We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Today's walk - Aqua Bassa

Last night as I was closing up the shutters I noticed a thick fog had rolled in around our canal. I wondered what morning would be like.  We've had an unusually mild winter so far in Venice- pretty mild temperatures, very little fog, no ice or snow yet, and only one morning of high water. Weird season, actually, but I am not complaining. I'm a summer girl.

In the morning, my first order of business was an appointment at my hairdresser's, Simone.  His salon was FREEZING this morning!!!  I had checked the weather when I got up, supposed to be 33 degrees F. At Simone's I think it was colder, and my hunch was right, he explained that his caldaia (the water heater) was not working when he arrived earlier.  Yikes! I shivered through the whole event. 

On my way home from Simone's I noticed a familiar gondola parked right in front of the Frari. Alessandro!!!  I haven't seen him since early fall. I looked around to see where he was standing, hoping it really was him today. Sometimes gondoliers who are not working will lend their boats to other gondoliers. This was clearly Sandro's gondola, but where was he?  Aha! There he was having a coffee in the window of the cafe at the foot of the bridge. When he spotted me, he waved  and motioned for me to come in. We had a coffee together and caught up a bit. I'm excited, he is going to check around to see if any of his friends will be rowing in the Volo in Silenzio on the last night of Carnevale to hopefully secure me a seat in a boat for less money than the official tickets are being sold for.  After kisses and hugs, I left Sandro to his work and I headed off to Campo Santa Margherita for a stop at my fish guys. 

I love my fish guys! While I waited a few minutes, they peeled and deveined my kilo of gambero (shrimp) for me.  Makes my life really simple come dinner time. I also stopped at the vegetable stall, then met Mike at Mood Cafe for a cup of tea and a little light lunch. By this time I was freezing. Today is the coldest day we've had so far. I checked on my iphone- the temperature was now 26 degrees F or  -3 C!!!!  It wasn't too warm inside Mood either, but better than being outside.

I had one more errand to accomplish before I could get home and warm up. Mike and I both walked together to Giustinian so I could drop off my request for prescriptions at my doctor's office.  My doctor has a new system now, which I am very grateful for. Instead of having to wait in the queue at his office each month to renew prescriptions, I can drop off a letter in his mail box, then return the next day to pick up the prescriptions. 

On our walk  home from the Dottore's office, I snapped a few photos of the unusually low water in the canals today. On a typical day at  high tide, the water level is even with the highest dark line you see on the canals. When it's low tide on a normal day, the green area on the canal wall is visible.  During this period of  very  low tide, the water is so low the last stairs are visible.

Even the algae is out of water today by several feet. Very unusual.

And the steps at my own water door (photo above) are completely out of water. This is the first time I've seen those bottom 2 steps. Fortunately, most boats are flat bottomed and don't require very much water. I can't imagine all the boats that would be run aground otherwise. Italy has had all the ship problems it can handle for one week!


Michelle said...

I can just imagine how slippery those bottom steps are. Be careful.
The weather is weird all over the world.
From a snow and icebound Seattle.

Andrew said...

Let's hope the tide doesn't go from this extreme to the other.

Rob C said...

You'd think they'd use low water to get out there and really clean the usually submerged steps etc. Surely the removal of the algae would extend the life of the stonework?

But, I expect the algae is actually holding it all together :-)

Have a good weekend.


Ribbonnibbler said...

This totally makes me homesick! My husband is from outside of Venice in Treviso. We were there for Xmas and New Years. One of his close friends a lovely shop in the centre of Venice. It's called Officine 904. They make beautiful handmade bags

Tim The Nomad said...

Karen, I've seen the water apparently low a few times, but this surely has to take the biscuit! As for the temperatures, you have my sympathies. I just hope and pray the wind isn't coming off the mountains. Now that is cold!

g^m said...

Hi Karen -

Did acqua bassa impact transportation this time around? Did any of the canals dry up? Is there any oral history that the Venetians have about acqua alta/bassa?

Marisa said...

Hi Karen
Great photos! Be careful on those slippery stairs! Love your "everyday happenings" posts. Keep them coming!
Ciao from New England, USA
Today it snowed 6 inches and on Monday the forecast is calling for 50F. We will have aqua alta here!
A presto

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,

Was remembering my long visit to Venice last January and thought I would check in on your blog. What a great blog! Brings me right back instantly. Nearly met you last year, but you were recovering from knee surgery and very busy. Hope everything is going well...sounds like it is. Had looked into pursuing Italian citizenship, but my father and grandfather's paperwork proves elusive in the original, so I'll have to live vicariously through your blog! Thanks so much for the blog....absolutely love it!

Maryellyn in South Carolina

Jan Pag said...

Ciao Karen - or should I say Bom Dia if you are thinking about Portuguese? I
I loved this post - it was just like being there. I could almost smell the canals, close my eyes and imagine your route through Campo Santa Margherita, the drink in Mood. It's a lovely surprise when I breeze in and find a new post - thank you for posting more, I know the time it takes up but you give so much pleasure to us Venice voyeurs!
I think that I have worked out the problem with posting on your wall - I usually read your posts on my phone but I can't seem to add comments that way so I take 10 minutes out of work on my main computer to read and comment.
Added excitement at the moment - we have just booked to visit Venice again! sadly (for us) you will be away for most of our time there - our first full day is 6th Feb. I don't want to pressure you as I know that you will be getting things sorted for your Portuguese break - but do you fancy coffee at Mood sometime? obrigado!

karen said...

g^m- we haven't experienced any boat issues- yet. And as for oral traditions, the only one's we've heard are all related to HIGH tides, not low ones.

karen said...

Ribbonnibbler- next time you are here let me know! I think I know your friend's shop- if it's the one between the Frari church and Campo San Polo? Great bags, I've been wanting one of those!!!

karen said...

Ciao Jan Pag- Of course we must find time to meet while you are here. Let me know what might work into your schedule on the 6th or 7th anytime or afternoon on the 8th.

See you soon- Karen

Sig. Nonloso said...

Hi, Karen, I wanted to let you know that I listed your blog as one of my 5 favorites on veneziablog.blogspot.com and now I believe you are supposed to choose five favorites of your own to list some time. In any case, I enjoy your blog & the wonderful pics of this post & have meant to get in touch as Yvonne emailed to me about the possibility of doing so. Auguri, S.

Water Testing said...

I wish you have your own Ferrari. But what about these slippery stairs and drain water? First of all get rid of it than think about Ferrari :)