Saturday, November 03, 2012

Venice, Day 4 – October 29, 2012

Venice, Day 4 – October 29, 2012

At last, a sunny day.  First thing, I needed to go to the post office to mail a package of written materials home so that I would not have to deal with it on the rest of the trip.  Written materials are heavy, causing luggage to be overweight, and I didn’t want to have to pay for the extra weight on my flight to London.  Hotel staff told me that the main post office was located near the Rialto Bridge, so I put all of my written materials into a hand bag and set off.  I was warned that the post office in Venice is very slow, so I was prepared for a lot of waiting.  When I first arrived at the post office, I had difficulty figuring out that I needed to get a ticket; customers are called to the service windows by number, so I needed to get a number.  When I got to the window, I tried to explain to the clerk that I needed to purchase a box for my materials, and finally he sold me a box; however, when I stepped away from the window, I learned that it was too large.  I then got another number and waited to buy a second box that was smaller.  This box was a perfect size, and I placed all of my written materials inside it and taped it shut.  Again I got a number and waited to send the box.  However, when I got to the window, I was told that I needed to complete two forms; I got the forms, completed them, and got another number and waited again.  This time, I finally was able to send the box home.  My total time at the post office was less than two hours!

Feeling pleased about completing that chore, I set out walking in the direction of St. Marks Square, following back streets where I had not yet been.  The walk was very pleasant and I enjoyed walking in places I had not yet explored.  It seemed that every corner offered wonderful scenes, as is common in Venice.  At one point, I came to a shop selling Murano glass items, and I stopped to purchase a gift for my neighbor for watching my house for me while I am away. 

At a further point, I noticed a very small alleyway in which people were lining up, and I wondered what was attracting all those people to line up in that alleyway.  I looked ahead of them and noticed that I could see a large building ahead, but I could not identify the building.  I decided to get into the line.  It was a very slow moving line, but eventually I came to the opening and suddenly, I saw that the large building was St. Marks Cathedral.  It was beautiful, and the line was waiting to get inside.  I had not planned to go to the Cathedral at that point, but since I had waited in the line, I decided to visit the Cathedral. 

My recollection of visiting the Cathedral twelve years previously was that it was very dark inside; however, when I got inside, it was very light and the walls of the Cathedral glowed with all the gold leaf.  I will not try to describe the Cathedral; I hope my photos do it justice.  It was magnificent.  I spent more than an hour inside taking photos, including a visit upstairs to see the original horses now located at the Cathedral.  I also went outside on the balcony to take photos.  What a great serendipity to visit the Cathedral accidentally. 

After leaving the Cathedral, I stopped for lunch at a nearby pizza shop, and both the shop and the pizza were wonderful.  I then walked for another hour in areas that I had not previously visited.  I did not know where I was precisely, and decided to follow the sun, knowing it was now late afternoon and the sun would be in the western sky.  However, suddenly, I found myself back at the Grand Canal, so I decided to take the vaporetto back to the hotel.  It was a really wonderful last day in Venice.

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