1971: June 3, Camp Marina di Venezia

Thursday
Decided it was much too hot for bacon, so children had boiled eggs and we had ham and rolls, day was warming up early! Got to the ferry at about 9.0am – masses of people waiting and loads rolling up. Got on the boat by rather foul means, it was extremely full and we had to stand or sit on the floor. Heat beating down on the quay in Venice, made our way to St Mark’s Square hoping to take the lift up to the top of the Campanile, but the lift was temporarily out of action, so we abandoned that idea, having no desire to walk!

Went to Cooks and got some money, then dived into the shady colonnade of the Piazza. Bought various glass objects in a little shop along there, to the accompaniment of voluble dialogue between the proprietor and a very slim dark young Italian man. Drifted along the side streets, beautifully cool and shady. Had a cappuccino and ices by the Rialto – children said the ices were super. Then over the Rialto where, on the top, Gareth spied the camera he’d been chuntering on about all the morning, and had obviously remembered from Tuesday morning!At 200 lire we could hardly refuse, and he clicked it happily all the morning, each ‘click’ shows a different view of Venice. Continued down the fruit and fish markets getting some more Alpine strawberries and black cherries, and 6 more soles, to Andrew’s great delight.

Then we caught the water bus at the Rialto round to the Piazza Roma – lovely ride along the Grand Canal. Went back to St Mark’s a different way, again by bus, passing some of the very expensive hotels, e.g. the Gritti Palace – £11 a night and no breakfast… Made our way back to the ferry, and caught the big ‘Concordia’ which goes via the Lido. Much nicer ride, were able to sit upon top, and it was beautifully cook. Travelled with one of the campers – an officer with BAOR who’d been chasing all over Venice for petrol coupons – his 4th day of doing it. The Italians seem to make it as difficult as possible to get these things, as if they regret offering them.

After a late lunch and a rest, off to the site shop for the inflatable boat we’d promised the children, them chipping with £1 between them. No paddles unfortunately, but they seemed to cope quite happily using their hands and taking it in turns to push each other along. When we eventually got them in to bed, they all fell asleep instantly they were so exhausted! Had a coffee and a fresh fruit salad at the cafe. David had a chunk of cake which said was very nice.

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