Nov 16, 2010

A European Journey - 5 (July 15)

Leaving Austria, the next stop was Venice.. Viva La Italia.. The country of the Pizzas, The Land of the Gondolas, the city in the middle of the sea, a city surrounded by water all across.. Venice, oh Venice, who had not heard about Venice in their life.. Something that we all grew up in life with through history books.. The Merchant of Venice, Shylock, comes to mind.

Good day or bad, not sure what it was, but it turned out to be a scorcher.. Austria was nice, pleasant and cool . Italy, just turned out to be the opposite.. We were starting to understand, how the Italians got tanned. Austria to Italy was one long drive.. nothing much of worth in the morning, we headed off straight to Lunch.. A restaurant named Maharani.. Could never fathom the reason for such names, would they bring in more rich people?? Anyways, lunch being lunch, we headed off to Venice.

Accessible by boat, we headed off to the point where the boat would take us across the river or sea to the city surrounded by water. One would think, how is tha possible, however it seemingly was and is. A city built over a conglomerate of 100+ islands and interlinked via canals, one would imagine that they would die out.. But no, this was one thriving place, filled with people from all corners of life. Said to have been populated by people who fled to avoid invasions by the Huns and also as people wanted to avoid paying Roman Taxes.

A short trip later, we were in Venice. Right in the middle of the sea.. The first view was of awe, as to how this was built and surviving, of course, one would think of it as an island in the sea. Wonderfully built, and with the sun out in full swing, it was a rocker.

At St. Marks Square
First stop, St. Marks Square, arguably the most photographed square in the world. What would you find there, one would ask, and I would simply say, people.. The Basilica of St. Mark, one of the apostles of Jesus, the square was simply breathtaking. One cannot describe the place, one has to be there to soak the ambience, the soul, the feel of the place. No one knew anyone yet every one knew every one.. It was simply speaking, being with yourself.

A short brief here, we went off to the Murano Glass Factory, where they have been making Glass for more years, than many of us were old enough to be.. A wonderful art, simply managed out of a piece of glass, that gets moulded into shapes, ranging from small boats, to large colourful eagles. An art that has spanned since centuries, handed down generation by generation, requring a lot of patience, deft hands and simply, a lot of imagination.

Glass factory over, we were more or less on our own for a few hours.. Just walk around and enjoy the place. That we did, of course not by playing any games, but just being at the Square.. A walk down the lanes to see the Gondolas, and how they maneouvered through the canals.. Of course, we wanted to see if there was any music playing around, as we had so very often seen in the movies.. But Alas... The canals were no doubt very dirty, the Gondolas no doubt well maintained, but for some reason, the excitement lost. Is it not better to simply live off memories at times, and not see reality?

A good few hours later, we headed back home, back through the sea looking back on the city in the sea. Landing back to the ground of course felt happier as we headed back to our hotel (which in fact was one of the good hotels that we stayed in), as we set ourselves for the evening and the next day journey to Florence, one did wonder, would you stay there..

Once you reach a place, one feels, yes, this is where I belong, and I guess, a lot of us must be going through it at times, however, I also believe most of these are good for visits. Would I stay in Venice, given a chance.. A chance to be at the square, the Gondolas, the orchestra's, the Ta... hmmm.. food for thought.. probably post retirement with a million bucks???