Arriving in Venice, start of our cruise
Venice Travel Blog› entry 4 of 13 › view all entries
October 18th, 2009 – by: missandrea81
As planned we left our hotel in Verona at 8:00am to drive the last stretch toward our cruise ship, the MSC MUSICA in Venice.
We arrived at Venice harbor at 9:30am. The bus stopped right next to our ship so we wouldn't have to drag our luggage all across the major construction site that is Venice harbor. After getting our luggage off the bus and getting it and us checked in at the ship, we hit the closest information stand we could find for a free map. Something I had learned on my previous trip to Venice was, that without a map your screwed. haha Sure you can try to follow the signs for the Rialto bridge or St. Marco square but that won't keep you from standing in front of water with nowhere to go other then back the way you came.
So armed with a map and the sun shining on our heads we were off to explore Venezia.
When we got to the end of the line we were right in between St. Marco square and San Giorgio Maggiore island. What a great place to be. The first thing I noticed that St Marco square had a mild case of Acqua Alta, which is Italian for high tide/flooding. Darn it! I didn't bring my rain boots. ;) There were walkways that could be used to navigate over to San Marco Basilica without getting your feet wet.
We took a view pictures of this side of the square including the Campanile. Dad filmed the area and was delighted that the bells started ringing so he could get it on film. :) I got a great shot of St. Marco basilica reflecting in the 2 inch deep water. After referring with our map we/I decided to talk a long way around the flooded area to get closer to Ponti di Rialto.
Half way around San Marco square we got another chance to look at San Marco Basilica in all its glory. I have to say I actually missed all the pigeons that usually swarm the area. I guess they don't like wet "feet" either. ;)
So navigating Venice's alleys is not a whole lot easier with a map as it turns out.
We came buy a beautiful looking Best Western hotel which just happened to be right across from Hard Rock Cafe. Go figure. haha
Venice is beautiful. My dad had to admit that Venice doesn't always smell. Probably had the high water (natures cleaning device) to thank for that. There were so many impressions along the way. The beautiful little wrought iron balconies everywhere covered in flowers; The gondolas in the water ways, as overpriced as they are; church after church; piazza after piazza.
We enjoyed an authentic Italian cappuccino and a piece of, the one, the only, Tiramisu. YUM! The price was okay, I guess. Seeing how you pay for the atmosphere and the authenticity of it all. ;)
We managed to find Ponti Rialto or Rialto bridge.
More piazzas and churches along the way. We were now navigating toward Piazzale Roma, which is close to the ship harbor and overall collecting point for people coming to Venice. Located at the end of Liberty bridge with parking garages, bus station and train station. We figured we would find our ship again from there.
We saw a couple more things along the way, like Basilica Frari and the University of Venice. I had to buy a spare battery for my camera, which I didn't get around to while I was still home. I'm not going to tell you how much that cost me. At least it's working properly and came in handy quite a few times on this trip.
At Piazzale Roma we were thrilled to find a shuttle bus from MSC Musica waiting for us. We were even happier when we saw that it was free! We were back at the ship at 3:00pm so we went on board for the first time. Dad and Irene had already been on a couple of cruises so they knew what to expect. Me, being a cruise virgin, had no idea.
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