On a trip to Italy several years ago, I flew into Rome and returned home from Venice. I wisely chose a window seat for that flight home. When the long flight is all daylight, I like to be able see things out the window.
The Venice airport is not as massive as airports in major hubs but it had everything you would expect to see before boarding a long flight. Duty free shops, snack bars and souvenirs.
As we rolled out to the runway, I didn't expect to see boats running along side us.
As the plane lifted off the ground, it was easier to see the swamp-like land below.
And then, suddenly I saw something familiar. It looked like we were flying right over the city.
I had a perfect view. I could see the train station where I had arrived days before. I could see the grand canal as it snaked its way through the city and I could see St. Mark's Square and the U-shaped Doges Palace shining brightly.
I found myself zooming in on certain areas to get a closer look. I remembered when I emerged from that train station to stand front and get my first look at this magnificent city. My very first thought was "the water is right there".
Then the plane started to bank and head west and it was time for me to say goodbye to Venice for a second time. A friend who used to fly in and out of this airport often told me that it was rare to get such a clear view. I was lucky that this day was a clear one.