you are in an area with low hanging trees.

A look at the first canal we entered with the tip of the boat in view.

We saw groups of brown cows here and there called Marshlanders, as are the locals. They are only grown for meat as it’s too hard to find them to milk in the swamps. They are all rounded up at the end of summer and put on boats and taken to farms so you will see boats loaded with 8 or so cows then. I’d like to see that. Alain told us that they have tried to import other cattle here but they don’t do well in the wet climate.

Just another look at the calm, cool water as we moved along. It was very peaceful.

These yellow irises grew on the banks of the canals.

This little tower on the side of the church is actually an outdoor pulpit where the preacher would give sermons when there was a flood and the church members would arrive in their boats to attend and listen outside. The flooding is controlled now with dikes.

Camden Town

There is a funky area of London called Camden Town that is fun to visit. Apparently it is packed on Sundays when the market there is in full swing but we were there on a cold weekday. Many of the shops were open and there were all sorts of places selling food so we could eat whatever caught our fancy. There were many nice things for sale-scarves, jewelry, that sort of thing. There were all sorts of alleys and covered buildings and at times I had the feeling of being in a packed street in India or Mexico.

A look down one alley.

Another view.

There are locks there for the canal.

As you can see here.

We did a canal trip with Jason’s Boats and went under bridges and through tunnels and along really lovely homes, a zoo, an bird aviary and many canal boats parked along the side of the canal used as residences. There was only a path on one side as horses walked along these pulling the boats before gas engines came along. The canals were strictly for industrial use until times changed and now it’s for tourists wanting to travel slowly along the canals and dream of times past. Of course, the boat people had hard lives living in tiny spaces on the boats and getting no education.

Some of the canal boats tied up along the side of the canal as we exit the tunnel.