Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Ah, Venice!"

Quick; which movie?

When all is said and done, I do not agree with the speaker. In fact, I would say, "Ah! Finally leaving Venice!" Of the cities in Italy that we visited, Venice would fall in last place. Yes, there was delicious gelato. Yes, we were close to the ocean and found some lovely shopping. But it was crazy expensive and the people were not very nice. Or at least consistent about their not-nice-ness. You'd talk to one Venetian and be treated like the slime on the bottom of your shoe. You'd talk to another, and things would be very cordial and friendly. But I could never tell how any given situation would go, and that makes for very uncomfortable traveling.

On the other hand, Venice is where I met my friend Melissa. She came over from north-central Italy to show us around Venice, and we had a wonderful day with her as tour guide. Here's a photo we convinced her to let us take (she's camera shy!) while we stood on one of the bridges over one of the canals. This happened to be on the island of Murano.

She's the second from the left. Thanks, Melissa, for taking time out of your life to help give us a nice memory to carry with us through ours!

While on Murano, we had a lovely lunch of seafood and pasta. We had company...

(Even though they--there were several--landed on the next table, I can still hear Melissa saying, "Ewww...Yuck!")

We spent some time on Murano, which is where Venetian glass is made. We watched a glass maker at work.

We also walked through St. Mark's Square. Melissa left about 7pm, and we headed out for a late dinner.

Next day, we went out to the local market to pick up some fruit for lunch. We saw fruits and vegetables galore, all fresh and in season. In fact, there was even a fresh fish market, which, believe it or not, even smelled good! When the sea is so close, the fish can't help but be fresh! We also walked some back alleys, looking for a Carnevale mask. Janet really wanted one of these richly decorated masks to bring home as a souvenir, and we find a nice one. We also went back to St. Mark's, which was closed the afternoon before. We walked inside, just loving the mosaic floors, walls and ceilings. (We were unable to take pictures inside.) Another thing that I didn't like about Venice was very evident at St. Mark's. The church is so decayed, much like many of the buildings in Venice. The floor was so uneven, probably from sinking, that it looked like hills in the floor. Large cracks are apparent on most of the buildings, and I don't think I saw one with a good coat of paint. One or two, I could see. But this was an entire city of rotting buildings. Very sad.

We headed back in time to catch a night train to Vienna........


  1. I can't believe you've been gone over a week now. Doesn't seem that long. Then again, it does. You have packed a lot into your days! Keep the posts and pictures coming! (And Melissa looks very nice--how cool that you got to meet.)

  2. Indiana Jones - The Last Crusade