Last winter my good friend Annie & I flew out to the magical place that is Venice for a little photography trip to celebrate my 40th birthday. I don’t know about you but when I’m on holiday I’m usually about twenty paces behind the rest of my family snapping away whilst they wait twenty paces up ahead grumbling quietly! So, not only was it lovely to be in such a fab location, It was also pure, unadulterated bliss to have four whole days to ourselves to just take photos!
Turning forty was quite the milestone birthday for me in lots of ways. On the one hand I’d reached a point in my life where I was old enough and ugly enough to start saying no to doing things that I just didn’t want to do anymore (and being completely ok with that) and on the other, coming to the realisation that there were other things that I was going to have to start saying yes to doing before the opportunities completely passed me by.
One of these things was travel.
I’m not a good traveller. I’m a homebody and a holiday in the UK was just fine by me. Even thinking about going anywhere on a plane brought on a bout of anxiety. But after many rain soaked breaks in seaside towns and several long drives through France accompanied by a chorus of ‘are we going somewhere different next year’ from the back seat of the car, I quickly realised that my travel phobic ways were not only stopping me from seeing a bit more of the world they were also stopping the rest of the family from enjoying new experiences.
This needed nipping in the bud.
So instead of saying no to this trip I just said yes! And I’m so glad I did. If you’ve never been to Venice I urge you to go. It is truly a remarkable place. Even in winter when the daytime temps hovered around 2 degrees throughout our visit. The obvious attractions to head for are St Mark’s Square and Saint Mark’s Basillica which of course we did but do go off the beaten track a bit if you can and explore the winding streets and back alleys where you will find, amongst other things, the hidden and quirky delights of the Libreria Acqua Alta. A trip across the lagoon to Burano and it’s picturesque rows of coloured houses is a must as is a tour around the Peggy Guggenheim Museum.
If you can bear to get up early to catch the sunrise over San Giorgio Maggiore do it. We even had the added bonus of bumping into a newlywed couple who were more than happy to let us take their photo against such a stunning backdrop! And if you are happy to stay up late then head for the Accademia Bridge to see the sunset over the Grand Canal before heading back to St Marks Square by Vaporetto (public water bus) to see it all lit up at night.
I would return and do it all over again and more in a heartbeat 🙂
(We stayed at the Bernini apartment in the Dorsoduro District).