Day 23 – 22nd July 2020 – Venice, Italy
I go to catch the boat to the Rail station but there’s no ticket machine.. Oh no, where do I buy a ticket? I notice the gate is open and no one is around so I just walk through, naughty I know, but I’ll just feign ignorance if challenged and pay the cost. The boat comes, no one asks to see my ticket.. might have got away with that one.
Still no one checks when I get off so…
I walk up to the bike and she is still there, safe and sound
I’m way too early so find where I am going to meet the boat first, it is actually right outside KFC, then I go in search of a coffee. Find one and it’s only €3.50… bargain!
At 11.50 I am sitting waiting at one of the outdoor tables at KFC, it isn’t open yet. At around 12.05 the boat arrives
and a young woman gets off asking loudly if anyone is for the Lagoon Tour.. I stand up.. I’m the only one… oooo does this mean I get the tour all to myself?
No… about 7 people get on at the second pick up point… A1/1A whatever. The young woman is our tour guide and she reels off all the places we are passing, first in Italian then in English.
Her English is extremely good, but I’m not really taking it in, I am simply enjoying the ride across the lagoon to our first stop, Murano.
Before we disembark our guide, Carlotta, tells us that first we will see a glass making demo for about 15 minutes, then will have an opportunity to purchase some glass direct from the factory and then we are free to explore the island. We must return to the boat by 3.45pm… that’s over 2 and a half hours, seems a bit long if we are going to fit in 2 more islands, but anyway.
We are led in to a furnace room where we are given the glass demo, the glass maker starts with a blob of molten glass
and creates this, very quickly
He then takes another blob of molten glass and makes a small vessel.. there is no commentary or any details, he just makes them and we clap. I just so happens there is a programme on TV that I like to watch, it’s a competition between professional glass artists so I am already well versed in glass making techniques, (I forget the name of the programme now).
Next we are ushered into a glass showroom… I have a quick look, I won’t be buying anything… obviously… it wouldn’t survive on the bike!
Out onto the street and it is absolutely boiling hot… I have a bit of a wander around
then decide to find a cafe to sit and eat. Now, about the coffee price situation, my good friend Sylvie who grew up in Italy tells me there are 3 levels of payment, if you order at the counter it is the cheapest option, the next level is table service indoor and then the top price is table service on the terrace… ok so I am going to try that. I find a place and I see there is two prices, one if you order at the counter and one on the terrace, (there aren’t any tables inside), so exactly as Sylvie said. I go in and order a coffee and a cheese panini; they didn’t have pizza lol.
I am sitting on a stool at the back wall and when I look up there are about 4 wine bottles in a rack, one of them catches my eye
Mussolini… I am a bit shocked to be honest, after all the Italians hanged him in the end!
As I am eating I look around, its a very small bar/cafe and there are lots of odd bits and pieces hanging from the ceiling, on shelves and on the walls… there are lots of penises of varying shapes and sizes, I don’t study them but one is a jug of some description… also some pin ups of men in various stages of undress and tumescence… ugh!… actually, if I didn’t know better, I would say this is a gay bar!! All a bit disgusting really.
It is extremely hot, after all it is siesta time so the hottest part of the day. I hang around in the bar and have an ice cream, but eventually I have to leave. I go around the corner behind the church and find some shade to sit in. I am actually bored… there is nothing much here, unless you want to spend 2 hours buying glass, there is nothing else to do or see really, other than the church of course.
Eventually it is time to get back on the boat… we seem to have acquired more people and the boat is almost full. Solo travellers like myself have a row of seats to ourselves but those travelling together have to sit together.
It’s only a short 10 minute hop to the next island Torcello. On the way Carlotta points out items of interest as we pass, this for example is an old abandoned monastry.
We then pull in to Torcello and Carlotta explains that almost all the inhabitants have left due to the constant flooding. There are now just 11 people living here. We will be able to walk down main street and then see a church and museum, this is the only area left open. We are told to return to the boat by 4.50 so we have 40-45 minutes here.
It is a good 10 minute walk along the main ‘street’ which is a canal of course. There are several restaurants and quite a few houses that appear to be occupied. Not that I’m a cynic… ahem… but the 11 inhabitants must all have at least 1 house each from what I can see. It also seems to be an island the young venetian’s like to visit, while I am there a few small fast boats full of young people come up the canal.. hardly a rave destination I would think, but who knows.
Torcello is ok, there is an old church at the end of the canal and a museum.. the museum is closed and the church doesn’t interest me so I just buy an ice lolly, turn around and go back to the boat.
Next up is Burano, Carlotta explains that this island is renowned not only for the making of Venetian lace but for its very colourful houses. The legend is that they painted the houses in vibrant colours so that the fishermen would be able to find the island on their way home in a storm. When we arrive we are to follow Carlotta into the main square where we can disburse and look around the island. She suggests investigating the side streets to see the beautiful houses.
I must say I think they saved the best to last… this is great and the colours are just so vivid. I really enjoy wandering around getting snap happy!!
Just lovely… and as I say it is very hot, even the pussy cats can’t be bothered to stay awake.
I do pop in to this church…. just randomly.. of all the churches in Venice, and they are legion, I pick this one.. dunno
Then it is time to return to Piazza San Marco where we disembark. I manage to capture this distinctive bridge on the way past… strangely Carlotta doesn’t talk about it at all.
I make my way back to the B&B via the most direct route… I do stop off at an Irish Bar for a quick drink and the loo, I am bursting!!
The ‘Irish’ Bar isn’t Irish of course apart from the deriguer Guiness posters and the odd shamrock… disappointing but predictable.
A few piccies on the way
You may also have noticed another quirk of mine….. doors… not any door, just decrepit interesting ones and Venice has loads of them
I arrive back at my room and am exhausted, it has been a long day, so it’s left over pizza for me tonight.. I’m done!
Tomorrow I must leave Venice, but first I spotted a gift for my Grand-daughter, the shop was shut but will go back there in the morning to pick it up.