Monday, August 10, 2009
The Angel of Venice
On Facebook there's a little application that lets you send Angels to other people. Some folks have used its to send me good wishes and "Angels" for my journey. I always thought it seemed a little silly.
That was until I went to Venice.
I actually was not planning to go to Venice, my route was oriented around it. However, my Dad, and so many Italians that I have met kept insisting that I visit. Since I was only passing 20 kms away I thought, what the heck. And so, despite the imposing urban area of mainland Venezia Mestre, I braved my way in. It wasn't easy. Mestre isn't very bike friendly and, I quickly discovered you can't bike to Venice. I tried in vain! The free-way bridge is totally anti-bike.
Determined nonetheless, I stashed my bike and gear at a forested parking lot and walked over to the bus stop to commute my way in to Venice.
It was athen that I met the beautiful Italian angel.
At the bus stop, I asked Italian woman the cost of the bus. She smiled. She showed me how to get in the back of the bus without paying. We struck up a cheerful conversation. In our limited Italian and English we managed to communicate. When we arrived in Venice she offered to show me around. I was more than glad to agree.
She treated me to the most amazing gellato (Ice cream), walked with me through the streets, bought me a city map and told me what sites I must visit. Then, quite suddenly, she explained she had to catch a particular boat to get to her work.
She gave me two kisses and disappeared across the water.
I shook my head in grattitude. Equiped with the map and the sage advice of a local Venetian, I was able to see the most beautiful and important places in Venice. Not, only that, but I didn't get lost, nor did I have to pay the bus fare!
As evening fell, the streets darkened and the moon rose high over the city. It reflected from below in the meandering cob web of canals. Beautiful as it was, I knew I had to return to my bike and head back into the countryside and on my way.
As I wandered back, I was a little frazzled by such an intense day and my need to leave. Then the sound of a violin caught my ear. There in a piazza, surrounded by Corynthian columns, marble Venetian facades and Greek sculptures, a lone man fiddled his soul out into the night. I sat down and closed my eyes. I rested there for an eternal moment. The lonesone sound, echoed against the marble and out into night. My cares, worries and woes were completely swept away. When I finally found my way to my feet, the bus and my bike, a tranquil peace lingered with me far down the road.
It was then that I remembered the name of the kind Venetian who had helped me out.
Keep sending me those angels! :-)