Sunday, November 2, 2008

Venezia - Water from above and water below!

Yesterday we spent the day in Venice. As per most of this week, the rain came down all day so we ventured out with our umbrellas, trendy rain ponchos and got wet alot!

The tide was very high and many of the footpaths were covered in water. This home owner might have trouble getting in his front door!

As we had little time in this wonderful city, I had to plan carefully when considering the itinerary for the day. We decided to see the small island of "Murano"where the most famous glass factories in the world reside and then in the afternoon we decided to see "Piazza San Marco" (St Mark's Square). While it was not underwater which is often the case at this time of year, the boards were out ready to raise the level of the ground if needed.

We decided to experience Venice's public transport system and bought day trip tickets (14EU each which works out to $28 each) for the three of us for the "Vaporetto". This is the name of the public transport boats. Picture below:

It was so strange to get on a boat and pull up at what are "bus stops or boat stops"along the Grand Canal and see people get on and off. A photo of a stop is shown below.
Inside, they look like most public transport vehicles, rows of seats and lots of people. They too get very crowded.

Once we arrived at Murano, we started to look for glass blowing demonstrations amongst the rows and rows of shops of Murano glass objects. This stuff is amazing. So amazing that I ended up shipping a box of lovely objects home for around $600 so I really did the budget some damage on this visit. I was worried to buy any of these things because they are so fragile but the option to send a box back by courier with insurance was appealing to me. The prices of these items are amazing. Of course I stuck to the more economical pieces but there were some objects like glass vases, light fittings that were priced at around 10,000EU which is $20,000 with current conversion rates. Murano glass is world famous as I am sure their prices also are! Trevor thought it was momentous enough to take a picture of the shop where I broke the bank!

Of course Michael acted up a bit in this store cause I was taking so long and Trevor had to take him outside which is when he had the idea to take this photo but also I think we was as worried as I was that Michael would break something in the store and we would have to re-mortgage our home to pay for it!! Ouch!

It is funny what you see in Venice, all the things which we have in our towns that are land based, are water based here.

Below is a street vegetable vendor except his truck is is boat, very interesting to watch the things that make daily life different to ours in this unique city.

We eventually found a glass blowing factory and were able to take a short video of the Master at work.

After this we headed to lunch in Murano where we ate at a small rustic restaurant.

We then took the Vaporetto back to Venice island to the main attraction "Piazza di San Marco"(St Mark's Square). Despite the continuing rain the crowds were relentless, like us they too had to make the most of their day in Venice.
The only advantage of the rain was that it kept the pigeons at bay. On a normal day there are thousands of pigeons that inhabit this square hoping for crumbs from tourists.

We got some great photos of the Basilica even with the poor weather.

Some other good shots below:
A cargo boat above.

A Venice DHL Express Courier below....

A police boat...

The inside of our water taxi. This boat could have taken up to 15 passengers for sure. And apparently 50EU is the price for a 5 minute taxi ride ($100 of our dollars with current exchange rate).

And for the Venice ambulance, see next post...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael, I love your videos. Looks like you are having lots of fun and seeing lots of funny things like the tower that is leaning over. Imagine if your bedroom at home was leaning over, all your toys would roll to one side of the room. Tell mummy to keep taking the videos because we love to see them. Lisa & Erin