Friday, June 10, 2016


And to think I once believed that Tenby is the most beautiful place on earth. That was before we visited Venice. Tenby has its attractions, mind you. Castle walls, brightly coloured houses, endless sandy beaches, sunbeam-dancing sea etc. But Venice. St Mark's Square at night. A piazza to knock the spots off the prettiest town in Pembrokeshire. 

Our hotel was on the mainland, so we accessed the Island City by tram. On arrival Wednesday evening we had a meal and then headed for the fabled St Mark's Square by foot. That was a mistake. The place is a maze of identical-looking houses, church buildings and pasta restaurants. Signs pointing to St. Mark's Square never seemed to get us anywhere. We happened upon a Vaporetta (water bus) stop, hopped on board and soon found our intended destination.

Wow. the Basilica and subtly illuminated piazza were an amazing sight. OK, you couldn't buy a stick of rock, or candyfloss like in Tenby, but wow. 

On Thursday, our  only full day in Venice we visited the Doge's Palace, St Mark's Basilica, and a couple of the smaller islands. In the evening we had a Gondola ride, which was amazingly atmospheric after the dark. 

Reading up on the city I discovered that it is founded upon wooden piles, driven deep into the compacted clay that sits beneath the grand buildings and splendid piazzas. Venice is slowly sinking back into the lagoon at a rate of 2mm per year. The grandest of cities, a dazzling achievement of Western culture has feet of clay. 

Pride of man and earthly glory,
sword and crown betray his trust;
what with care and toil he buildeth,
tower and temple fall to dust.
But God's power,
hour by hour,
is my temple and my tower.

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