Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Venice with a capital V ...

... for Very friggin' expensive but I've managed to calm down and just accept it. I think it is one of those experiences where one just closes one's eyes and ignores the screams for mercy from the plastic.

Caron and I took about 500Mb of photo's today so it was a bit of an effort to whittle them down into just a few. I have to say that today was exceptionally worthwhile. We started off by buying a two day water bus ticket (24EUR each) so now getting around from island to island isn't a big deal and the first stop was Murano island which is famous for it's glass blowing and art. Getting off the bus we dived straight into the venetian glass museum which didn't quite turn out to be what we expected and ended up being a bit disappointing. This was however, more than compensated for by the visit to the glass blowing factory which I found to be particularly fascinating. There were about 4 or 5 guys using a couple of furnaces and each taking it in turns and helping each other to complete various tasks. I'm not sure how long we sat watching but it felt like a long time and at one stage one of the guys made a prancing horse for Jesica and Celine but instead of it being done far way, it was within arms reach.

The way the glass flows makes me want to play with it. The glass blowers would work the piece, put it back in the oven, work it some more, add another layer of glass and work it again. I think that the guys from Ngwenya glass would really benefit from an educational visit over here. The variety and quality of the glass work is something quite special and I had to stop caron buying something; there was this one particular piece in a shop which was just awesome and even I was tempted. I would have taken a photo but the owner of the shop was hovering and I felt a bit self conscious.

Another speciality of Venice is the Carnival held in february which is masked so they have mask shops everywhere and the variety, care and creativity that have gone into the masks is just astounding. I'm starting to run out of adjectives, please send more!

That's andre trying to get a little tongue time if you really must know!

Lunch time we decided to eat out and I was, justifiably, a little nervous of the bill and I was right but what a fantastic meal. Caron and Andre had cannelloni del pesce which is a seafood canneloni and I'm not sure if I have ever had italian food that tasted that good. It was worth the money! On the way back to the apartment from Murano we were followed by the wicked witch of Venice complete with no front teeth. She couldn't speak a word of english and was almost completely deaf and the girls definitely didn't take to her but she followed us for a while through the narrow venetian streets before we lost her. One of the locals walked past and obviously knew her and literally shouted in her ear 'non inglese' but even that didn't seem to put her off following the girls.

After lunch Caron and I went wandering around Venice on the Grand Canal, going as far as the arsenal which was unfortunately barred to pubic entry. These are typical canals that one passes while going along in the bus and it's really quite pretty.

At the arsenal, the one guard who obviously couldn't leave his post had his girlfriend buy an ice-cream and they shared it between themselves while he was still on guard; this would definitely have been frowned in the old days. While we were on our way to the arsenal we passed a group of black guys selling bags which was a bit unusual but when I saw the following sign, things fell into place.

Heading back to home we just had to use the gondola to cross the grand canal and at 0.50EUR per trip, I think it must be the one and only cheap experience in Venice

Gotta say that it has been a pretty cool day.

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