Venice, 21 June 2005
I arrived in the early evening ours. The lagoon was dappled the soft golden red light of the setting sun, when the plane declining to land at Marco Polo Airport and I glimpsed the first sight of the city. A bus took me to the down town bus station. From there I went over crossing canals, striding through the alleys to find the hostel where I had booked a bed. It wasn't an inviting place. I shared the room with two friendly Asian girls, but the overwarm temperature and clammy smell made me leave the place as soon as I had dropped my luggage. In front of the door I took a breath. Then I imerged into nightly Venice.
San Marco Cathedral
I drifted through the alleys with hardly a plan where to go. I simply followed the signpost to some major sights like San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, Rialto Bridge. Only few people were left on the roads. Here and there a couple strolling arm in arm. Some tourist looking at the carneval masks in the shop windows. The streets were quiet. A warm peaceful summer night. I stopped on a bridge watching a gondola floating down the water. Sometimes I looked over my shoulder when the alley was extremely narrow and dark. But all in all I enjoyed discovering Venice at night time. Having lost orientation after a while I returned to my hotel at 1 am, after I finally recognized a street I had walked before.
Isola San Giorgio Maggiore across San Marco's Basin
Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore in the background
Ponte dei Sospiri - the Bridge of Sighs - die Seufzerbrücke
22 June 2005
Next morning I got up early stroll through the living quaters of downtown Venice, watching little boats and ferries trafficing the canals, admiring the laundry that spread on many clothes lines between the house. People were on their way to work. Others sat in cafés sipping their morning coffee, eating a sandwich. I headed for San Marco and the Doge's Palace, when it was time for to open their doors. I wanted to see them before had to catch the train to Verona, which was the main goal of short journey.
Scuola Grande di San Marco - the Venice hospital
I went into the museum of the Doge's Palace. I heardly remember, what I saw there. Only that I was most fascinated by the view from the windows onto the inner courtyard from where you could see the backside of San Marco and the extensively ornamented palacial walls. I loved the abundance of decoration, sculptures, illusion painting, marble optic. I tried to absorbe everything but it was simply impossible.
On the way to the train station I grabbed a sandwich from a street stall. At a tourist price, that's for sure. But I very much enjoyed it, when I had found a place in a compartment and finally got out of my shoes to rest my tired feat on the opposite seat.