Ellie's Journal: Sailaway from Venice and Learning to Dance in the Rain

Hello, my name is Ellie! Some of you may remember me from three years ago... That's when I blogged last, when I was on Star Flyer in Costa Rica. I'm fifteen years old now, and I'm back again, just on a different ship, Royal Clipper, and having more fun than ever. I'm from Oregon (in the USA) and my favorite sport is sailing, so this is a really fun experience for me.

[caption id="attachment_12653" align="alignnone" width="550"] Ellie in Venice

I've only been on the ship for a couple of days, and I've already made many friends, kids and adults.

My parents and I flew into Venice in the morning of Wednesday, the day that the ship departed. Unlike some of the people on this cruise, we actually had some time to explore the city... I'd seen lots of pictures of Venice before, but seeing it in person makes it so real, and, though there are countless tourist shops, it's so genuine. The canals and bridges and buildings going into the crystal blue water... It is enchanting. It's, simply said, a feast for the eyes.

[caption id="attachment_12638" align="alignnone" width="550"] Musicians on St. Mark's Square

If I were to give you one place that I really think you should go, I think I'd have to say St. Marco Square, la piazza. And I'd also tell you that you should take back alleys, and not follow crowds. My parents and Idid kind of have to go with instincts when we were walking, because it wasn't obvious where to go, or how to get where we wanted to be, but I choose back alleys over the main drags with throngs of people any day. What would life be like without a bit of wandering through a maze of unknown pathways. It sure wouldn't be the Venice charmed us from every unknown square and alleyway.

But finally the big moment came. Our adventure to Croatia, Greece, Sicily, Rome and points inbetween, was set to begin. As the sails rose, and familiar Vangelis song played over the loudspeakers, and everything just sat still for a second. The sun stopped setting, the people stopped talking, the water stopped splashing, and the wind stopped blowing. And that last one wasn't actually a good thing because, you know, we're on a sailing cruise, and sailing involves some wind. And then, it started raining. Pouring. The sky opened up and dumped itself on us.

Everyone ran under the sun covers, because they didn't want to get all wet, but me? Naw, I'm an Oregonian... rain is our sunshine! I thought, "Well now that everyone has cleared out of the prime watching spots, I may as well take advantage of this. Their loss, my gain." So I did just that. I went out on the bow, where there was not a soul to be seen, and stood in the gentle, warm rain, and watched as Venice, Italy quietly slide by and disappear off our stern as night fell. About five minutes went by, and I was still the only person in the rain. Then, one-by-one, people started coming out to stand in the rain with me. So we sailed out of the Grand Canal in a warm, pouring rain, and some people would be upset, but we have to remember that learning how to dance in the rain is one of the biggest lessons in life.

Anyway, we arrived in Rovinj, Croatia at noon yesterday, and it was beautiful. There is an amazing church at the top of a hill in Rovinj, and it has a bell tower that can be seen from far out at sea, and if it fits your idea of fun, you can climb to the top! I wanted to do that very badly, but there's a catch to it. Though going into the church is free (unlike some churches in Venice and other parts of this cruise), you must be wearing appropriate clothing; this means shorts or skirts longer than your knees (or pants, of course) and a shirt that covers your shoulders... If you go on this cruise, which I really hope you do, be sure to plan out your sailing wardrobe and your shore side wardrobe! One thing that I found very helpful was just carrying a long-sleeved shirt, and a longer pair of shorts in a bag. That was my mom's idea... Only a mom would be smart enough to think of that, right? Well, it worked!

I'm off to go swimming with my friends, but I will post again soon! Goodnight.
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