Thursday, August 6, 2009

Venice: July 11

July 11 -Venice
We woke up on our free day only to find we were not-so-free. But it was a good thing, because I like the structure. And we go to great places. This morning a speed boat picked us up and took us to the Murano Massego Glass Factory. We watched a man with no voice make a stallion ouit of glass in just one minute! We toured their inventory which consisted of vases, figurines, dishes, wall hangings, jewelry, but more than anything, chandeliers. My favorite were teh black and white ones. Some pieces scared me. They looked like they belonged at a circus- but overall it was very intersting. Watching the man actually make the stuff helped me to appreciate the art of it. It's not like they stick the glass into a mold and whip out twenty. It's all hand done, and it is what Venice is famous for.
On speedboat

Real oven with molten lava fire where they make the glass

Afterwards many of us went to St. Mark's Cathedral. There are probably no greater modaics in all the world. Full ceiling and wall gold mosaics. Wow. But words I sawy simply don't do it justice.
We were scared to find our way back to the hotel because it's just understood that you WILL get lost in Venice and that you should just embrace it and enjoy it. But we've been lucky I guess. Not lost once!
One of the best parts of our entire trip came at 7 pm when we met up with Ksenia Choate! I arranged via email to meet her at the Rialto Bridge, after which we (Laura, Scott, Ksenia, and I)foujnnd a little resaurant in a hidden little courtyardI'm certain I'd never be able to find again. 2 musicians played our entire meal, making the evening quite enjoyable. I ordered Gnocci 4-cheese pasta and water. I got about 17 pieces of small pasta and a glass of water with no ice, and all for the price of just 14 Euro + a tip! Oi, my plate had so much blank space on it, it was pathetic. They added a leaf to make me feel better, I'm sure.
We left the restaurant to go get a gondola.It just doesn't seem right to leave Venice without riding in one. Granted, it would be much nicer witha significant other, but then what wounln't? Our gondolier was handsome. He talked about the city and sang to us. Ahh, heaven. And we did it at dusk, so the day hyad cooled off and the reflections were fabulous. I desperatley tried to take pictures and video footage in my head.
We saw where Casanova's house was, we learned that all gondolas are black and asymmetrical so the gondolier can row just on one side. Our guy has been rowing since he was six year old and is a 3rd generation gondolier and even wins many races here, including one last week!
The ride was pleasant. It honestly felt like a ride in Disneyland though, as if all the buildings were just a swet, built for tourist pleasure.
Jeanette looking at St. Mark's

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