Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Venice Day 1

Well we made it to Venice without the Volcano interrupting anything and and with some rule changes to how airspace will be closed I don't think we'll be stranded here.  So here are some pictures.

We arrived just in time last night to catch one of the last vaporetta's, or water buses, from the airport to the main island.  Here's a picture.

The Bus was slower than one of the water taxis but at only 26 euro for the three of us it beats the 100 euro a water taxi would have charged.  Very few automobiles are allowed on the islands that make up Venice so the main way to get from the airport to the islands are by water.

The almost an hour on the water bus allowed us to relax and take in the sights of the islands slowly and get a good picture of Shantel and Macen as well as a picture of the sun setting behind the Appennies Mountains on the mainland from across the Venetian Lagoon.

Macen let us sleep in a little bit this morning, until 7am and then it was out and about to Doge's Palace for some sightseeing.  We wandered through the Palace and tried to take some pictures but there were some areas where you were not allowed to take photos.  We didn't always see the signs but there were watchers stationed in the rooms to "politely" remind you not to take any pictures.  One thing in particular that we wanted to take a picture of were two huge globes one depicting the heavens and the other the map of the world as it was known in the 15th century.  Very interesting pieces of art.
The front of the palace many of the columns (called capitals) have been replaced with replicas and the originals stored and displayed inside.

A clock tower and some close ups of sculptures on it in the palace courtyard.

The Staircase of the Giants was where the Doge was crowned after being elected.

The Golden Staircase and some of the artwork on the ceiling.  This staircase led to the Doge's private apartments.
The Dungeons below and behind the Palace.
This lady is standing on the famous Bridge of Sighs.  Prisoners would walk over this bridge look out the window and sigh at their last sight of the water before entering the dungeons.
Everywhere you look in Venice you see the windged lion of St. Mark.  Read the legend about St Mark and why he is the patron saint of Venice here.

This where my camera died, I forgot to charge it.  We'll do a Day 1 continued post later this evening with pictures from our gondola ride, and the Hard Rock Cafe.