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The conference concluded on Thursday. The next morning, Alex and Mike went to the Ufizi, while Carrie and I walked over to the Piazza della Signora. This is a large square full of various statues, including a replica of David (the original is held at the Academia). We were back in time for our 12 o'clock train to Venice.
Perseus With the Head of Medusa and Hercules and Cacus
Another neat statue
More views from the square
We arrived in Venice around 3pm, but it took us until 6 to find the hostel. I figured that my keen sense of direction will magically lead us there, but that was not to be so. Venice is one of the most confusing cities I've ever been to. The streets wind around the various canals, and every few hundred yards there is a small square with a church looking suspiciously similar to all of the many other squares. It also didn't help that the map I printed out from the Internet had the hostel in a completely different part of town. Of course, we didn't know this at that time...
After 3 hours of unsuccessful maneuvering through the twisty cobblestone streets, we finally gave up and bought a map. Looking at the map, we immediately realized why we couldn't find the hostel. What we thought was a street name, was actually the name of the district, the Cannaregio. Addresses in Venice are listed using the house number and a district name. This system makes sense, since many streets are not long enough to support more than one or two houses.
Alex and I peeking through the window of our hostel, the Venice Fish. Everything in Venice operates using boats, including garbage collection.
A night view of the Grand Canal and some passed out bum. Oh wait, that's Alex looking for his camera.
The next morning we headed to the San Marco square, which we briefly visited the previous day on our misadventure. The line to the Basilica was quite long, maybe even quarter of a mile. We noticed some people lingering near the exit, so we decided to try our luck there. We ran into a security guard as soon as we got in. But, instead of turning us around, he directed us to go in. Perhaps he thought we were stranglers in some VIP group that just got in. Anyway, it was quite satisfying...
San Marco square from the cathedral. The clock in the second picture shows time using a digital dial.
Few more shots from the balcony
Gondolas. Didn't ride one, but at least I took a picture.
The Basilica of San Marco
View of Venice from the top of the 98.6 meter clock tower. The original tower collapsed in 1902 and has since been rebuilt.
Next we took a "bus" to Murano, an island known for glass making. It took this artist less than a minute to turn a glowing hot bubble into a glass horse.
The final stop was the island of Burano, whis is dominated by textile making (and old people). We got to see a pretty sunset on the way back to the San Marco square.
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