For those of you in the movie quoting business, you'll recognize today’s title from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Indy says it three times during his whirlwind tour of canals, ancient tombs and romantic moments. Being the fan I am, I felt the need to say the line myself as I stepped off the train and into a sea of humanity.
I have always wanted to see Venice, but maybe the height of Carnivale was not the right time for my first visit. Venice's version of Mardi Gras found me among 82 buh-jillion people this weekend as we squeezed and squirmed through its crowded network of alley-ways and tiny bridges. It was painful slow going at first to make it from the steps of the train station across the first canal and toward the city’s maze but we eventually made it. (By “we” I mean our group of about 10 SAISers.)
Once we worked our way further into the nooks and crannies of Venice, we found ourselves in a secluded ally only two have to Carnivale goers pop out of an unexpected doorway, fully costumed, and rushing off to whatever corner of the city awaited them. Every thousand feet or so there seemed to be a shop selling Carnivale masks and other festive souvenirs. (Of course I bought one but don’t worry, the above picture is not me.)
We finally arrived at Piazza San Marco, what Napoleon supposedly called “the drawing room of Europe,” and found the place absolutely covered with people taking in an operatic show. I failed to see most of it, as I was busy nudging people away from me.
We inched down toward the Molo waterfront and found artists, food and lots of wine and other goodies. The whole thing was a kind of feast for the senses. Unfortunately by the time we meandered back toward the train station, I felt as though I had actually experienced very little of the city itself. I feel like some random weekday, months from now, might be the way to slowly drink in the floating city.