Saturday, June 13, 2009

Special Kind of Something

Venice is a truly amazing city that you must experience for yourself. No picture can display the uniqueness of this city. As soon as you walk out of the train station, you are greeted by the Grand Canal and all of Venice’s grandeur. The air is filled with the scent of ocean water, salt and fish, the birds fly overhead, and a cool breeze is a welcome relief to the intense heat. The few sidewalks were crowded with tourists, all with their cameras out trying to do the impossible and capture Venice’s unique elegance in a picture. The houses were all painted bright colors of pinks, yellows, reds, and blues, with their doors opening right on to the water. Gondoliers dressed in black and white striped shirts pushed along tourists all craning to soak up Venice’s grand sites and enjoy the romanticism of the ride. Water taxis and buses filled the canal, carting people back and forth, as they weaved around the few locals, also in their boats, maneuvering around the chaos. People crowded the many bridges trying to get across the many canals, especially the Rialto Bridge, famous for its numerous shops.

We started our journey off with a gondola ride down part of the Grand Canal and then winding through the smaller canals. It was quite an exceptional experience.

After our gondola ride we took a water bus down to San Marco Piazza. The Piazza was straight out of the movies with its wide open, picturesque grounds filled with pigeons, tourists, and vendors. The church was massive and so intricately designed, every square inch carefully planned.
We took in the sites at the Piazza and then spent the rest of the day meandering through the maze-like sidewalks of Venice, stumbling upon little shops filled with beautiful glass statues, picture frames, and jewelry. My favorite things to look at were the Venetian masks. They were so beautiful and exotic ranging from small simple masks to large masks made to cover your entire face covered in glitter. We made it to the Rialto Bridge and stopped in many of the shops lining the bridge. It was a lot of travel for a day trip but it was well worth it.

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