Venice. As this ship prepared to dock, we saw the following landscape:
We were planning to see as much of Venice as we could during our visit. To get the island, where our hotel was located, we could go by foot, taxi, water bus, or by swimming. We decided to take a water taxi. The half-hour boat ride from the airport to the door of our hotel, or rather to the pier, cost 100 Euros (as of 2009) for four people.
The advantage of traveling by water taxi was the cool breeze from the water in the exhaustive heat. The disadvantage: it was not suitable for people who get sea-sick.
Venice satisfied our expectations: it was a beautiful and interesting city to see, admire, take pictures of before leaving. There were lots of canals in Venice. The central one is called the
But the gondoliers were disappointing. According to the stories and photos, we imagined it to be more romantic. We saw other people trying it, for a long time, but eventually we refused to do it ourselves. The ride took less than an hour; rocking on the waves made by boats and yachts in the central canals, and squeezing through the canals between the buildings, only to wait behind a long line of other gondolas – it was not romantic. It should also be noted that not all the canals smell like "fresh sea water"; we mostly noticed the musty smell of garbage.
It is said that the gondoliers even sing, but I watched more than 50 and they were all silent.
The first day we dedicated to the studying the central part of the city.
In the evening the city changed. The lights of the parked yachts danced on the dark water, looking as if the entire port had been painted in almost all the colors of the rainbow.
In the early morning hours we walked along the waterfront, to our ship, to start our cruise.
This is a view of the
At 5 p.m. sharp, having registered nearly 3,000 tourists and 1,000 staff onboard, we hit the road. The ship reversed out of the harbor, turning almost in place: the 90,000 ton liner managed to do thsoat quickly and almost without help from the local port auxiliary service fleet. Another three cruise ships were departed at the same time.
Our cruise lasted one week, but that is a story for another review.
At the end of the cruise, we came back to Venice.
Sunrise on the inlet to the Venetian lagoon.