Saturday, September 25, 2010

Europe 2005

Part 4: Ah, Venezia!

In the summer of 2005 my parents and I spent two weeks traveling in Europe. I continue today with the special series of posts documenting our European adventure! (To start at the beginning of this series, click here.)

Friday, August 26, 2005

I’ve been in Venice for only twenty minutes yet already feel that this is going to be one of my favorite places of our tour. The walk from where the bus dropped us off to the Continental Hotel, situated right on the Grand Canal, was full of interesting and exciting sights and sounds. At 6:00 p.m. we’ll be embarking on a gondola ride and then returning to the hotel where we’ll be dining. Later, I plan to go out by myself and explore this unique city.

Above: St. Mark's Basilica, the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice.

Left: Mum and Dad in the Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark's Square). Behind my parents is St. Mark's Basilica, of which Wikipedia notes the following:

[St. Mark's] is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. It lies on Piazza San Marco adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace. Originally it was the "chapel" of the Venetian rulers, and not the city's cathedral. Since 1807 it has been the seat of the Patriarch of Venice, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. For its opulent design, gilded Byzantine mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, from the 11th century on the building was known by the nickname Chiesa d'Oro (Church of Gold).

Above: St. Mark's Basilica (left) and the Doge's Palace (right).

Above: St Mark's Campanile (Campanile di San Marco in Italian), the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica, perhaps the most recognizable building of Venice.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Venice is shaping up to be my favourite place in Europe I've visited so far. For one thing I love that there are absolutely no cars! The Grand Canal, however, can get pretty chaotic, what with countless gondolas and all sorts of speeding boats and ferries vying for space.

I find the buildings incredibly beautiful, and I especially enjoy the Turkish influences reflected in much of the architecture. I wander the back streets, alleys and canals and get totally (and happily) lost! There's so much to see and so much atmosphere to simply absorb. I find myself photographing all kinds of interesting buildings - in particular, their ornamentation and windows.

Above: The Basilica of St Mary of Health (Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Italian).

Above: Brightly-painted houses on the island of Burano in the Venetian Lagoon. Located seven kilometres from Venice, Burano is a 40 minute trip by motorboat.

Above: A view of Venice's San Giorgio Maggiore Island - August 26, 2005.

NEXT: Rome and Florence

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Europe 2005 - Part 1: London
Europe 2005 - Part 2: Bruges and Brussels
Europe 2005 - Part 3: Germany and Austria
Casanova-Inspired Reflections on Papal Power - at 30,000 Ft.

Recommended Off-site Link:
Seven Cities About to Sink - Miriam B. Weiner (Yahoo! Travel, October 2010).

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