Water, Water, Everywhere
14.09.2009 - 16.09.2009 20 °C
It has beem raining most of the time since we arrived in Venice except for our only tour. That breaks our record of 28 days straight of hot temperatures and no rain. At first it was actually a relief and we happily put on long sleeve shirts. It is getting a little boring now! Venice is out of this world - its hard to imagine why its here in the first place and how it continues to be here. In the beginning it was populated to escape barbarians after the fall of the Roman Empire and then of course it was major trade route. Today it is all about tourism and it really is something to see. There is absolutely no other place with the variety of architecture that you find here except modern! Most of the buildings were built between 9th century and 17th century. With the ocean rising Venice could all be under water in a few years - already most of the bottom floors of the palaces lining the grand canal are unusable. Many of the square have been raised to prevent flooding. Flooding occurs very frequently (200 times per year) to some degree or another. High tides and southerly winds are the recipe for floods. When we toured St. Mark's Bascilica we didn't know for sure until we were in the square whether we would be able to go in the building because of flooding. Today we went shopping at the outdoor market in preparation for our long train ride tomorrow to Switzerland (we won't be hungry or thirsty that's for sure). This afternoon we're travelling by vaporetti (water bus) all over the island and to the island of Murano where the venetian glass blowers are located. Our b&b here is pretty cool with a shared kitchen, dining room, bathroom. Breakfast is free but there is so much food there (mostly goodies) that you could actually eat free for your entire stay. There was a young Australian man staying in one of the rooms and we think he was surviving on cereal, toast, and pasteries. Our hostess is Gina and although she speaks very little English she never stops talking to us in Italian - funny eventually you actually understand what she is trying to say.