Ok, now on to Venice!!
What my plan was for the 45 minute train ride in the morning:
|Reading, journaling, rosary|
|The constant expression on my face all day|
|Water taxi station right outside of the train station|
After wondering around for a bit, we ran into a market. A fish market. A fresh fish market. It was so cool! Busy and bustling with customers of all ages! You could even watch the fishermen pulling out what they had just caught and cleaning the fish. Take a look:
|These little things were still alive and this little girl was fascinated! She kept poking them and eventually picked one up! Too cute.|
|An authentic fountain pen shop window display|
|Artist in action!|
We finally made it to St. Mark's! St. Mark the Evangelist (author of the Gospel of Mark) is buried there. However, you have to pay to go up close to his tomb (NOT OK), so we just prayed while looking on from afar. Praise God that the adoration chapel was free to get into though. Inside the basilica, the walls were covered from floor to ceiling in gold mosaics!! Photography wasn't allowed inside, so here's a picture from Google. I did take the picture from outside though, complete with scaffolding.
Next, we did one of my favorite things of the whole trip...I FED PIGEONS ON MY ARMS!!! And yes, I did sing "Tuppence a bag..." like the bird lady in Mary Poppins. It was great. Hopefully pictures will be coming soon....
From there, we wondered for a long time in search of an affordable place for lunch. Let me tell you, in Venice, that is easier said than done! We wondered for a LONG time. Just when we were about to give up, we came across a place that would seat us at a nice table and give us a three course meal AND bread for only 10.50 euro! For Venice, that's amazing. It's not even that bad in general. We had a lovely lunch there. Our waiter spoke English and joked around with us, which was nice. He said he had lived in Venice for 15 years and couldn't stand it. I guess it would be a hard city to live in long term. You can't walk two steps without running into a vendor or some sort or touristy thing, and the whole city shuts down by 9:00pm. I hope we made his day a little better.
|St. Mark's Basilica|
|This was practically me.|
We walked through every part of Venice that you can possibly walk through (which is most of Venice)! We stopped in churches (that were free to enter) throughout the day. Other than that, we pretty much just enjoyed the atmosphere. Here's a few glances:
I sure you're wandering, "What about those gondolas that are so famous with a man in a striped shirt who sings to you while he rows the beautiful boat through Venice?" Well, those are quite pricey. We opted for the cheaper option, even cheaper than the day pass for the water taxi. We paid 2 euro each for a two minute ride stuffed in a gondola with a bunch of strangers. It. was. AWESOME. It may not have been much, but we enjoyed all 120 seconds of it!
|The fancy gondola and gondola man we couldn't afford|
|The cheapo 2 minute gondola ride we could afford|
|Our gondola man|
After another great night's sleep, we arrived safe and sound back in Rome sweet Rome Sunday morning, leaving ample time for homework and studying for our theology midterm. I am amazed and thankful that everything went so smoothly! Two more days, then, if all goes as planned, I'll be off to Poland! Stay tuned!