Now that I am on a roll I just want to finish this mini travelogue as fast as I can. Venice was the last stop on our Italian trip. Having seen the Venice of the East , you'd think there is not much of a surprise here. But Venice (Venezia, as the italians call it) was a whole different experience. Built on wooden platforms supported by wooden stakes driven into the ground, this city on water has a very special ambience that is all at once charming and haunting. It is said that Venice is slowly sinking and a lot of the people and offices are moving to the mainland. Let us hope this breathtakingly exotic floating city will not disappear that fast on us. One can feel the effect of deteriorating structures if one is able to pay any attention to such things amidst the resplendent glory.
|Welcoming Duck at our Venetian rental place|
Our train reached Venice around noon. The last station was at the edge of the mainland. From there we took a vaporetto or water bus to Venice. Here we changed our style a bit and all ten of us stayed in a townhouse charmingly named Ca' de l'Oca or the house of the duck. It is named after a board game of sorts like 'Ludo' or Candyland. There was a picture of it on the kitchen wall.
It was in a residential alley and so quintessentially venetian that we could feel like a resident even if for a few days. We bought groceries and gathered in the living room and went out and came back as we pleased as if in our own homes. Except for the plumbing going awry and causing a strong fishy smell it was the best way to stay at the end of the trip. HAunt even found the time to cook rice and chicken fry for us on the last day. Our first Indian food in ten days was a welcome change. She is a pediatrician but aren't we blessed that she also loves to cook?
|St. Mark's Church|
|Piazza San Marco - St. Mark's Square|
We spent time at St. Mark's square the next day which was rather sunny. Went up the green topped bell tower in the square to get an aerial view of Venice which was totally worth it. Got a few good pictures from up there too.
|View from The Bell Tower|
|San Michele, Venice - seen through the rain|
I was haunted by its silent brooding presence in the water with the waves constantly breaking on its fortified walls as the boat got closer. Of course there is a dome for the church even on that island which gives any architecture definition and grace.
What is a visit to Venice without a ride on the gondola? The gondolas are built narrow and long so as to navigate the narrow waterways between the buildings like in the picture here. Now it is mainly a tourist thing. They are very expensive to own, around $50,000.00 or so. Our gondolier inherited his gondola from his grandfather. We were extremely lucky to have one rain-free evening so we could actually enjoy the ride.
|Grand Canal, Venice|
As we reached this last part of our trip I was slowly being besieged by the most villainous cough and accompanying flu. That I was almost down and out by the second day in Venice was sad but I did make the most of the time there. Who has time to fall ill when such excitement beckons? It was good that we were were in a home together so I could actually rest as if I am home while others were out and about. That this pest of a cough will blow into a full fledged nightmare once we got home and will put its chokehold on me for the next few weeks was not known at the time. I am grateful that the kids didn't get it while traveling.
On the last day we were all scampering to clean up the villa, catch the right vaporetto to mainland and to get on our planes on time etc. It was a great trip. While we enjoyed it to the hilt and speak of it fondly to this day, it was also great to be back home in our own cozy lair and just chill. Not to mention catching up with our gentle cat, Zeus.