Sunday, October 28, 2012

Venice, Day 1 – October 26, 2012

Venice, Day 1 – October 26, 2012

The ship arrived to heavy fog, preventing photos as the ship entered Venice, slowly moving past St. Marks Square, and then past domes and towers of churches poking through a sea of flat, red rooftops, sliced through with winding canals.  The scene was beautiful, and I felt sad that I could not get photos of it.  When the ship docked, I went down for breakfast, and then took off to walk the city.  From the dock, there is a “people mover” train that connects with the vaporettos of the Grand Canal.  I stopped to buy a three-day pass for the vaporettos, and then began my walk.  I meandered through the winding street that parallels the Grand Canal, thinking that I would like to find the hotel where I would be staying in Venice; I knew that it would be near the Rialto Bridge, which was about half way to St. Marks Square.  The first night in Venice was aboard the ship, and then I would move to the hotel the following morning.  As I walked along, I took photos of numerous picturesque scenes, and also stopped into several of the churches for photos.  Eventually, I spotted the hotel and went inside to introduce myself and make sure that all would be in order for check-in the following day, Saturday.  I also wanted to ask the best way to transfer my luggage to the hotel; I was told that porters would be available at the port terminal to cart the luggage to the hotel. 

After the hotel visit, I crossed the Grand Canal and stopped for lunch at a nice canal-side restaurant.  I ordered pizza, and then sat back to enjoy the scene.  At another table, I noticed a young couple with the woman wearing a hijab, and I overcame my shyness to wish them a Happy Eid, a day of celebration for Muslims.  They smiled and seemed happy that someone gave them good wishes.  As I sat waiting for my pizza, I noticed two young women taking photos of each other, and I went out to them and asked if they would like me to take a photo of them together.  They seemed happy and gave me their camera.  Unfortunately, the camera did not have a wide-angle lens, and the photo was too limited for the scene.  I then took three quick photos with my camera and showed all the photos to them.  They were astonished by the photos that I took with my camera, and they loved them.  I gave them my card with my email address, and offered to send the photos to them if they would send me their email address.  They said they were from Moscow. 

After lunch, I walked on for another hour, and then the rain began, so I decided to return to the ship to pack.  I got back about 4:00 p.m. and finished my packing in time for the last dinner of the cruise.  After saying good-bye to friends, I went back to the room to finish packing the laundry that had been returned, set my luggage outside the room, and almost instantly fell asleep.  I was suddenly very, very tired. 

Tomorrow I will find a porter to transfer my luggage to the hotel, and see whether the rain will prevent me from going out for a walk.  Perhaps I will walk in the rain, although I don’t want to get my camera wet, so photos may not be possible.  It is sad that rain is expected the entire time I am in Venice. 

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