VTT Postcard - Day 8 - Venice, Italy

Monday, March 28, 2011
We set off very early that morning as we needed to catch a boat going into Venice. We dare not be late.

It was a “renewed” morning for me. I felt very clean and fresh wearing my recently washed clothing. My new luggage was fast filling up with souvenirs and other stuff as well. Plus the weather was actually cooperating and we had perfect sun as we left Innsbruck. Here’s hoping that it carries through to Italy. But I spoke too soon.

It was another uneventful trip on the bus until we reached Venice. The bus dropped us off at the terminal where we were all ushered into a boat that was leaving for city centre. As we had arrived early, TM told us that we could walk around the city but make sure to be back for the gondola ride and the glass blowing demonstration. Here, I think Mother Nature started toying with her moods as the skies were threatening to open up with rain.

The city was simply amazing. There is nothing like the view of all these floating houses and churches. However, because it is floating, there is a tendency that when the water gets high, the city floods.
Floating buildings
Such is the case when we arrived at St. Mark’s Square. There were some bridging structures put up so that people could walk around and get to the other side of the square. We gathered around just outside the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) overlooking the flooded square and then proceeded to cross over to the other side to get inside St. Mark’s Basilica. It was free entrance to the main church itself but no photography was allowed. Several stairways and passageways leading somewhere else had entrance fees on them but because we couldn’t take pictures we decided not to explore further.
St Mark's Basilica and the flooded Square
Just across the Basilica, its bell tower, the Campanile di San Marco, stood. Because of the flood, we had to work our way around the “bridges” and cross over. We went inside the Campanile di San Marco and paid a fee to go up and see the view.

The view overlooking the whole of Venice was spectacular. It was just a pity that it was starting to fog up a bit because of the threatening rain.

Then it was time for our schedule gondola ride. We made our way to the gondola stop/station, where a group of 6 each had to go onto the gondola. We had already pre-selected the grouping beforehand on the bus. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it started raining.

Our group on our gondola ride
What a mess! I meant, my hair and outfit, of course. I was totally ill-prepared for this weather. We rode around for 30 minutes. I was very scared. Somehow, something about mixing rain and a gondola ride did not sit very well with me. Plus the gondola itself seemed a bit unstable to me. I kept thinking of tipping over and all such horrors. Just before the 30 minutes was up, the sky cleared. How’s that for ironic? And of course, as soon as the sky cleared, cameras came out and started snapping.

After the ride, we visited a glass company and were shown the amazing feat of glass blowing.

After the demonstration, we were allowed to go off on our own again before dinner at a local restaurant. Some of us decided to make our way to the Rialto Bridge. TM told us that we did not need maps as they would get us completely lost (which was true by the way). The best way to the Rialto Bridge was to follow the signs on the streets where it was marked “Rialto this way”. And of course, the way back, we had to unfollow the signs. :-)

View on Rialto Bridge
Navigating through the small streets and bridges, it was truly a unique city. The dinner was extremely pleasant, although it was not about the food but more the company at the table I had that night.

The evening ended as we took a boat back to our bus, which in turn, took us to our hotel.

0 caring thoughts: