Friday, October 26, 2012

Venice: Day 1

If you're looking for a Friday Flashback post, that will go up later today on my brand-new stamping blog, Snapdragon Stamps :)  I decided to split off the stamping stuff into its own blog and keep this one for pictures and stuff.  Now if I could just get a pretty non-limey green going on that blog...

Anyway, we didn't spend very much of our trip in Florence, and a lot of it we have no pictures for since you can't take pictures in most of the museums.  We saw Michelangelo's David (the real one and a replica) and finally got into the Uffizi where I got to see Botticelli's The Birth of Venus.  We also saw a bunch of statues of Roman dudes in togas and a whole lot of paintings.  I know the Renaissance painters are all like enormously talented, but they all painted some truly creepy babies.  Mostly they don't look like babies, they look like some kind of little troll that's going to pop out of the painting and start shredding the wallpaper and eat all the food in your kitchen.

So we left Florence for Venice, which was beautiful and nowhere near as stinky as I had been led to believe.  However, it's been a tourist trap for several centuries, so most of what you find there is souvenir shops, lots of places to eat, and pretty much no regular grocery stores or mundane places like that.

This is me being artsy.  I think this was not far from our hotel, which was right on a canal.  'Cause you have to stay on the canals when you go to Venice.

See, canal.  And Sarah and Scott.

Pretty sure Lee took this because it's not crooked.  Kind of a neat artsy shot.

Sarah and me!  And my awesome Goonies shirt!  I get compliments on that whenever I wear it.

Whoops, should have done some editing on this one so you can actually tell who those silhouettes are.

The first day we mostly just walked around and sort of moseyed our way toward St. Mark's Square.  Don't go to Venice if you're not prepared to walk a LOT; even if you take water taxis or whatever on the canals, you still have to do a lot of walking to get anywhere.  And LOTS of stairs, 'cause there are bridges everywhere.  'Cause duh, it's a city of teeny islands.

Maybe Lee took this one from the top of one of the larger bridges?  The closer you are to the main touristy sections (the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, etc.) the pricier everything is, so you just walk over one or two streets and the prices go down substantially.

Pretty sure this is the edge of a building in St. Mark's Square, I just liked the moon in the shot.

Lee wanted to climb the campanile but the rest of us had had enough of stairs.  Poor Lee, if we go back to Venice a second time we'll go up to the top of the tower.

There's the front of St. Mark's, which you may notice has a lot more Eastern (read:  Constantinople) influence than Roman.  Which is fitting, since the basilica got its name for its relics of St. Mark, which were stolen from the Byzantine Empire when it fell.

This is Lee being artsy with a lamppost and the basilica.  We did go in the basilica, though not on this day; you can't take pictures inside it but it's pretty incredible.  The floor isn't flat, it rolls like waves because a.) it's really, really old and b.) Venice isn't exactly 100% stable and is prone to flooding.  And it's sinking.  They had beautiful mosaics on the floors and the walls and the ceiling (pretty much everywhere) and again, a lot more Byzantine symbolism.  It was beautiful.

One of the other buildings facing the square...forget which.  Too lazy to look it up.

St. Mark's main symbol is the winged lion, and there are winged lions *everywhere* in Venice because he's the patron saint of the city.  Wonder how a saint gets to be the patron of a particular city...

Another gorgeous shot by Lee : )  This was taken with St. Mark's Square behind us; that's another island whose name I forget.

And here is the famous Bridge of Sighs.  We didn't tour the Doge's Palace so this is as close as we got.

'Nother view of the campanile and basilica as it was heading toward sunset.

As we were heading back to our hotel, I managed to find probably the only shop in Venice that sells rubber stamps, which made Lee laugh and roll his eyes.  And then I never found it again during opening hours.

One last view of the canal for today.  More pics to come soon!


Giffysk8s said...

Love your pics. Imagine this: they look just like mine, except for you and Lee, of course!

I was also quite surprised that it wasn't stinky, especially because it was 100 degrees when we were there. We didn't take any water taxis other than from the train station to the hotel, from the hotel to the airport, and to Murano and back. We hoofed it everywhere! We rewarded ourselves with gelato every day. :)

Can't wait to see more pictures!

CCsMom said...

So are you going to scrapbook EVERYTHING?!!! You will be lugging around VOLUMES, then! But how can you NOT?!