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Monday, February 05, 2007

TRAVEL PLANS AND DREAMS OF VENIZIA

"She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,
Rising with her tiara of proud towers
At any distance, with magestic motion,
A ruler of the waters and their powers."

George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron 1788 -1824 "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" st 2

Travel plans are coming together now. I have purchased my ticket to Venice/Greece, leaving here May 16 to Venice via Amsterdam. We'll be in the beautiful old city of canals and gondoliers for four days, then travel by ferry down the Dalmation Coat to Igoumenitsa Greece, from there making stops at various places including Lefkada and maybe Kefalonia again.

There are various plans for when we are in Greece too. Some island visits and, of course, reunions with my friends there.

I spent the weekend looking through some gorgeous books on Venice "Art and Architecture". What an amazing city. Over the last few years I've developed quite a fascinating for the Venetians and started paying attention, in Greece, to the many Venetian castles that are located around the coastline and on some of the islands. For instance, Naxos has a very Venetian flavour to it because a lot of ship owners (Veneitian) lived there. A couple of years ago I also traveled around the south Peloponnese purposely locating Venetian castle sites. That part of Greece's history is usually overlooked in favour of the ancient Greek archaeology. But it's quite fascinating to find how the Venetians ruled the waterways there and built the fortresses because at one time there were many pirates plying those waters too.

I'm hoping to explore more of the Venetian sites in Greece this summer. And I also have a keen interesting in Lord Byron and his Venetian/Greek connections. This trip I must get over to the town where the Byron museum is located. He's quite a hero in Greece because of his involvement with the resistance against the Ottoman Turk invasions. The other things that interest me about him are the many women he left heartbroken. Apparantly there's a house in Venice famous for the fact one of his paramours threw herself off the balcony into the canal when he abandoned her.

I haven't decided exactly what I want to focus on in Venice. The whole place will be a wonder to me. It's going to be one of those dream-come-true vacations. And an added little bonus on the return trip: there's a long enough stop-over in Amsterdam that I'll be able to hop the train and go into town for a look around. Another city I've always been curious to see.

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