The Grand Canal fogged

The Grand Canal (Canal Grande, Venetian: Canałasso) is the major water-traffic corridor in Venice. The Grand Canal probably follows the course of an ancient river (possibly a branch of the Brenta) flowing into the lagoon.

At one end, the canal leads into the lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and the other end leads into Saint Mark Basin; in between, it makes a large S-shape through the central districts (sestieri) of Venice. It is 3,800 m long, 30–90 m wide, with an average depth of five meters.

The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with exquisite and beautiful pallazos and churches (more than 170) buildings, most of which date from the 13th to the 18th century. They and demonstrate the welfare and art of the Republic of Venice. Amongst the most famous are Ca’ d’Oro,Ca’ Rezzonico, Palazzo Dario, Ca’ Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo, Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, etc. The churches along the canal include the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute.

Because most of the city’s traffic goes along the Canal rather than across it, only one bridge crossed the canal until the 19th century, the Rialto Bridge. There are currently three more bridges, Ponte degli Scalzi, Ponte dell’Accademia and Ponte della Costituzione.

Ponte degli Scalzi is the one you see on the first photo. And then the last picture was taken after we passed Santa Maria della Salute. What you don’t see and what is comfortably covered by the fog is the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. I’ve always dreamt of such a weather. Especially in the morning the fog was so thick you couldn’t see the other side of the canal. It was cold and damp as well but being in Venice makes me so happy. I love this city. It is so tender and gentle. Many other cities in such a weather are horrible places to be in. In Moscow I wouldn’t even think of going out. But Venice makes any type of weather beautiful and the city itself is always hospitable.

Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey

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tumblr_lj7sd4GMDB1qgvvtno1_500 “Mystery is important. To know the whole truth is dull.”The Longest Journey

Dear friends and readers, do you like stories?

The Longest Journey is a series of games that tells a wonderful captivating story via two lead characters – April Ryan and Zoë Castillo. These young women travel between two worlds – Stark (future version of our world) and Arcadia (a world of magic) – in search of balance, meaning and faith in their own lives and in the fate of the world in general.

The Longest journey came out in 1999, Dreamfall, second installment of the series, was release in 2006. Since then all the fans of TLJ were waiting for the news on Dreamfall Chapters. Ragnar Tornquist who created these wonderful games was busy working for Funcom.

But finally our waiting was over. The news arrived last year that Ragnar was building a team to work on the continuation of that incredible story. However it all could come true only through universal support. We have to participate to make it happen!

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 2qaiwRHEras The project appeared less than a day ago on Kickstarter and it has already gathered more than 41% of the desired sum. More than 6 700 dreamers donated more than 350 000 US dollars to help Dreamfall Chapters come true. The project is featured on the front page of Kickstarter. It is Staff Pick within the “Games” section of Kickstarter.It is already a success story.

Join us!

If you like elaborate and moving stories but have never heard about The Longest Journey before I urge you to play at least its second part Dreamfall. It’s not really a game and is very close to being a movie. But trust me you won’t be disappointed. And if you like what you see and get out of the TLJ experience please support Dreamfall Chapters on Kikstarter. Thank you!Only together we can make this happen.

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Letting go

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Oh the terrier!.. I first heard about him maybe 7 years ago. My mother returned from her trip to Italy. In Bologna near Santo Stefano’s Basilica she saw a terrier who was joyfully playing with frisbee. She saw him and filmed him every time she visited the capital of Emilia-Romagna region in the years to come. In 2009 we went to Italy together and saw him again. He was playing with a girl about six years old. She wasn’t strong enough to tear frisbee from him. This dog had spirit and will. He loved frisbee but was very bad at letting go of it. Someone would throw it, he would run after it and bring it back. At the decisive moment of exchange he would not be able to let someone take the sacred plate. He would hold on to it for as long as was possible but after a couple of minutes give in and let the person throw it again.

This year my boyfriend and I decided to spend one day in Bologna. It was Saturday. I didn’t really remember the city so we were roaming its streets in hope to find Santo Stefano. I hoped we would meet the dog. I told him about the terrier a couple of years ago and thought it would be wonderful if we would see the dog together. And when we got to the square there he was playing. Oh what a wonderful moment that was! There is something very soothing in continuity. Life consists of anchors. Some of those we cherish more than others. I guess especially meaningful are those that connect us to special people or places. And this terrier was such an anchor for me.

