I didn’t get to go into much detail about my time in Venice, so I want to fill you in on some of my favorite things.
I don’t consider myself religious, but I think it’s difficult to not admire the astounding beauty of old churches and cathedrals. The Byzantinian architecture of the Basilica di San Marco is breathtaking. I’ve been in several cathedrals during this trip, and I’ve notice that my favorite parts of these elaborate constructions are the ceilings and floors. I’m fascinated by the hand-tiled, yet incredibly intricate floors, and the dangerously high dome-shaped ceiling details. Pretty incredible to think of all the work that went into this building.
I can’t help but feel like I understand the incredible power of religion worldwide a little better, just from observing the actual buildings. Any organization that has the means to conceive a construction like this is obviously influential.
I mentioned before that I was glad I ended up staying longer. My favorite day was a trip to the nearby island of Murano, to see the glass-blowing, and then to the island of Burano, which is a small Venetian neighborhood known for their brightly colored houses. Seriously, every house was a different neon color. Unlike most of Venice, this neighboorhood wasn’t overrun with tourists, and seemed like a real slice of Venetian life.
It was in Burano, as I was lazily walking along listening to the slow rhythm of the back of my sandals hitting my heels, that it first dawned on me why everyone calls the Rainbow sandals I was wear ‘flip-flops.’ I stopped mid-step and had a moment of feeling silmultaneously brilliant and extremely stupid. Lauging to myself, I kept flip-flopping along.
The Venetian lifestyle moves a little slower, a bit more relaxed. These people seem to enjoy the little things in life, and judging by how brown most of them are, I’m pretty sure they think sunscreen is the anti-Christ. I, on the other hand, look like a tomato without it. But their beautifully generous consumption of olive oil, tomatoes, pasta, pizza, espresso and gelato earn my sincere respect.
Madrid is a pretty big change from the small, island life of Venice. But for how urban it is, I’m suprisingly comfortable walking around here. My hostel is in a prime location, and I’ve been able to easily walk to all the major attractions within 15 minutes or so.
Spain is a country that I know I’ll have to come back to for an extended period of time in the future. There is just too much of the country that I want to see, too much variety in culture that I want to experience. So far, any culture that believes in giving you a plate full of chorizo atop sliced french bread with your beer knows how to live, in my opinion.
Oh, and when I take naps here, I’m not being lazy. I’m simply experiencing the siesta lifestyle. It would be rude not to. Right?
I´m actually leaving my hostel in about 15 minutes to jump on a train from Madrid to Sevilla. More details about Madrid to come.
But for now…roadtrip!