The Cruise

World cruise on the Dawn Princess starting in Sydney on May 21, 2010 and sailing west around the world for 104 days.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dawn Princess World Cruise 2010 - Friday July 2, 2010

Day 42 Venice Day 2

We spent this morning walking around the area near St. Mark’s Square. Venice has long been revered as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It lies at the head of the Adriatic Sea in the salt water Laguna Veneta. It is resplendent with graceful palaces and churches and is built on 118 small islands, laced with a unique network of canals and bridges. People use boats rather than motor cars to travel from one place to the other. The city was founded originally by refugees from the mainland seeking a safe haven from the Huns, then later from the Franks between the 5th and 8th centuries. Because of its strategic position it became a centre for trade and hence, a very wealthy city. In Venice, there is a wide use of the winged lion of St. Mark the Evangelist, which is Venice’s characteristic emblem. The saint’s bones were brought from Alexandria in 823 and reburied in the basilica here. The heart of Venice centres round St. Mark’s square. This L-shaped piazza is enormous with covered galleries surrounding it on most sides. These galleries house luxurious shops and restaurants. The Basilica of St. Mark was rebuilt in the 11th century in its present Byzantine style. It is built as a Greek cross with several eastern domes and is richly decorated. The four bronze horses above the central doorway were among the loot snaffled from the Hippodrome we saw a few days ago in Istanbul. The palace of the Doges was the centre of Venetian government from the 9th century, even though the present building was not constructed until the 14th century. The Bridge of Sighs links the Doge’s Palace with the dark old prison building. The name of the bridge comes from thesmall windows on the bridge, providing the last direct sunlight that prisoners might feel for many years, perhaps forever. In two weeks time Venice will hold one of its yearly festivals to commemorate the end of the first Black Plague to deluge the city. All the citizens go out on their boats to watch an hour of fire works and then go for a late night swim. We would like to be still here to see the festival. We have now set sail for Dubrovnik, Croatia. (Barbara)
As I write this, we are about 1 hour out of Dubrovnik. Sea is very calm. Enjoyed the direct telecasts of the Brazil/ Holland and Ghana/Uruguay games last night. (Bill)

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