Friday, April 19, 2013

Venice, Venice, oh beautiful Venice!

Although this trip was taken over 6 months ago, it is still as fresh in my mind as the day it occurred.
Venice was more of a convenient stopover on the way back to Germany from Rome that an intended destination, yet I couldn't have been happier that it fit into my travel plans ever so nicely. You see, me and Venice have an ongoing love affair. Long before I ever thought that I'd move to Europe, I'd picked up a used pocket travel guide by Lonely Planet on Venice while shopping at a local used books store. What do you know, some years later here is it- so much more accessible than I ever thought possible! Unfortunately, my travel plans left me with only 24 hours to explore this magical place, but it certainly gave me a taste of Venice... a taste that left me wanting more.

First look: a moody Sunday morning

The day started out rather poor: grey, ominous clouds, slight drizzle and cold winds...and yet, the sheer beauty of everything around was distracting enough that I barely noticed the less than perfect weather. I think I spent the first few hours with my jaw hanging open, taking a thousand photos of just about everything, fascinated by the way the paint was peeling off the buildings, or the gorgeous balconies with all kinds of flower baskets hanging off them. Everything seemed to be placed and arranged exactly in the right place to make the perfect composition. I was in love. instantly, undeniably.

around each corner, views like these.

It was everything I could have imagined and more

Without looking at the map once, I somehow stumbled through all the turns and alleyways and emerged onto San Marco square just as the sun decided to come out. Armed with a slice of fresh pizza and a refreshing drink, I decided to treat myself to the city view from the Bell tower. Normally, I wouldn't spend money on climbing a mere few tens of meters to gain a better view/perspective, but this seemed worth it (and came highly recommended in the LP guideboook!).

 The 3euro view did not disappoint!  Then, just as I was about to enjoy strolling along the waterfront, as suddenly as the sun appeared, it gave way to dark purple clouds and I saw people running back towards the San Marco square, seeking shelter.

Gorgeous, but dangerous.

That's a rare sight: an empty San Marco square in August!

It was over just in time to grab a quick coffee and head off to watch the sunset, which turned even more glorious, thanks to the heavy dense clouds hanging low in the air. Once again, everywhere you turned, presented another gorgeous photo opportunity, as if it was an oil painting from the Renaissance period, just waiting for you to put a frame around it.

No, this isn't photoshop-this is Venice.

Hard to believe the locals get these views all the time!

Venice is still gorgeous by night.
The views were so worth sitting outside and freezing in the cold  wind.

Next morning, as I was waiting to board my bus taking me to a small local airport (serviced by Ryanair and Germanwings), I tool a last good look around:

...of course, it was promising to be a brilliantly sunny day without a cloud in the sky, perfect for hitting up the nearby beach in Lido. Oh well, 'til next time, Ciao Bella Venezia!

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