Well, I am back. I've survived Ryanair and Venice in November.
I stayed in a nice little hotel in an area called Cannaregio, close to the bus and train stations, just off the Grand Canal and few steps from one of the main touristy routes going around Venice. I had a small room with very flowery furniture (or - as they like to call them - delightful 18th century Venetian style furnishings) in the third floor, bathroom in the corridor, Italian style breakfast included and all for 35 euros per night.
The place was called Hotel Guerrini and I can definitely recommend it, if someone is looking for a cheap stay in Venice. For 35 euros you obviously don't get any extras (like TV) and can clearly hear every word your neighbour utters, but who goes to Venice to stay in the hotel room anyway. You also get woken up by the near-by church every morning at seven o'clock, but if you can live with that, then it's a place to be.
When I arrived around six in the evening, it was already dark and Venice looked very appealing. The canals glistened, the houses were old and beautiful and even all the touristy things seemed exciting. I wandered around for maybe an hour and then found a nice little restaurant and had dinner. I think I even entertained thoughts of Italy possibly being a nice place to live at. The weather and all that.
The next morning rose somewhat gray and cloudy - giving the city a strange hue. The morning revealed the face of Venice and all those alleyways I had noticed the evening before. The houses that had looked old and beautiful in darkness, now seemed like they were falling apart. I don't think I saw one single house that wasn't in need of repair - even the best of them needed paint and most looked like they wanted nothing more than to crumble down. It was not once or twice that I felt the desire to pick up a brush and some paint, wash the statues and houses, fix the window panes and the gaping walls.
It was a little sad to watch the city. The sentence that adorns a few books "The days of its glory were long past" are very appropriate when speaking of Venice. She must have been gorgeous in her day, but those days are gone. Now the city is an expensive decaying museum with thousands of little ant people crawling all over it. And there were plenty of those. The amount of tourists was a little shocking and by Sunday evening they were making me quite edgy. All of those people on the narrow alleyways... I don't even want to think what it must be like in the high season.
On Monday the sun was shining and I decided to hit the museums. They weren't that easy to find, so I had bought a guidebook the day before. That didn't help terribly much, but I still managed to find quite a few. I experienced the shaking floors of the Doge's palace and gazed on the Grand Canal from the balcony of Ca' Rezzonico. In between I sat for a few moments in a cafe staring at the bay, had light lunch and tiramisu and read some Heinrich Mann.
Monday was good, much better than Sunday and by Tuesday I had almost gotten used to the crumbling face of Venice. I had abandoned thoughts of living in Italy though, since in the end I am simply too much of a child of the sterile North.
I'll add the photos to the usual place when I have more time. I also try to get to writing some letters very soon. I know it has taken forever, but the time just flies.
Currently listening to: Don Huonot - Tule sellaisena kuin olet