January 9, 2013

Thanksgiving in Venice - Initial Stroll and Jewish Ghetto

For almost 10 years now, we've made it a habit to take a trip for Thanksgiving.  Our very first venture was a whirlwind four day trip from New York to Venice, Italy.  Now that we're living in Dublin, we decided to repeat the experience (minus the jetlag!) and head to Venice for Thanksgiving this year.  Upon touchdown at the airport, we collected our bags and hopped on the public bus to the city.
The bus dropped us off a short walk away.  We hiked over a single bridge and were in a car free haven.
Interesting battle scenes were depicted on a nearby wall of a construction zone.
We drank in the amazing views over the Grand Canal.
We could see a nearby vaporetto station.  One of the fun things about Venice is that the buses are boats.
Grand domes reached to the sky.
Faded poles marked the local 'taxi' ranks.
We caught a glimpse of the everyday logistical challenges to making Venice work embodied in this small supply boat.
We also saw evidence of the regular flooding that plagues the city.  Record '100 year' floods had passed through the area about two weeks before we arrived.  We were lucky and timed our visit with generally low waters.  No need to pull out these elevated platforms to get around.
We were intrigued by a sweet shop called Dal Mas and stopped in for a look.
Chiseled chocolate heads in various shades were on display.
Delicious nougat with all sorts of fillings was also for sale.
Even better, we saw nougat covered in dark chocolate - so decadent!
Crispy cookies ideal for dipping in coffee were nicely packaged on the shelf.
Another nearby store sold chocolate salami!  
Continuing on our way, we marveled at the extremely narrow passages so common in Venice.
Many of the small squares featured cisterns that that pigeons found irresistible.
We admired the gargoyle heads dotting a bridge leading into the old Jewish Ghetto.
We followed the signs in Hebrew to the Jewish quarter.
The buildings were reflected into the still waters of the canals.
We spotted another cistern and stopped to get our bearings.  We were indeed in the heart of the Jewish quarter.
A plaque on a nearby building memorialized those Jews that had been killed in World War II.
Rather grim images of victims succumbing to a firing squad ensured that those visiting would never forget the atrocities that had occurred during that dark time...


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