Sailing down the Grand Canal of Venice was the most incredible experience because from the upper deck of the huge cruise ship we had a unique view of some of the sights that Venice has to offer. As the ship slowly made its way we were treated to a bird’s eye view of a marathon race (see below: the finish line). Most of the runners had finished but there were still mobs of people watching and strolling along the walkways.
Special ramps had been placed on the many bridges to allow the runners not to climb stairs.
We wondered: How does a ship that is so huge get into ports like Kotor and Venice and, how do they get out? We found out that the Celebrity Equinox can turn on a dime. She can pass through extremely narrow straits and once it gets in, she can turn 180 degrees in one spot.
By the time we docked at Venice, and walked to our watertaxi (taxi boat) which would take us to the vicinity of St. Mark’s Square, it was late afternoon. We were starting to get the warm light that is perfect for photography.
Taking photographs at dusk, a time when the light is going, the sky is cobalt blue and the street lights are just coming on, is a real treat. Venice is perfect for that kind of light because of the other worldly feel to the place.
First on the agenda inn Venice was to have dinner in a Venetian restaurant. Seafood was the specialty of the house. The whole time we were eating our dinner, we were being serenaded to music by Italian musicians who played and sang to all the customers. The atmosphere was happy and lively and the food was good.
Once dinner was over, we walked to the location of our gondola ride. Gondola with friends, on the water, seeing the sights of Venice at night was magical. Mid-October was perfect weather for the gondola ride-not too warm and not too cold. The gondolier did not sing or speak much English but he knew his way around. Getting a gondolier who will narrate where you are and what you are seeing is not a given. A word of warning though. Getting on and off these fabulous vessels can be unnerving unless you have perfect balance! Hold onto anyone who has a hand out to help you, they do wobble about a bit. Once seated however you are quite safe.
After the gondola ride we made our way over to the St. Marks Square. St. Mark’s Cathedral was closed but you could look through the bars on the doors and get a view of the gold-covered ceiling of the Church hallways and beautiful frescoes on the ceiling.
The last time I was in Venice I could not tour the church because I did not have a skirt. I don’t know if they still have that restriction but, at that time, women were not permitted entrance to the churches in Italy if you were wearing shorts or pants. I still have not been in the church but at least I could get a photo of the gold that covers the ceilings in the hall.
We were given some time to explore or shop. My husband and I took advantage of the free time to sit and enjoy a capuccino while we listened to the music in the open air restaurant near St. Mark’s.
The Next morning we left the ship early in the morning to visit 2 islands near to Venice: Murano and Burano. Murano is known for their glass blowing factores and Burano is known for lace-making.
Murano was our first stop. But on our way out we were treated to some beautiful views of Venice shrouded in the early morning mist.
The glass makers were adept. The man shown in
the picture above made the vase in about 10 minutes as we watched. The factory shown at left had wonderful windows and airvents creating graphic elements to photograph, and we were given a tour through the factory salesroom. There was the hope that we would buy some of their wares. We were then given some time to shop in some of the other places along the walkway.
Next were returned to the boat to go to Burano. I was especially excited to see Burano because I understood that the homes were all very colorful. I actually have a puzzle with a photograph from Burano and I wanted to find the scene in the puzzle and photograph it myself. The puzzle picture is similar to the bridge below. I wanted to capture to colors reflected in the water below the arching bridge.
In one of the shops we were able to see a lacemaking crafts person working at her craft. (as seen below).
Bob found a off-the-beaten-path route and we walked a bit and found that some people have wonderful gardens, including this one with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (5 shown).
Next up: Our last stop: Dubrovnik, Croatia and a few onboard photos.