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November 2010

San Bartolome Lanzarote #lanzarote


Original Watercolour 12" x 9"

San Bartolome lies right in the middle of Lanzarote - a traditional Canarian town, with attractive narrow streets and pretty white washed houses. A central focal point is the 18th century Church of San Bartolome situated in the central square. The town hall and municipal theatre is here too. In fact San Bartolome is a strong administrative centre in Lanzarote. Before tourism took off, the main economic activity here was agriculture. Just to the north of the town lie the famous wine fields of La Geria. Here black volcanic rubble and stone semi-circles are still used as to release and retain overnight moisture and to protect young vines.


Venice Gondola #venice


Original Watercolour 10" x 8"

The manufacture of a true Venice gondola is an intricate art involving eight different types of wood, almost three hundred individual parts, and special paintwork done by qualified artisans. You’ll recognise them by the silver‘blade’  on the bow, looking almost Viking like, and of course the shiny black finishing.  Also the boat is not actually symmetrical, but almost banana shaped from above to counter for only one oar being used by the goldolier.

Venice Fish Market 2


Original Water Colour 10" x 8"

The busy Venice Fish Market is a short walk from the Rialto Bridge on the San Polo side of the Grand Canal. The current structure was built in 1917 (although it looks much older), but fish have been sold here for 600 years.  Between the arches are very distinctive red curtains - not sure what their purpose was? - Maybe hide the smell of the fish?

It's best to arrive early if you want to see the Erberia (vegetable market next door to the Fish Market) and Pescheria (fish market) in full swing. The barges start arriving at dawn, and the vendors are bargaining with customers by 8 a.m. The wholesalers and most of the retailers close up shop by midday (or 1 p.m. at the latest), so stock up on fruit and photo opportunities before lunch!


Guilvinec Port


Original Watercolour 10" x 8"

Guilvinec is a major port in a picturesque market town, 35 km south of Quimper.

Flanked on one side by the port, the other for its beaches, the city extends into the sea. The docks provide a permanent entertainment. The return of coastal vessels is a daily event: under the impatient eye of seagulls, fishermen come and unload their catch of the day in the auction.


Side canal into Grand Canal Venice


Original Watercolour 10" x 8"

One of the many narrow canals feeding into the Grand Canal.  Low profile, sleek looking motor launches are the city's taxis.  More limousine on water, they're not a cheap way to travel around Venice.  I heard that fares were a minimum £35 for a short trip.  I think if you took one, you would definitely be seen, and not sit hidden inside the spacious cabin.

Back streets Venice Lido


Original Watercolour 10" x 8"

Walk north away from the busy town centre and you come across a residential area with large Victorian houses and quiet streets.  The Venice Lido (Lido di Venezia) is an island, usually just referred to as 'the Lido'. It's the narrow strip of land which separates the central part of the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic Sea.  Once just a natural barrier, the Lido is now Venice's seaside. It's also the origin of the word 'lido' as used old bathing establishments.  The Lido is also where the Venice Film Festival takes place in September.  We had just missed it when we were there.

Cargo Boats Venice Canal


Original Watercolour 10" x 8"

Cargo boats deliver everything around Venice.  This chokedcanal in the Dorsoduro district of Venice looked like a health and safety nightmare with all sorts of goods, construction materials, food, drink, and all other things to keep life going.  Even UPS have their own fleet of liveried boats.  Some boats are loaded up a metre or so above their decks which must make for a tight squeeze under some of those bridges at high tide.

Piazzale Santa Maria Lido venice


Original Watercolour 10" x 8"

When you get off the ferry from Venice this is the main square in Lido.  Never seen so many bicycles locked up in rows and rows, all waiting for their owners return.  It reminded me very much of a scene from Amsterdam with the cobbled streets and canals slicing the seaside town in parallel lines.