The bus left the airport on time and the journey took about an hour. Crowd was already building up at the main bus station in Venice as buses, taxis, private cars and motorcycles started arriving. Human traffic was everywhere. It would be a crowded day.
For those familiar with Venice, the main tourist destination is Piazzo Saint Marco, Piazzo meaning Square. One could also walk to the square through the maze of the canals which would take more than an hour to do so. The most popular option was to take the waterbus, which we did, which most other tourists did too.
We had our first sight of the gondolas at the waterfront while looking for the waterbus site. We would certainly be seeing more of these later.
The waterbus we took was pretty crowded. There were several stops along the main waterway before reaching Piazza St Marco. I noted that there were no ticket conductors and the purchase of tickets were done in good faith. I wonder whether such service can work back home! Here, I did not notice anyone going for a free ride.
Anyway it was a good feeling to catch the sea breeze as the waterbus makes its way to the various stops. It was also a different sight to see buildings hugging the sea. There was water everywhere (but not a drop to drink) and there were boats plying up and down.
The sights we saw so far was well worth this excursion.
Piazza St Marco (St Mark's Square) is the central landmark and gathering place for Venice. One can find lots of tourists, photographers and pigeons. There are small alleyways, deisgner brand shops and restaurants.
We were amongst the handful of Asians in the mat salleh crowd.
What about masks? Isn't masks a feature of Venice? Well, it was, decades ago.
Here is the take on masks, copied from an internet site. The pictures are mine though.
"Unlike the vast majority of their counterparts in contemporary European nations, each citizen in Venice enjoyed a high standard of living. Everyone was part of the great economic machine that was the Republic. Venice was capitalizing on its position, on its gains, long before its contemporaries had realized the value of a market economy. With a level of social wealth unequaled since, the citizens of Venice developed a unique culture - one in which the concealing of the identity in daily life became paramount to daily activity. Part of the secrecy was pragmatic: there were things to do, people to see, and perhaps you might not want others to know what deals you were cutting. After all, the city is relatively small."
Additionally, the masks served an important social purpose of keeping every citizen on an equal playing field. Masked, a servant could be mistaken for a nobleman - or vice versa. State inquisitors and spies could question citizens without fear of their true identity being discovered (and citizens could answer without fear of retribution). The morale of the people was maintained through the use of masks - for with no faces, everyone had voices.