Much delayed post for many reasons. There are very few internet spots in Venice. They cost the earth, who knows why? Four times the price in the other cities.
Venice: amazing labyrinthe of sidewalks, bridges, canals and tall irregular buildings. To leave the flat without a map is suicide. Places keep seeming like you have been there: the pastry places and butchers all arrange their windows similarly.
I must leave thoughts of Venice to later. We have other, more pressing thoughts. We are only three traveling now: Luke, Bell and me. On Saturday Jess took sick and on Sunday Cheryl thought it would be better to return to the US with her directly from Milan. You can imagine what a shock this is: to have been a group of five wandering around Italy down to just our little family. It has been a wrench and we are saddened. We appreciate your prayers for adjusting to the change in dynamics. We are also praying for Jess' health. (Cheryl was not interested in experimenting with Italian hospitals--understandably.)
So, back to the present: you would have to see our little attic apartment here to believe it. It is at the top of what looks like a derelict, cracking building. Don't be alarmed, most of the buildings here are cracked. The floors slope towards the center of the building. The doorposts skim Luke's hair. The furniture reminds us of Resthaven conference days (sorry, only the Zim friends will understand that reference.)
To ascend to our little apartment, you can either climb 3 sets of stairs at different angles to each other in the building, or you can take a cute little octagonal elevator (limit 3 persons)which has a door opening on one side to enter and exiting at 90 degrees. If you have suitcases on the floor, you have to be creative.
Venice, though cold, has been fantastic. We took a ferry down the grand canal to see all the wondrous buildings on either side. At St Mark's square, Bell fed the pigeons. We three went into the basilica. Luke and I saw the treasury which also had some reliquaries where we saw some saints' fingers, teeth, and other biological bits. The Quadriga is the museum with the 4 gilded horses which stand over the main entrance. (Repilcas are there now, the originals are inside due to pollution.) Amazing things in this place: one entire wall is a mosaic of Mary's family tree. The floors are very uneven, although marble, a reminder that all is built on pylons.
When we entered the basilica, the floor was dry, but before we left, water had seeped in up to three inches in places.
Today we went to Padua (Padova), but I will share about that in a later blog. This is getting long.
Thanks for praying.