Helen and Michael. February 2000, Venice
Q: Where did you go?
A:We went to Venice for the Carnival in February 2000.
Q: How long were you away?
A: A week
Q: How much did it cost and what sort of holiday was it (e.g. package, all-inclusive etc)?
A: It was a package – B&B in a five-star hotel, plus flights. Cost loads – £3000 – but was so worth it. We also hired costumes, which cost about £80 for the week.
Q:Did you spend the whole holiday in one place or did you travel around?
A: We stayed in the one hotel – that was more than enough!
Q: What was a typical day like?
A: We had breakfast in the conservatory overlooking the Grand Canal then went out exploring. We were really close to St Mark’s Square which is where everyone gathered, so we usually started there to check out all the completely weird and wonderful costumes and watch the street performers – that goes on all day and on into the evening too. Further away from the centre, it was quieter, lots of lovely little winding walkways and those incredibly picturesque bridges, and there were some fantastic churches too, the Peggy Guggenheim museum of modern art and the Accademia. Loads of lovely food. And patisseries. Then in the evening, we got into our Georgian-style costumes and went for a wander.
Q: How did you and your partner get on?
A: We got on brilliantly. It was a completely amazing experience and we both felt like we were on another world. There was a bit of a weird patch early on when I was just completely hyped up about the whole experience and was a bit of a nightmare to be with – but Michael’s a forgiving soul!
Q: What were the best bits?
A:Going to a masked ball in an ancient palace was an incredible experience – the ancient frescoes on the walls were lit by hundreds of candles, there was dancing to a string quartet, musicians and tarot readers and an enormous Venetian banquet. The costumes everybody was wearing were absolutely beautiful and spending the whole evening behind a mask was quite a liberating experience! We took the compulsary gondola trip too, early one morning. It was quite misty and very cinematic! Wearing the costumes was great – we even had people taking photographs of us! The weather was great while we were there – really bright and sunny – so that made everything even better!
Q: Were there any worst bits?
A:Venice is really expensive. It’s possible to eat cheap – although we treated ourselves to a few really good meals out. But we came to the conclusion that if we were in Venice for the Carnival we were going to do it in style!
Q: What advice would you give other honeymooners-to-be?
A: Do something as memorable as we did.