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Padua And Venice

The next day after visiting Mount Saleve, we flew to Venice in Italy. The only reason of going to Venice was to visit the Shrine of St. Antony (San Antonio as he is known over there, Antonio is named after him) in Padua, which is a mere twenty minutes by train from Venice. 
The flight was an hour's time with pretty awesome view...
Crossing the snowy alps... 
The Alps covered in a celestial blanket... 
On the first day took a train to Padua and visited St. Antony's Shrine... that's the steeple and dome of the shrine seen at a distance.
Entrance to the shrine... we weren't allowed to take pictures inside. The tomb of St. Antony of Padua is inside and people gather round it praying, makes quite a heartwarming sight to see the outpouring of love and faith in this great saint. Papers are placed nearby to write your petitions, after which you drop them in the petitions box. The monks of  St. Antony, and there were many of them in church lighting candles, praying, guiding people and celebrating the mass, will pray for your petitions. 
A bench outside the shrine... with the Saint's initials, San Antonio. 
Explanation about ...
This sculpture prominently displayed in the courtyard, depicting that St. Antony will lead you to baby Jesus. (click on the image for a larger view)
A lot of pigeons around, we (me and my sister) used to smuggle biscuits and crackers from the breakfast table and stock them in our bags, and my brother would tell us to stop behaving like Indians. Anyway, we used to feed the pigeons everywhere we went, here we are feeding pigeons outside the shrine...
The pigeons... 
These cobbled streets are quite a common sight in Europe, it was nice walking along these worn out streets being fascinated by their fan like patterns... After Padua, we took a train and then a bus to Venice.
First sight in Venice as you get off the bus... 
This was our lunch in Venice, deep fried squid rings...
And grilled prawns...
 Then we started to explore the city of Venice... we took a pass to Piazza San Marco or as it is known in English, St. Mark's square. A boating dock, that's where you get off the ferry...
 James Franco was there to greet us, when we got off...
In olden days, every church had it's own square where I guess every major event took place. St. Mark's square is the wide open area just outside St. Mark's Basilica and this place is loaded with tourists. Whole of Venice is loaded with tourists and people who make a living off them. Anyway, the above picture shows the entrance to St. Mark's Basilica, I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside there either.
 Lots of concerts to keep you occupied here... I love this Antonio Vivaldi guy.
 This orchestra was playing some tracks from The Sound of Music and me and my sister did a little Von Trapp family dance...
 Looks kinda sad, doesn't it... Venice doesn't seem lived in. The buildings seem deserted, no trace of people or curtains or flowers, not exactly what you would expect of Venice. The city is slowly sinking, and people have abandoned the place, only restaurants and hotels still exist.... to cater to the mad rush of tourists who probably like me thought Venice would be beautiful, after all Shakespeare set one of his plays here. It looked more like a ghost town to me, of course folks still indulge in the usual caressing and kissing and groping, but the place hardly seemed romantic or full of wonder. Beneath the surface of it all decay lurks and the whole place seems to be under a spell of doom...    
Probably an art installation...
This is a nice picture... with the clouds opening up above this church.
A deserted waterway...
A gondola ride... saw a bride and a groom travelling in one of these gondolas. 
An ambulance...
Venice at twilight...
Bought few souvenirs... 
Lots of masks on display...
This was the hotel we stayed at, notice the upside down Indian flag...
The church near the hotel...
On the flight back to Geneva...
Nearing the Geneva shoreline...
Landing in Geneva...
Padua was quite nice, I liked it better than Venice... the shrine had a nice shop with so many cute and small items that make great gifts. It was one of the best places to shop, the place is quite calm and beautiful too compared to the cackle and bustle of floundering Venice. 

Comments

mahesh said…
For some reason Venice has always been about The Merchant of Venice and Shylock's soliloquy on racism. The next memory of Venic is Amitabh singing 'Do lafzon ki prem kahani' on a gondola in The Great gambler.

The pictures are beautiful the carpet of the clouds and the green dome, feeding pigeons reminds me of the Home Alone movie :)

Super post as always :)
Red Handed said…
BEEN THERE DONE THAT!
Thank you for letting me relive it all!
Haddock said…
Lovely and colourful pictures.
Like that view from above the clouds.
Walking on those cobbled streets can be a pain at times of the grooves inbetween are too deep.
Caroline Taylor said…
What a lovely trip.
Karen Xavier said…
Mahesh, yeah... the home alone part is true, only the snow was missing.

Red Handed, anytime...

Haddock, yeah the ones with stones placed haphazardly can be a pain, but the ones with a tiled pattern are just the opposite...
Karen Xavier said…
Caroline Taylor, thanks for dropping by...

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