Friday, April 22, 2011

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blog migration

This blog has been migrated to a new platform and from now on you can find all the updates there.

Would be very thankful if you can follow me there as well and from my side I promise to keep it up-to-date with the events and things happening in my life (smile)

Viktor Kiyashko

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Venice.Day 2-3

We were back to Venice by 11a.m. and the first thing we did was to buy daily ticket for vaporetto (i.e. boat service). As our budget was a bit limited for the gongola ride, this was the substitute we got for the water trips around the city. And definitely it was worth it and fit 2 purposes - transportation and sightseeing ones.

The boat ride to the hotel place stop took around 40min and we were happy to see Venice from a totally different perspective. The main channel after we passed under Rialto bridge looked stunning and my sigma allowed me to take several good shots.

We got out next to Santa Maria della Salute which looked as magnificent from the land as it looked from the water. We dived into several streets and reached the street along the channel with the hotel booked for our stay. The room was simple but it had what had been promised and for what we had paid several euros on top - a channel view (smile).

In the nearby restaurant we had a pizza and a beer and walked all the way to St.Marco square across the main channel and following the sign and major tourist flows. We crossed the square and headed straight away up the Campanile di San Marco tower.
The views opened in front of us were breathtaking... Actually I think those were the best "city tower" views out of all my trips around Europe! You couldn't see the channels but the square and the city looked incredible...

and the Adriatics and islands and... and... and...

After all the incredible feeling of presence in an incredible city we walked along the shore and caught the boat to fulfil someone's very very stong desire...

We arrived to Lido di Venezia island and in 15 minutes were already on the public beach ready to have our first swim in 2010... Water seemed a bit not perfectly clean but perfectly warm but the feeling of being in Venice, lie on the sand and swimming in Adriatics was magnificent!!!

We decided not to go back to Venice straight away and caught the boat to Burano, one of the islands outside the city which was recommended by a friend of ours. Will skip this part here as this small island deserves a short but still a separate post (smile).

When we were back to Fundamenta Nuove it was already getting dark. We had a very tasty Italian dinner right next to the sea and walked back to St.Marco square.

The streets were getting empty and the square itself didn't seem very crowded in the evening, very different from all the top European tourist spots. The main concentration of people groups were in or around the outside restaurants which had the stage with musicians... And this was really cool. We sat nearby and listened for some time classic music which was the prefect evening "thing" and even more perfect was to move around the corner and listen to live jazz music, watch people dancing and watch the huge orange full moon...

When they finished playing we went for a walk around the night city aiming to final some nice place next to some channel to drink a bottle of red wine which I had bought on the Lido island. I guess that in the end all the positive emotions needed to be brought down somehow and the night Venice was the thing to do so. Nothing much impressive, almost no lights on the streets and no people, no loud places and nothing really special to do... It might have been that we had searched in the wrong places (smile).

But still the day ended perfectly as we found a great spot on the gondola quay next to the main channel and the bridge and there were even some lights on some of the building reflecting in the still sea waters. We drank the wine, talked a lot about life, how happy we were with it and with the fact that we had met each other, with the things we have in common (like travelling) and some things we see differently... Great moments!..

We didn't have much time to do anything before catching our flight back to Prague, so we just had a 40min. boat ride back to Piazza di Roma... It was early and the city looked a bit sleepy and foggy - a much nicer state than evening "nothingness" (smile).

We spent our last money on the coffee in a local place and on the souvenirs for friends and family. After an hour sleep in the bus we were already in the airport ready to flight away from all the great dreams we had in Venice... And those dreams were really sweet...

Monday, June 28, 2010

In Venice - Day 1

I slept all the time till we landed in Venice-Treviso airport. Transfer to Venice took us an hour or a bit more. The bus delivered its passengers to Piazza di Roma, the biggest and the only "on land" transport place on the main Venice island. Actually, Venice is considered to have the largest "traficless" area out of all European cities which is pretty obvious considering the architecture and placement of the city.

As we had no place to leave the luggage and at first our backpacks seemed not so heavy, we decided to explore the main routes before heading to Bologna. First step during most of our travels was accomplished immediately at the nearest kiosk - we bought the map, second - getting enough strength for the city walk (i.e. getting some calories) - was fulfilled in the small park area next to the bus station. It was more than +30 °C (the exact weather following us during our all 3.5 stay in Italy), so finishing our Prague-made sandwiches and drinking some soda in the shade of the trees ,watching the pigeons and reading Ukrainian phrases on the trash bins: "..., I love you forever", seemed the perfect start of the journey (smile).

After all the preparations we started the walk in one of the most amazing European cities - through all the narrow streets and across all the bridges, seeing all the magnificence created here centuries ago. We explore little squares with the churches and fountains, found lots of arches and small bridges which led into the depth of the non-tourist routes...

From time to time we hit the bigger channels with water taxis and gondolas revealing the bigger scale life of Venice. We walked more along the narrow streets looking up to see the cloths handing on the ropes, seeing the flowers pots, the shutters, thinking how could anyone live in such an incredible place, spend the childhood, fell in love...

All the time we walked in Venice we fell like we were in some fairy tale, in past times... Partly this feeling was created by the absence of the tourist crowds which, I guess, were following one another on the main streets or just disappeared till the evening as the sun was completely outrageous (smile).

When we got on the main street heading towards Rialto - the most famous and the biggest bridge - we experienced a bit different Venice, hot, loud and crowded. What saved us was the view on the main channel from the bridge... It was stunning and breathtaking... but still we couldn't bare the sun for a long time and escape into the shades of the streets.

We walked more approaching St.Marco square. On our way we stopped at a small local place for a coffee and a small (really small - 0.2l) beer. The place also had a tap white wine which apparently was something very common for Italy and what we explored more and several in details later that and the next day in Bologna (smile).

St.Marco square was huge and full of light. Almost all the people were sitting on its perimeter in the shades not willing to cross it under any circumstances. We crossed it towards Basilica di San Marco but decided to leave all the "interior" sightseeing and climbing up the tower for the last days and headed directly to the Riva with its numerous shops and souvenir stalls, great views of the other islands and numerous gondola "parkings".

Tired by the sun we left the street and strolled into the direction of the other part of the island, along the wide channel and then the small ones, the Arsenal museum and some local wine shops. We ate some gelatto and rested on couple of squares, bought some souvenirs (better to do that in the first day of your trip while you still have the money) and took more photos of the incredible city surrounding us.

In the end we came to Fondamenta Nuove with its gorgeous view of San Michele cemetery (where Diagilev, Stravinsky and Brodsky were buried) on a separate island with a great architecture of the walls and tall cypresses inside. Unfortunately in the last full day of our stay we hadn't enough time to visit it which I'd definitely do the next time.

We had couple of pizza slices before heading back in the direction of Piazza di Roma to catch the train to Bologna. The streets were the same narrow and nice, the channels still looked charming and refreshing, but we were really tired to absorb all that beauty the same as earlier that day. What did bring us more positive emotions was a glass (still small) of a very tasty Italian beer and the view on the square with Teatro Italia.