At some point in time he saw me and ran to me as though we were great buddies and offered to through the frisbee. He was cooperative at first. But the next time he wouldn’t let go of the blue plate. He held on to it with frenzy and meant it. I was so happy to meet him and to play with him for a while. Happy as a little girl who just got a cat for her birthday.

Campanili

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Venice looks wonderful in any weather but next time I hope for a little sun. This view will be dazzling bathing in warm sunlight.

Venice: Landmarks and Travelcards

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Once again famous landmarks of Venice – Santa Maria della Salute as seen from vaporetto and San Giorgio Maggiore’s campanile and St. Mark’s campanile and an architectural  jewelry box from the outside as well as the heart and quinta essenza of the Serene Republic – Palazzo Ducale. For those of you interested in public transportation in Venice vaporetto (water bus) provides a wonderful opportunity to see the city from water. The main trick here is to decide what type of ticket you need. One-way trip costs 7 euro. Then there are 12-, 24-, 36-, 48- and 72-hour travelcards. They cost 18 €, 20 €, 25 €, 30 € and 35 € respectively. If you stay in Venice for a couple of days like I did and are an avid sightseer and walker like me you need to plan ahead. I bought two 12-hour tickets and used them for a trip to San Giorgio and a tour of Grand Canal. Well San Giorgio has its own ticket offer – two-way ticket costs 8 euro. That means that I overpaid 21 euro that could be spent on a delicious espresso and all’arabiata or carbonara or a beautiful piece of a Murano glass…

Venice framed #1

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We were walking from Viale Giuseppe Garibaldi to San Zaccaria stop planning to take vaporetto linea 2 to San Giorgio Maggiore. This esplanade provides a wonderful and constantly changing view on Venice’s main attractions: Campanile, Palazzo Ducale, Santa Maria della Salute, San Giorgio, Il Redentore…

The one on the photo above is Baldassare Longhena’s masterpiece, the Church of Santa Maria della Salute (or the Basilica of St Mary of Health) situated at the entrance to the Grand Canal in Venice. It was built in 1631/32–1687 and was commissioned by La Serenissima in thanksgiving to God for deliverance from the plague of 1630. The senate decided that the new church would be the site of the annual feast of the Presentation of the Virgin, which would involve a procession from San Marco to the Salute. The feast known as the Festa della Salute is still held every November 21. A temporary bridge is constructed to cross the Grand Canal.

Santa Maria della Salute is octagonal in shape and sits on a platform of 100,000 wooden piles. It is constructed of Istrian stone and a marble-dust-covered brick known as marmorino. Though classic in design, it contains some Byzantine elements.

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I am a little bit disappointed by the new wordpress algorithm that chooses what parts of a post to display in the reader timeline. When I add a Soundcloud embedded player it is the only thing that is visible. Which is a lovely part but not at the expense of the photo. Since there is really no choice in this unpleasant dilemma of sharing favorite music versus photos I’ll have to leave my little cozy Internet home mute.

And on to another subject. You won’t see a lot of dogs clothed in a special garment in Moscow. This trend hasn’t yet found its way to the hearts, minds and wallets of proud dog owners. I bet it will at some point in time. On the contrary I didn’t see a naked dog in Venice. Most popular color for the dress was red. What a shock, I know. Red went well with dachshunds. Dachshunds solely favored red. I guess this color highlights their alpha skills and disposition. I didn’t make a photo of a dachshund , but a poodle will do just fine. By the way he was dressed in a magenta/pink garment.

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Paying money is easy, paying attention is not. This idea has been torturing me today.

And now to the more positive subject of the city I love – Venice, Italy. This is how it looked like on a mid-January 2013 day. By that time sun was obscured by clouds. I didn’t really notice it at the time. Only later browsing through photos from that day I noted striking contrast between a sunny morning and a moody afternoon. It has become even more obvious at home.

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This is one of the dearest places on this planet that I love and love to be in. This is one the best views in this city.

Santa Pilot

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Who might that be? I have to confess I have no idea. This pilot-clown… or clown-pilot landed right in the center of the living room while we were decorating the Christmas tree. Actually you can see a very small part of his parachute on the first photo in the lower left corner. He looked interested but lonely. I guess he wanted to play with children and share holiday spirit with someone. I hope you have someone to share these wonderful days with.

Pilot-clown – Max Galitsky (clowns PAMPUSH)

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