Thursday, July 9, 2009

Oooohs and Ahhhs

We took the shuttle into Venice today at 11. We wound up at the bus station about 20 minutes later and proceeded to explore the city with our destination being San Marco square. We walked for hours, never quite sure where we were but still completely amazed with how beautiful Venice was and wondering in and out of the glass shops that are on every single street. Even before we made it anywhere special everyone had said that Venice was their favorite European city so far. We got coffee as a nice restaurant when it started raining and were rudely informed that we were in a restaurant and not a bar. After the rain we didn’t have any other problems with the weather.

We found signs directing us to San Marco and followed the maize of streets and canals for another 45 minutes before we had to squint from the glare of the sunlight in the square. Being there before I’d forgotten how amazing the first glimpse of it is, especially when we were in a dark tunnel leading up to it and then all of a sudden there it is under the gorgeous blue sky with swirling clouds. We saw the gates with Saint Mark and his lion, which guard the city. We past the church and the palace of the Empress and walked to the waters edge where all the gondoliers camp.

Its crazy to sit in that environment and think that in a few years the spot you are standing in may not even exist, it may be this fantastically romantic Atlantis under the waters of the blue lagoon, all the marble and architecture and history submerged and its grandeur preserved only for the fish.

We wondered back through the streets and got spinach ricotta pizza from a stand. I have become so tired of pizza its ridiculous but it’s the only cheap option we have. Diana bought some apricots from a local stand, and I think they are my new favorite fruit. We went back to a few shops we had been to earlier that day and picked up some souvenirs and glass.

After taking the bus back and making the hike back to camp we jumped in the pool to cool off for the few minutes it was still open.

We are looking back to making a few more trips to Venice before our time here is done.

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