Marigold Says...

Random thoughts on travelling and life in general.

Here's the Venice everybody knows.

Here's one of the less fancy areas.

Venice , Harry's Bar and a bargain lunch. Not in Harry's Gaff.

Not my photo, credit goes to Jodi Cobb, but a cafe in Venice and I love it.



Left Slovenia this morning after checking out the promised  all you can eat breakfast which  included blue cheese, garlic sausage, tinned mushrooms, gherkins, a sort of brown cereal and smoked trout. Lovely.  We called it everything you don't want to eat breakfast. Went next door just for coffee and croissants.


Easy drive from Slovenia to Italy,, apart from mad drivers who tailgate until you move over. Seen more bad drivers in this country than anywhere else and that was even before we got to Italy where every owner of a Fiat 500 thinks he is driving a Ferrari. Don’t know why I’m moaning as wasn’t even driving, but even G, who never gets cross, got pretty close to it today.


Found Venice easily enough, well just outside as no cars in Venice, not with all that water, but couldn't find the hotel. Sat nav had never heard of it,  bossy sat nav voice woman couldn’t even make a guess.


I asked a local polize who said ‘follow me in my car’ then drove off like Lewis Hamilton.  We followed and felt like royalty.  He was carrying a gun and was very macho. Took us right to the door.  How helpful is that? Think he realised how important we are.  


Hotel is really vulgar, everything is sprayed gold.  Feel like Joan Collins. Breakfast looks edible, on the photo at least. Both had a shower, stressful traffic, then dashed off out again.


We’ve been to Venice on several occasions, enough times to ignore the more obvious tourist sites, but when we arrived we both said, ‘ we never went to Harry’s Bar before’. So, that’s where we went. It’s one of those places that defines an era, but still manages to not only survive, but thrive. VIPs especially have always visited so we thought we’d join the beautiful people, for an hour at least.


It’s a bar, as the name suggests, but also serves meals. On one day in 1935 meals were served, simultaneously,  to King Alfonso XIII of Spain, Queen Wilhelmina of Holland, King Paul of Greece and King Peter of Yugoslavia. Blimey! Hope they let us in. 


The (very old and presumably original) visitors’  book reveals  the signatures of Arturo Toscanini, Guglielmo Marconi, Somerset Maughan, Noel Coward, Charlie Chaplin and of course Ernest Hemingway who seemingly took root there. Okay, there were lots if people I didn’t know as well, but am sure they were all very important. We didn’t sign in. 


First impression; what a poky little place with tables very close together and décor best described as ‘traditional.’ The Bellini cocktail was invented here and seemed a popular choice. 18 plus euros seemed a little on the high side to us, but when we saw a Diet Coke was 10 euros our jaws hit the floor. 


As for food, I got as far as the soup section – 25 euros for a small bowl of minestrone – and decided we weren’t hungry after all. Never mind, the Ladies was very nice, although up a flight of stairs, and very comfortable. G thought I’d been kidnapped as I was so long ‘upstairs,’ but I was fascinated by the conversation of some American ladies who thought ‘the place was just divine’ and appeared to find the cost of their meal for six people, with drinks and several cocktails hilarious. ‘Dan will have a seizure if he ever works out how to compare euros with dollars,’ was the gist of it. I felt a bit sorry for Dan. 


We went to a little café in a side street, no idea what it was called, and I had coffee and a fab lasagne while G had some sort of sandwich, ham, cheese and various other things, on a massive bun as big as a dustbin lid so he was happy. They gave us breadsticks and fancy cutlery in a paper envelope and I had a second coffee after our meal. Total cost, 20 euros. Yes,lunch and drinks for 20 euros, in Venice! Harry will have to whistle for our custom. 


Had a great mooch and if we had gone yesterday locals were carrying on, protesting  with shopping trolleys, saying they couldn't do their shopping with a trolley because of all the tourists, and that was the only way they could carry their shopping to their multi million pound apartments.  They should learn how to carry their shopping on their heads or shop more often.  Honestly. Anyway, they only need a couple of packets of pasta and some tomato sauce. If you don’t want crowds, don’t live in Venice. 


Lots of visitors as usual.  Not many shopping trolleys. Cruise boat was in making tsunami waves. We beat them to the water taxi and had a great visit.  Bought nothing, as not going to any balls and don't need a mask.





Bar Prices. A bit steep?

Harry's Bar 'facilities' very good value, ie free.

Off the tourist beat. Hidden Venice

Shame I forgot the name, but this cafe served great food and is brilliant value

Police escort for VIP visitors