Gondola

Venice Travel Blog

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The courtyard in our hostel in Venice. We stayed at the Bax Pax Venice.

In leaving the hostel this morning, we planned to buy some food to eat during the day. Fortunately, there were some fruit vendors in the square outside our hostel, and we stopped at one to buy some fruit. After deciding, we told the vendor what we wanted, at which point he pointed to a sign in his stall and refused to sell us anything. The sign read, 'No Tourist.' Hmm... I'm guessing this guy has had some bad experiences with tourists in the past. There were plenty of other fruit stands nearby, so we gave our business to one of them and walked away with a bag of fruit.

We started our day by heading up to Murano, an Island north of Venice that is famous for its glass blowing.

Gondola Ride - need I say more?
A highlight for us was going to a 'fornace' and being able to sit and watch some glassblowers work away for over half an hour. It was amazing to watch small dowels of glass be transformed into colorful glass objects through the appropriate application of heat.

We found a nice restaurant on Murano for lunch, and despite an overabundance of pigeons (the nasty little creatures), we enjoyed our meal. At the end of our meal we discovered that there was a cover charge for each of us, and apparently that's rather common in Italy.

There are quite a collection of glass shops, where the blown glass is sold, but most of what was sold seemed rather ugly to me, not to mention expensive. If you want to pay a lot of money for glass, buy some nice crystal in Vienna rather than blown glass in Venice.

Jenn and I found it quite amusing that all of the shops selling blown glass had a sign near the door advertising 'free entrance.' I don't usually expect to have to pay money to go into a shop, but I guess it's good they made it clear that it doesn't cost anything to window-shop.

Taking the boat back to Venice was tricky. As I mentioned, the public transportation system in Venice is handled by a series of boat routes. Unfortunately, it can be rather difficult to figure out what boat or what dock to get on, as they are not clearly marked, outages don't seem to be marked anywhere, and many boats don't have a route number posted on them, so it's difficult to figure out where it might be going. The more we use this boat system, the less we understand about it.

Tonight was special, because we went for a ride in a Gondola. We've been seeing them all over town and now we finally have our turn. So just before sunset, we headed down to one of the areas with some gondolas, and we took it as a good sign that there were a bunch of Gondoliers sitting around doing nothing. I walked up to one fellow, and tried to bargain with him, but he refused to budge on his price. So I walked away. After I'd made it about 10 steps away, another fellow came up and asked me what I wanted to pay. I told him, and he accepted it. His name was Diego.

Diego gave us a wonderful ride though the canals of Venice, and he even sang for us while we reclined in the Gondola. It was a great ride, and Jennifer and I had a wonderful time floating along in Venice.

Afterwards, we headed to the Ghetto for dinner. The ghetto is a part of town where the Jews live, and during the second world war, the Jews were trapped on this one island by the authorities. This 'Ghetto' then gave it's name to all other ghettos in the world. One nice thing about the Ghetto is that it was devoid of tourists, which is something we haven't experienced for a while. We sat down, ate some cheese and drank some wine, then returned to our hostel for another night's rest.

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The courtyard in our hostel in Ven…
The courtyard in our hostel in Ve…
Gondola Ride - need I say more?
Gondola Ride - need I say more?
Venice
photo by: asturjimmy