Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Warning Sign

Just so you all know, all of the titles of my posts correspond to songs that are very prevalent in my life and are in particular stuck in my head!  So Warning Sign by Coldplay is the song of the week!  Anyways, since I last left you I was heading off to Venice.  First of all, I think Venice is highly underrated!  Whenever I talked to anyone about Venice previous to going, they said that it was smelly and small and not a lot to do.  Well let me say that there was PLENTY to do!  I never had a moment to relax!  And Florence is leaps and bounds stinkier than this entrancing city upon the water.  Those of you who know me, are familiar with the fact that I am a waterbug.  This is truly the city for me! 

When we got there, we went straight to the island of Murano where we got to watch a glass-blowing demonstration.  It only confirms my want to learn the craft!  Although I think I would probably burn my hand off.  The man made a horse and a vase in a matter of 5 minutes.  I was very impressed!  Murano was beautiful with all the colors although it was pouring while we were there.  That same evening we had the privilege of meeting up with another study abroad group from U of M to go on a private visit of St. Mark's Basilica.  First of all, let me explain that a private visit for one is very rare to be able to do.  What they did next was truly what made this a once in a lifetime opportunity.  We walked into the basilica with all of the lights off and sat down in the very front.  It was pitch black.  Then they slowly turned the lights on one by one and the basilica lit up until it blasted my eyes with pure gold!  St. Mark's is solely mosaic and the most beautiful mosaic I have ever seen or will see in my entire life!  We also got to go up on the main altar which is sealed off the the public.  AND we got to take pictures, which is also never allowed.  Truly an awesome experience.  The photo above is of Jesus at the very front and center of the cathedral.  

Also while in Venice we visited various museums like Palazzo Ducale, Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico, Sale Monumentali Biblioteca Marciana, Palazzo Giorgione, the Arena Chapel in Padua (about a 30 minute train from Venice), and the Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia.  I have to say that I couldn't believe we managed to see all of these things in the matter of 3 days!  It was incredible!  My favorite by far was dell'Accademia where I saw a number of Titian's, Tiepolo's (a new favorite), and many many more.  Although I was disappointed that the public is not allowed to see Leonardo's Vitruvian Man.  Our program director is a truly magnificent, brilliant woman who is a walking encyclopedia of Renaissance Art.  This experience here in Italy has truly been magnified because of her great knowledge and desire to teach us her passion.  

Of course while in Venice, it was a must to go dancing in San Marco Square at night with all of the lights :)  That's the picture that you see above.  And then my favorite picture from the entire weekend is of one of the canals at night (shown below).  I am so glad that I get to go back to Venice in December!

The excitement rages on for my trip to the UK.  And please, all, don't worry about me traveling there with this travel alert going on.  The status in the UK has not changed from what it has been for the past 5 years.  And honestly, if it's my time to go then it's my time to go!  All I know is that I have a lot of life to live yet, and I don't think God is going to take me out by a terrorist bomb on a little train to Inverness in the far North of Scotland!  God has been doing some fantastic things with me here, and I am learning how to listen to Him.  My relationship with Him has exploded like rapid-fire and I am ever so excited to see where He takes me in life!  That is all for now, blessed friends and family!  Love you and miss you, can't wait to see you in the States around Christmastime :)

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