Up too early, Terminal 5 at Heathrow by 0615, sat around half asleep until 0830 and then off! When I reached Venice, Debbie was there already but no transport. So we hung around until the Kiwis arrived, looking ragged. I will pass over the shambles at the hotel reached by water taxi. They were coping with a party of 30 or so Americans not to mention us, a party of 12. All the others went to bed but Debbie and I set out to walk round Venice, looking for some paper shops. Venetian marbled paper is very famous and I wanted to suss out the three best shops with a view to returning to buy when they were open during the week. The first one was open, Sunday or not!! It was very good - but not good enough. Debbie thought I was mad to turn up their offerings of paper.
So we hunted round the back streets of Venice and eventually found Mr Ebru's shop where he had the 'right' paper!! And he was open. If I go home now, the trip will have been a success. This is a world-famous man who talked to us, telling us all about how he got started. The big problem was that I was not expecting to find anyone open and had to get Debbie to pay with her card because I had not brought enough money or a card!! Gorgeous beyond belief. I had seen his stuff in books on marbled paper, saying here was an artist. So I decided that I would restrict myself to 10 sheets which he very kindly put into a cardboard tube and wrapped in brown paper.This will be posted back to my daughter, Anne, before we leave Venice.
He did tell us that he would ship stuff to us. He does his designs on silk as well and had some fabulous scarves which we both fancied for Christmas and birthday presents. (www.albertovalese-ebru.it). We spent quite a long time there an then went off to Saint Mark's Square and sat at Florians having an ice cream. I might say that two icecreams plus one coffee cost 48 Euros which is about 40 pounds. But we went in honour of Michael! 47 years ago, when Anne was 3 and Ruth was 5, we walked round Venice for a day. When we got to Saint Mark's Square, Michael collapsed into a chair at Florians, with me remonstrating. We had an icecreams each and it cost 30 shillings. When we got home, I framed the bill! And we had it hung up for years. But we did sit there for an hour, resting and watched the world go by
Then we walked home by way of the Rialto and took a water us back to the hotel. A great way to start the trip. We did look at the architecture too.