a boat tour of the lagoon

No morbid, black plague thoughts tonight. Just pictures of an engaging boat tour that we took yesterday to three islands in the Venice lagoon just north of the main island: Murano, Burano, and Torcello. Our guide took the six of us on a private boat up through the lagoon onto each of the three islands. There was a heavy fog early that mostly disappeared as the day grew older. Towers and old homes and well-used boats and ruins and even a lighthouse appeared through the fog as it lifted.

Dad and I were standing together in the back of the boat, the air cold against our face as we gently motored along the lagoon. I looked over at Dad and said, “We are on a boat out in the lagoon north of Venice, Italy.” He replied, “Could you have ever imagined this?” I said the same thing to him in Florence, obviously about Florence and not the lagoon, and I am sure I will say the same thing to him at the Vatican Museum in Rome (and at many other sites).

Murano is the island where the famous glass artists and their studios are located. Many years ago, the Venicians moved the glass makers to the island to the north due to the threat of fire from their furnaces on the main island. We could not take photos inside the studios. The works are considered masterpieces of original art.

the glass flower garden in the courtyard at the Murano Glass Gallery

Burano is further north in the lagoon. It is a very quaint town of 4500 residents with many visiting tourists daily. One of the best coffee shops we have been to so far is there. Colorful homes and captivating scenery are everywhere. There is even a “leaning tower,” only slightly less famous than Pisa (like me, you have probably never heard of it until now). Lots of flowers and laundry, too. You will see it in the pics. Burano ranks as one of the favorites for me so far on the trip, along with Lucca and Florence.

Torcello sits just north of Burano. It is an ancient island, less inhabited and less modernized. A church building built in the early 600s is there. Hemingway is said to have spent a good bit of time on this island. He both rested there as well as wrote. I am sure he fished, too. The buildings were magnificent. The most impressive sight to me was a bridge with no rails that spanned the little canal over to a seaside villa hidden by the rows of a vineyard and a few sycamore trees. Beautiful island.

Giovanni

Two additional things. Dad got a new hat. He looks cool in it. And we did laundry at a local washeteria run by a very interesting and friendly man who had been a guide to travelers in India for nearly 15 years. Thanks to Giovanni, we understood how to operate the washing machines (they are somewhat different than ours at home).

Well, enough typing. Here are the pictures from the boat tour:

the artist and the furnace at Murano

the hot glass on the end of the pole

the finished piece!!! a horse made right in front of us!!!

my cool and cold dad

ruins on a small island out in the lagoon

the primary mode of transport

love all the colors of Burano

one of the canals of Burano

the town square and leaning tower of Burano

i took this for Abby (she likes pink)

we talked with an elderly woman grilling fish (better said, she laughed at us for taking a picture of her fish)

great contrast. great dad.

lots of bikes around Venice and her islands

lots of restoration and maintenance, too

the portico of the church building on Torcello, built in the early 600s

a column inside that church building

one of the doors of that church building

i'd like to have lunch here one day with Jen (along a canal in Torcello).

just a cool pic of an old boathouse

this was taken of me on the boat ride back to Venice.

the lighthouse of Murano on the way back to Venice

gliding through the lagoon back to our hotel

reentering the canals of Venice

just a cool pic i snapped on the way back

one of the many buses (er, boat taxis) of the canals of Venice

the gondolas docked

a gondola in motion

our boat driver and our guide

we ate a late lunch at a "Florida" ristorante.

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