Venetian Architecture (and also boats)

IMG_5671

The look of Venice is fairly unique. Not too many places in the world can boast canals paired with Renaissance architecture. It’s a good fit, and wonderful for taking pictures and drawing. A fun fact we learned : most of the people drawing at any given time are not art students from one of the nearby colleges, but are tourists. It’s pretty fun to join them too!

IMG_20171018_114701

While there are plenty of famous scenes and views all around the city, we strayed a bit from the travelled path and took pictures of mostly anything that caught our eye.

20171016_171503

There was no shortage of interesting views, even just out our hotel window.

IMG_5601

I personally love the semi-planned stacking of buildings that look like they’ve grown from the water, huddle together in a very visually pleasing arrangement.

IMG_5622

It’s hard to ignore the boat-lined tunnel canals – the only way to get to a lot of these doors and boats is to have someone else drop you off.  There are many, many doors, that lead to a tiny dock and boat, or worse, drop straight out into the water. The best are private bridges – smaller versions of the canal-spanning bridges that lead to a single door.

IMG_5649

Between the crowded living spaces spring up massive cathedrals. It’s an odd contrast.

IMG_5644

One of the amazing and frustrating things about Venice is the constant haze. It comes from being warm and on the water, and it makes for some exciting and terrible photo conditions. During colder parts of the year the atmosphere is probably clearer and the photos come out crisper.

20171018_095445

We really enjoyed getting lost and seeing the smaller details of the city. It’s easy to miss in light of the surrounding grandeur.

IMG_5651

Walking is really the best thing to do. Every bridge, canal, and tiny alley offers a new and unexpected view.

IMG_5822

Sometimes the alleys are extremely small. This one, we think, was meant for people. Notice the streetlamp in the center. Definitely not for the claustrophobic.

IMG_20171016_181802

There are big life goals and small life goals. After we decided to come to Italy, and specifically Venice, I knew I had to recreate the View of the Grand Canal and the Dogana, by Bernando Bellotto. It’s one of the few paintings I know by name, and since seeing it at the Getty have wanted to see this view in person.

IMG_20171016_175718

Of course, since we were here in person, there was no doubt we’d eventually see the Dogana up close. It’s fantastic in its size and detail.

IMG_5684

Each one of the statues lining its parapet is a work of art unto itself, and the structure as a whole is breathtaking, especially in the low setting sun when its lines and minute details are thrown into sharp relief.

IMG_5678

Da Nang City Shots

IMG_20170430_173103
A boat on the Han River in Da Nang

Da Nang is a seaside city we remember for its gorgeous beaches and amazing food. Tourism isn’t the primary industry in Da Nang, so accommodations can be found that are cheaper and more backpacker-friendly and there aren’t a lot of pushy travel agents and salespeople on the streets. The open-air restaurants lining the streets down to the beach are a mix of traditional Vietnamese and seafood eateries, a dream for those here to eat the ocean. AND it had our favorite boba and banh mi places in all of Vietnam. If we were to come back to Vietnam, it would be to visit this city and Da Lat again.

IMG_5924
Well-enforced motorbike laws.
IMG_5955
Fresh vegetables grow in a plot in the middle of a Da Nang neighborhood.
IMG_5958
A man waters his vegetable plot.
IMG_5933
Locals take photos on a closed-off bridge, before being chased off by guards.
IMG_5946
Men stand on their boat on the Han River with Da Nang’s cityline in the background.
IMG_5914
A man transports balloons on his motorbike.
IMG_5966
A woman hangs a Vietnamese flag on her house for Reunification Day.
IMG_5975
A woman waits with a delivery at one of Da Nang’s open-air restaurants.
IMG_6997
A man looks over a streetside restaurant along Nguyen Van Thoai Road.
IMG_20170501_194112
A man grills pork for banh mi at our favorite banh mi stall.
IMG_6029
Our favorite banh mi in all of Vietnam: a few slivers of cilantro and onion, but mostly pure grilled pork meat and pate.
IMG_6031
Stoytcho sits at a tiny table in a local boba stand.
IMG_6878
The Da Nang Dragon Bridge.
IMG_6992
A toad hides along the Han riverbank.
IMG_6021
A man pulls a boat ashore after rowing visitors out to see the city lights.
IMG_6910
Da Nang’s Dragon Bridge spouts fire for onlookers at its weekly show.