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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Very Good Morning

Just before I fell asleep on the night before, suddenly an idea had flashed into my mind....I should wake up early in the next morning, so I could have Venice on my own.
When there is a will, there is a power. Indeed I woke up early, at around 6.30 am without even an alarm clock. Before I left, I told husband who was still in his dream land that I would take a short walk around the area and be right back before 8 am. Then I walked out the room quietly.

As soon as I breathe in the fresh air on the street, I must say : Yes, early morning is the best time to stroll Venice...

This was not the 1st time I look at this hotel in depth. The first time, I just look at it like I look at many things for the 1st time. This time, I look at it to remember how it looks like.

From outside, the hotel looks nothing too spectacular, but inside, it looks gorgeous. Reminds me not to judge things or people simply from its outside appearance.

One of the most prominent landmarks on Riva Degli Schiavani is this statue, called Vittorio Emanuele 11, the first king of the United Italy. It depicts Vittorio on horseback on a stone plinth, Below are lions are dragons.

I could even stand in front of this statue and see things 360 degree in detail, without anyone blocking my sight. How fantastic !

The stone bridge located next to Doge's Palace and St. Marks is always crowded with tourists during the day time, as they try to get a picture of the famous Bridge of Sighs located just behind it. Now, I can have this entire Ponte della Paglia to myself.

A very beautiful morning in Venice....
Really, Venice is best to be explored during the morning hours, as you will find virtually empty streets, with the occasional local hurrying themselves off to work.

while everything is still and quiet...

so beautiful that things started to look surreal to me....

Quietly, this big cruise ship was slowing approaching the harbour.

Most of the cruise ships in modern years are bigger than the legendary Titanic. Just a question of how many times bigger?

Ok, this cruise ship is called Costa Fortuna. It's the biggest Italian passenger ship ever, and it can carry over 3000 passengers year-round in the Mediterranean.

I bet the ancestor of Venice had never imagined such a big ship would sail into their city one day in the future.

I enjoyed an almost-empty St. Mark’s square. It looks completely different from the time when it is busy with tourists and locals.

A close up of St. Marco Church, with St. Mark's Clock Tower at background.

3-D version.

Ornamented with golden facade mosaics, marble and bronze statues, and five domes, this basilica is unlike any other, and is open to visitors on all days for just a few hours.

The craft works on the exterior wall are very beautiful.

Really, I wonder if any of our modern artist has such a patience to make this?

The other side of St. Marco Church, facing the inner courtyard.

The entrance to the church. All viisitors must wear a long sleeved shirts and skirts or pants below the knees, otherwise they will not be allowed inside. Since we have entered the church last time, we didn't plan to queue up again this time.

The basilica on the other side.

Awesome !

The painting on the wall.

Bell tower of St. Mark's (Campanile di San Marco) is over 320 ft high. The current tower dates from 1912, an exact replica of the previous tower which collapsed in 1902.

The top of the tower offers great views of Venice and the lagoon. Husband and I plan to go up there for a look in the afternoon time.

The entrance gate to the top was closed.

St Mark's Clock Tower was placed where the clock would be visible from the waters of the lagoon and give notice to everyone of the wealth and glory of Venice.

The clock face after restoration in 2006. Look handsome now.

Another popular 'rest place' for the tourists in day time.

Obviously, the show was not yet started....

Such a view is impossible 1 hour later, when the crowds jam the square.

The Doge's Palace.

At around 8.30 am, I started to walk back to the hotel....

Walking by the same stone bridge in front of The Bridge of Sighs...

In ancient times, the Riva degli Schiavoni was partly walled-as a defence from invasion. Today, this popular promenade still continues its trading history, although this time through the many gift shops and souvenir stalls.

I returned to the hotel room at around 7.50 am. After cleaning up myself, they were still not up yet. Having nothing much to do in the room, I woke them up (hehe...)

Normally, they will take about 20 min to do their routines before they are ready to go.

Breakfast for 4 person was included in the charge, in the restaurant downstairs.

Breakfast is simple with not much variety, but enough to fill up our tummy.

They boys love croissant and cereal, couple with orange juice or apple juice.

The bun is so-so, but the fruit jam is good enough to make it up.

For husband and I, our breakfast was normally completed with a cup of Cappuccino, which is high quality no matter where we go in Europe.
We sat there, and watched the groups of tour arrived one by one....Yeah, another busy day was yet to start. To our surprise, there are many many China Tours to Venice. I didn't remember I saw that many Chinese faces back in 13 years ago.
Time change, world change......


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