Venice, Stockholm And Back To Croatia

Exotica spent exactly a month in Venice.

A rainy Saturday in Venice, perfect for Museo Correr. Shame about the poor bride in Piazza San Marco

Venetian war ship








Sally and Antony Jeffrey’s group visit Exotica

Salon in La Fenice, a superb evening of Berlioz with Italian Radio Orchestra










Views around our quiet corner of Venezia. Sant Elena marina

Chiesa Sant Elena. A notice of “no tourists” when a service was on!

Quiet neighbourhood of Sant Elena


On our way to Stockholm



However, from 23rd. to 31st of May we were in Stockholm staying in the Grand Hotel with the European Opera HAT Tour where we enjoyed another Ring Cycle this time with the Swedish National Opera Company and the great Nina Stemme as Brünnhilde. It will be remembered for the vocal strength of the cast rather than the production.

View of the Royal Palace from our room in Grand Hotel, Stockholm

Drottningholm Theatre, oldest working theatre in the world, 1766. Electricity added in 1902.still performs 2 operas each year.

Drottningholm Castle, home of Swedish Royal family

Royal palaces of Sweden are very gracious








Queue for the Vasa museum was enormous so we opted for the Spirits museum next door!

I’ll give it a go










Nobel museum, Old Town

Ornate ceiling complete with clock

The Royal box at the Swedish National Opera. Sadly empty, the Royal family only like ballet

The Vasa sank into silt in 1668 and was raised in 1961. 95% of it was still intact. It is a fine museum.

It’s no wonder the Vasa sank in 1668 after only 1.3 nm, there is very little ballast








1500 boats row from San Marco to Burano then back via Cannaregio during Vogalonga, a 30nm rowing regatta. Their first corner was at Sant Elena, much to the amusement of the boaties in the marina

Just click on the arrow to see the boats barging round our corner.  (It takes a little time to load.)

Lunch with Rachael and David McLean on Grand Canal


Rachael and David McLean joined us on Exotica on our return to Venice





Czech pavilion at Biennale, Swan Song….my favourite



We devoured the Artes Bienalle…..from the sublime to the ridiculous…..

Pantyhose full of sand….art at Biennale!

More Biennale art


An inauspicious entrance to Musica a Pallazo for La Traviata

and attended Musica a Palazzo performance of La Traviata. Each Act performed in a different room of the rather “tired” Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto. It was, however, a very gracious evening, sipping Proscecco overlooking the Grand Canal and full moon at interval.

A night at the chamber opera

The view sipping while Proscecco











Coincidentally other Sydney friends were also in Venice and we met them for dinners alongside the Grand Canal.

With June Donsworth on the Grand Canal.

With Annie and Graham Ross-Smith, a great place to fill our wine cellar.









Stampiere Bosso

We needed some new business cards and found an original printing business in a tiny lane in Cannaregio. The charming owner was the son of the son who founded the tiny shop and nothing has changed. Same printing machines, same type set. He boasted of orders from all over the world, nothing digital and no website. Well, we thought, they must be great. And so they were but so was the price. As we had printing on two sides of the cards it was double the price agreed. They are unique but a lesson in “lost in translation”.

A storm brewing















The weather was very kind to us for most of the time we were in Venice but on Wednesday June 14th. there was a huge storm with a massive wind and heavy rain.  This delayed the arrival of our next guests John Studdert and Dennis Mather who finally found us in the dark after being diverted to Verona.


La Fenice before L’Orfeo

On Friday June 16th. we were lucky enough to get four tickets to the opening night of Sir John Elliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi 450-year festival with a production of L’Orpheo, generally considered to be the first real opera, at La Fenice. It was a sensational night. We were doubly lucky because there was a general strike all over Italy on this day and so there was supposed to be no public transport – which may have accounted for a few empty seats – however we managed to find the only ferry working which just happened to stop at our jetty.  This saved us a long walk and a soaking, in our best clothes, as there was a very heavy shower shortly after we returned.

Seats in a box









Right above the stage









Damien Hirst’s Treasures of the Wreck of the Unbelievable were in Punta della Dogana and Pallazzo Grassi. Their enormity and historical accuracy was at times very believable

The Collector!


Videos of proposed discoveries!

His imagination is awe inspiring







One wonders how they got this statue into Palazzo Grassi









Farewell to Marina Sant Elena and Venezia



The next day – June 17th. we had a brilliant sail back across the Adriatic Sea to the little Croatian town of Rovinj, where after clearing customs we picked up a mooring buoy and had our first swim of the season.


Sharing the narrow entrance with a line up of cruise ships entering Venice

Return to Croatia, sunset at Rovinj








Smoked salmon omlette in Uvala Vognisca on Otok Unije with Dennis and John


A second really good sail south to Pomer for a night in a marina, followed by two nights at anchor on the islands of Unije and Losinj respectively.

Finally, we returned to Pula for Dennis and John to ferry back to Venice and thence to London, while we await our next guest and depart once more for the islands of western Croatia.

Roman Arena from Marina Pula

Jules Maxwell joined us in Pula

Ship building cranes lit up at night in Pula

Colourful cranes through the arena arches

Jules charming the prosciutto seller

Pula markets, favourite place to shop

Orada for dinner, quite delicious



We motored most of the way to Otok Cres, where we got the 5pm swing bridge at Orso, between Cres and Otok Losinj. We’d used the bow thruster while waiting for the bridge but by the time we anchored in Uvala Soline it would only make a whirring sound


4 camponiles of Rab


The passage to Otok Rab, new territory for us, was a sublime sail.

There is an excellent anchorage to the west of the harbour, with good holding and sky blue water. Perfect for swimming, now the water temperature is 25C Julie is happy to jump in!

Arrival on Otok Rab


Astoria Restoran,Rab recommended by my dentist, Simone, in Vienna.




Plans to go the Krk were changed as a storm was brewing.



Marino told us to shelter in Ilovik from this strom

An hour before we had been swimming a bright sunshine

An hour before we had been swimming a bright sunshine

60 knot winds had the boats thrashing around. Thankfully very secure mooring buoys

And the next morning!









Another terrific sail back to Uvala Vognisca on Unije

Back to U Vognisca, cocktails on the foredeck on a perfect night

Prostitutes Pasta aka tuna and veg. After 4 nights at anchor supplies were getting low








This is truly one of our favourite anchorages

Our week was curtailed as another storm was forecast and the helm wanted to get into a safe harbour before it hit, having no bowthruster. So we returned to our home port, Marina Veruda. Farewelled Jules, had the guys fix the boat and now sitting out yet another storm.

Postscript: Health report

Terry survived the cold he brought home from Stockholm. Julie’s teeth are holding up and finger nail slowly growing out. It’s not a pretty sight!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s