In May of 2001 my wife and I went on our first European cruise. The itinerary started in Venice, so we flew to that city the day before sailing so we could adjust to the time change and see some of the sights in this wonderful ancient/modern destination.
We arrived at St. Marks square by water taxi with 12 days worth of cruising luggage and a reservation at the Concordia Hotel that we knew was located somewhere in the square. Just where in the square was another question, as the place is rather large. Here is a view of what we saw after getting off of the water taxi.
Here is a view looking back at the Grand Canal with St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church in the background.
Well, we didn’t see an obvious hotel from the taxi drop off point, so I left my wife Alice sitting at a cafe table surrounded by our luggage and proceeded to walk around the square looking for someone who spoke English that could point us to our hotel. It took me about 15 minutes to find the right person. Here is another picture of the square from way around the corner on the left of the first photo. The picture includes the bell tower (St. Mark’s Campanile) that was built originally in the 9th century but completed in its current form in the 12th century. The tower is 98.6 meters (323 feet) tall and is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city of Venice.
The building around the main part of the square are lined with shops and cafe’s and it was in one of the shops that I got my help. Here is a picture of the outside of our hotel.
It is the yellow building with the green awnings in front. Unfortunately, there was no door leading into the hotel. It turns out that the door was in the back of the hotel, which took me about twenty minutes to find.
So, we got settled in our room on the second floor in room 212 (that means on the third level in Europe because you enter buildings on the ground floor, not the first floor). The number 212 became my favorite number because this was not the first time it popped up in my life, and every time it meant something very positive. You might notice that it is in my email address.
After we got settled in our room, we decided to go out for a walk and find a place for a snack because our time sense was still on USA east coast time. We found a place where we ordered a margherita pizza and a nice Italian white wine.
Here are a few more pictures of the buildings in St. Mark’s Square. Here you can see the tables with the yellow table cloths where Alice waited with our luggage while I looked for the hotel.
This is a picture of the Doge’s Palace. The Doge was the “supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice” according to Wikipedia. The first palace was built in the 12th century, but the current building was built in the 14th and 15th centuries, with the complete revamping of the layout of St. Mark’s Square.
Next we have two pictures of St. Mark’s Basilica. From Wikipedia:
“The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, northern Italy. It is the most famous of the city’s churches and one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture.”
The next day we took a tour of the Murano Glass Factory where we saw the artisans working on their latest projects. We bought a wine pitcher and two beautiful wine glasses and had them shipped home. We didn’t want to take a chance on them breaking on the cruise or the trip home.
We also visited St. George Greek Orthodox church, across the grand canal from St. Mark’s Square.
Here are a couple of interior pictures from there. First is the altar:
Next is a painting in one of the vestibules in the church.
After our tours, we boarded our ship, the Rotterdam from Holland America. I took quite a few pictures as we sailed up the Grand Canal and out of the city.
This was a great start to a fantastic adventure.
Nu Book 1 – The Esss Advance is available via this link on ==> Amazon.
The book is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.
You may also visit the website www.TheNuTrilogy.com for more details.