Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Floating Jewel

It is difficult to imagine what people of Spina, Altino, Aquileia, Adria, and Padura, went through during the times of barbarian invasion. Witnessing the brutality, being fearful for their lives and lives of their loved ones was devastating. But those who managed to escape and resettle on the islands in the lagoon did not know that one day they would take control of their lives, grow again, and start building a masterpiece, a city the likes of which is not to be found anywhere in the world - Venice.
In the afternoon when we arrived, the sun was cheerfully shining, spilling its bling all over the Grand Canal. The traffic by the train station was very busy - some people were rushing to get into the water-bus that was already crammed with the passengers, others were trying to catch taxi, water taxi that is...

...A trip to Venice is a surreal experience - I kept wanting to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. And I wasn't. At the moment I was standing on a boat on the way to our hotel enjoying the soft touch of Venetian sun and wind. And only ten minutes later we parked by the hotel. While the doorman was fishing our luggage out of the boat, we checked in and went up to the room. And as we entered, we were up for a treat - our windows were looking at the Grand Canal and Basilica of San Marco... I had to pinch myself again... I felt anxious to get out and explore the city, so we dropped our stuff and off to the boat that was waiting downstairs to take us across the Canal to San Marco Piazza.

The itinerary of the day: lunch at San Marco Piazza, check out Bastilica, and yes, a Gondola ride.
We got back to the hotel late, exhausted from all the information our senses had to process that day.

It was difficult to comprehend how people could come up with the idea of building city on water and make it work by building beautiful little bridges to connect all the dots. Venetians are unique, artistic and sophisticated. It is the only city in Europe that is functioning without motorcars or trucks!

In evening Varuzh and I got to explore the city by foot - we decided to simply get lost in Venice's maze of narrow tiny streets, hoping to find glimpses of daily routine of local life. And we did. We found little tailor shops, tiny fabric stores and art studios, yards with tricycles and Lakers balls waiting for their owners. We saw moms and dads coming back home from work and kids walking home from school, old ladies walking their dogs or hanging laundry outside. Life seemed no different from ours, just different setting...

Ahh, at the moment I realized how much I missed my home, my boys, family and friends... my setting...  I felt I was ready to go back home and face the routine that I was so desperately running away from just a week earlier.

I turned to Varuzh who was standing by the window looking and Grand Canal under the stars.

"I think I am ready to go home," I said.
"Me too," he replied and smiled. He must have thought that we think in sink. He continued standing by the window for a long time, probably thinking about this incredibly beautiful floating city.
With love always,
Zuma A.

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