EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



My photo
Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


While I love Venice and all things Italian, I could never bring myself to play with these birds (pidgins?).  Call me paranoid, but I lived in Shanghai, China during the SARS epidemic and the fear of avian flu is just to strong to deny.  Brave souls seem to throw all caution to the wind to have their moment in the sun with our feathered friends.  Me?  I just love to photograph them!

Ewww!  Just what are they thinking?  And it isn't just the few and far between that love to cavort with these avian creatures.  At any given time in the Piazza St. Marco you can see dozens of people pretending they are human perches.  Freaks me out.

The last time I was in Venice was two years ago.  I took my mother-in-law from Australia and we spent a few days sightseeing before we met my husband flying in from Portugal.  The next day we left for a long anticipated Greek Island Cruise (highly recommend this one!).  I didn't do the gondola ride because, well....I was with my mother-in-law and as much as I like her, in my mind, gondola rides are supposed to be romantic. Nuff said.

 Eleven years ago I went with my son, then 19.  I didn't ride with him for the same reason.  So, this time I was with my husband and was looking forward to the ultimate romantic gondola ride in Venice....until I heard the price!  Eighty euros for a half hour.  If you're not up on your Euro/Dollar conversion, that is $109.00 per half hour.  Sorry Giovanni, but I would rather soak that amount into a Louis Vuitton or, in my case, 60 ml of "Eau de Soir," by Sisley of Paris.  Which I did the very next day.  Hey, a gondola ride for one-half hour versus a lasting and elegant scent?  No contest, right?  

Next on my agenda was purchasing a Murano glass piece for my living room coffee table which is quite large.

We purchased this coffee table in Jakarta, Indonesia and it is made of coral stone. It is rather large at approximately 4 ft by 4 ft.   It has survived countless moves and five different countries (Malaysia, Australia, China, United States, Germany).  We love it, although it is extremely heavy to move and coral stone can chip.  So far, we have been fortunate to avoid any chips.  Since our move from east Munich to south Munich last April, I have changed our decor from red and gold to navy, cream, and shades of teal and violet.  

Finding a decorative piece that will fit nicely onto a 4 ft by 4 ft coffee table in the right shade of blue is not an easy task. (No, I did not choose the piece I photographed above.  It is a Merano sculpture on the island of Merano in Venice.)  Although I did my best scouring both Venice and the island of Murano, I came up empty handed.

This was the intended color:

This was the intended shape  (or something similar) but it needed to be very large:

So far, no luck.  But I am online searching Murano, E-bay, or wherever I can to find the piece I want.  But there was no such animal in Venice or Murano and believe me, I know because I dragged my poor husband into every shop there was to look.  The poor soul.  

In spite of my shopping disaster and abhorrence for any setting that reminds me of Hitchcock's, "The Birds," I have to say that our visit was everything that we had imagined.

From astonishing architecture to blinding natural beauty, we found Venice to be all that we wanted it to be and more.


Joyce said...

I love the Murano glass. We bought a piece when we were there a couple of years ago and it makes me happy to see it in my house. I hope you find what you are looking for!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Beautiful shots....I'm with you I'd stay away from those dirty birds...yuck!

I hope you find the Murano glass to your liking....and smart choice I'd skip the boat ride too.

Have a wonderful day !

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Venice is my favorite city. I have visited there 5 times. On our last trip there we led a group of 16 family and friends. We arranged a back streets of Venice walking tour that included a gondola ride, which made it more reasonable in a group.

And the bonus is that when our 3 gondolas emerged into the Grand Canal, James Bond in a boat came right between our gondolas. This was during the filming of Casino Royale.

Conny said...

I did have the privilege of visiting Venice w/ my sweetheart - and we did do the gonola thing (complete with SINGING gondolier) but I think the price was included in our 7 city tour that we were on. Murano glass is AMAZING!! I am loving seeing your pics!

Becky said...

I would absolutely love to visit Italy! That is a dream of mine. I want to see Rome and visit Napoli where my grandmother's family is from. then I would spend time in each European country.

American in Norway said...

Beautiful photos! Been many years since my last tip to Venice.. maybe it is time to go back! :-)

May said...

Your pictures bring back so many memories!! It never struck me about the SAR's thing and my kids had the birds all over them. I have way too many pictures of them with the birds. Now after reading your post I am wondering, what was I thinking?? We too purchased Murano jewelry and some small delicate show pieces for the home. And the gondola ride, for the price, not worth it all!!!