Today was finally the day that we boarded the Aegean Odyssey, our floating home for the next two weeks. We are both looking forward to unpacking and being in the same accommodation for a while. We were due there at 2pm, and spent some time figuring out how to get to the dock, especially after a last minute email letting us know that the ship would be using different berth than expected. You can’t just call a cab in Venice! That still left us with a couple of hours to fill in, so we decided to visit the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Peggy was an heiress and niece of Solomon Guggenheim, who founded the NY modern art museum of the same name. She was a collector, patron of artists and larger-than-life character who lived in the house that was to become the museum from 1948 to her death in 1979. The collection, which hangs in her house much as it did when she lived there, is a fantastic array of the best of modern art of the early 20th century. Major works by all the influential artists of the time – Picasso, Dali, Magritte, Duchamp, Stella, Mondrian, Calder, Brancusi, Kandinsky – the list goes on! I loved it. I’m no art expert, but I did a Contemporary Art elective as a ‘General Studies’ subject at uni (they made us science nerds broaden our education a tiny bit!) and this exhibition was that course come to life. Incredible. They even had one of my favourite Magritte paintings, that I used to have on my bedroom wall as a poster years ago.
Our route to the ship terminal consisted of a vaporetto ride down the Grand Canal (with our luggage). I love that trip on the #1 vaporetto – I stood on the deck taking photos and enjoying the blue skies and sunshine that eluded us on my previous visit to Venice. We alighted at the terminus – Piazzale Roma – and found the “people mover” – a new train that goes from the bus terminal to the port and back – only 3 stations all together. We were very relived to find a shuttle bus waiting for us as we got off the people mover, that would drive us directly to the embarkation point. After brief formalities we were finally on board. Sigh of relief!!
The ship of course is lovely. Our room is spacious and comfortable, and we have a walk in wardrobe and a lovely little balcony. Our cabin steward is called Joel, and is very charming. This is a relatively small ship, with a capacity of only 350, no casino, and no children. We learned that there are around 250 passengers, so it is far from full – half are American, 47 each from Australia and the UK, 4 New Zealanders and a smattering of others. The average age is 67, which makes me one of the babies 🙂 Here’s a little tour of the ship:
The afternoon was spent exploring the ship, having the lifeboat drill, afternoon tea on the deck, and a welcome briefing. We shared a table over dinner with some fellow passengers and enjoyed lively conversation and excellent food.
We are staying in Venice two more days, sailing overnight on Friday. Tomorrow will be a full day of exploring Venice, and I can’t wait!! Here are some random photos of Venice, taken from the vaporetto, to put you in the mood.