Friday, May 21, 2010; it was the 5th day of our Training Programme at ICPE, Ljubljana, Slovenia and the day was for understanding the social, cultural and industrial lives in and around Slovenia - our destination was Venice and we started from Hotel Austria Trend, Ljubljana to Venice around 8 A.M by a bus arranged by ICPE. We travelled from Ljubljana to Trieste and further on to Venice. The journey took roughly three hours.
On the way to Venetian islands we took a short break at Jesolo. Jesolo town is in the north of Venice. The city is famous for its 15 km long beach. However we did not go to the beach side as it was only a short break and all of us were very particular about spending more time in Venetian lagoons. Therefore we just strode along some market places and assembled again near Gelateria LOVAT in the Nazario Sauro street for our onward journey to Venetian islands.
We arrived at a public parking area in the main land of Venice around 11AM. A local guide greeted us there and we proceeded to the boat boarding point. Our next stop was the venetian island Murano, which is famous for glass industry since 1291. Glassblowing has a glorious history wherein it enjoyed the status of an elite profession. It took roughly 20 minutes for us to reach Murano.
We disembarked from the boat near a Glass Blowing Unit to witness the amazing performance of a glass blower, who created a horse and various other shapes using melted glass. The demonstration here is free for all visitors. We also visited their store, the whole room was shining in different colours- a really amazing scene that you might not seen before.
From the glass manufacturing unit we have boarded the boat again to the principal square in Venice- the Piazza San Marco - it would took another 20 minutes sail.
On arriving Piazza San Marco, five of us have decided that we would go for a Gondola ride first to have a real touch and feel of Venice. Gondola is a traditional Venetian rowing boat. Gondolas were once the principal means of transport within Venetian lagoon. Now it is used by the tourists for sight seeing. A 40 minutes ride will cost you from 80 Euros to 140 Euros depending on demand. During the Gondola ride you will be able to see many buildings of historical importance such as the house of Marco Polo. You have two options for a ride – the crowded Grand Canal and silent back canals. We preferred back canals. You can negotiate price and ride with the gondolier before starting your ride.
The gondola ride through the narrow back canals of Venetian lagoon was a wonderful experience for all of us. You will feel that the silent waters in the narrow canals and the old buildings that frill the canal are telling you centuries old grand history of Venice.
While you are in Venetian lagoon, you cannot think about a travel on wheels because of the network of canals and narrow pavements and numerous arch bridges with many steps that connect the lagoons. Either you can walk or depend on boats. However you will enjoy it very much, no doubt.
After the gondola ride we sat beside the Basilica for some time eating the snacks that we bought from Ljubljana - a simple lunch for the day. Now it was the time for a lazy striding through the narrow pavements recalling the colourful stories that we read and heard about Venice from the childhood days. We walked a lot. Though our minds were not willing for a retreat, we had to stop walking because of the time constraint and we came back to the square.
The Piazza San Marco (in English - Saint Mark's Square) is encased by the Basilica, the Clock Tower and the range of buildings known as the Procuratie Vecchiein. Saint Mark's Basilica is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice and it is the most famous church in the city.
By around 5PM we left the Piazza San Marco to the main land hoping to return to the wonderful Venetian lagoons some time later.