from the city of love and romance. When
we last left off we were heading to Venice
from Salzburg and we took a train ride through the
alps. Dad Harder was continually taking
on the town names that we kept passing by
gem after another set into the most picturesque valleys
topped by snow capped peaks, in the expectation of a dream to one day
return and swing a golf club in such a scene. The scenery
slowly transitioned as we approached Venice
. Once out of the Alps,
was dryer, flatter and rockier speckled with
until we reached the Adriatic sea and Venice.
exactly what we expected but charming; not exactly beautiful in the conventional
sense. Much of it seems to be falling apart,
into the very canals that make it so
is one of decaying elegance but modern Venice feels contrived, artifice
directed to deceive the tourist. And what a shame, because of it's long
and storied history. The heart of the city is gone, replaced by the Las
Vegas version. Where
even the Venetians are fleeing.
fact the city's population is declining at an
rate til soon there wont be anyone there
tourists and the people that serve them
Precious little is
left to give any clue to what life might have been. Only museums and
monuments, which are slowing falling into the sea, lay testament to
artistic soul. But
the city can still occasionally surprise, even enchant; when
are lost on an alleyway near some deserted canal,
the press of the tight buildings hemming you in. And much of
the architecture that is still preserved, is spectacular and will
continue to draw people to this canal mecca.
are no cars there. They all park in this huge
just when you cross the bridge to enter Venice.
walks or takes vaporettis, the equivalent of
transpo on a boat. The
streets are an
maze of alleys and twisting winding paths
snake through the city. You
look on a map,
what appears to be a major street and it is
more than a two foot wide alleyway.
other interesting thing
town is EXPENSIVE
to even where we had been, like Austria or home. And butt parking is a
cost one price
double if you sit at one of there tables to enjoy
it. Two small
ice-creams, a cappacino, and a small
water came to 25 dollars.
Mark's Square is a circus. The tourists have finally outnumbered the
infamous pigeons. There are lines snaking out of all the attractions,
the tower, the basilica, and of course, the Italian food court, a bevy
of chi-chi cafes with astronomical prices. Much of the sanctity and
grandeur of the Basilica is lost as the line of tourists continues into
and through the velvet-roped church. In a small alcove above the church,
I was surprised to learn that the four famous horses stolen from
Constantinople and sitting atop the basilica are fakes, the real ones on
night we took a gondola ride
thats the thing to do in Venice.
thank god the parents were along because at
it would not have happened. It
was 80 dollars
for a half hour. It
was pleasant but hardly worth the money. But you do have to admire the gondeliers'
skills. They are ace navigators. Those
come so close to each other but never collide.
passing under the
Bridge of Sighs on a night gondola ride
was the freshest in Italian seafood. We enjoyed dinner one evening at a
popular trattoria and met,
not kidding, the Italian Kramer, from the TV show Seinfeld.
exactly like Kramer, and had all his mannerisms nailed. He was a hit
with the crowd.
person next to us asked him if he would take a
of the his family and he said sure and then strode right up to the guy's
wife and put in his hands on her shoulder and smiled for the camera,
until the guy got up and took the picture. Bizarre.
at least, the Italians have a sense of humor in regards to their weighty
past. At this one fashionable store, replicas of historical popes serve
as excellent mannequins.
a trip to Venice would not be complete without waxing poetical about the
visited the church,
the Maria Glorioso del Rrari that had three Venetian
masterpieces alone, at the alter. For the
Titian's Assumption and the Madonna del
Pisaro are breath-taking in person, huge soaring canvases of
almost full size, that captured their divinity in mere oils. And there
is so much more, secreted away in churches throughout Venice.
all good things must come to an end. We have been traveling in style with
parents and hopefully have not become to
to the gravy train, as we are once again
our own. To Mom and Dad -
thanks for the
vacation, we miss you already!
to Venice, we are glad we saw you, but
we are not sure if
we will be back, or if you will even be here when we return.
episode: ferry journey to turkey
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