Thursday, June 12, 2014

Venice Islands

The evening before we planned to go to the Venetian islands of Burano and Murano we asked at the hotel about it, wanting to know how to get to the right vaporetto stop. They told us to ask the person who was on duty in the morning.

The next morning we went to the reception desk and duly asked about getting to the islands.  We were told that as a special service only to guests, we could get a water taxi to Murano and a tour of a glass factory, all free of charge. To get from Murano to Burano we would have to take the public vaporetto, and likewise take the vaporetto back. We should have smelt a rat. Or should I say, a scam worthy of "Scam City" [a TV program that sets out to reveal scams in various cities throughout the world, like the "tour of the Vatican" which will miss all the non-existent queues, which we fell for in Rome]. We were walked (at any incredibly fast pace) to the Rialto, where we boarded the water taxi. When we arrived at Murano we were met by someone who took us to the glass factory, and then passed us onto another man, who said he would be our guide for about the next 45 minutes. We watched the glassmaking, which was incredible.  Such skill! The process was explained to us and everything was looking good. Then we were taken to see some examples of the finished products, and that is when the hard sell began. I must say, I did enjoy looking at the pieces, though much of them were things that I wouldn't have bought at any price. One of the hard sells were for gaudy chandeliers. There were a couple of things I really did like - red glass jugs and glasses - but the price was astronomical. Once we made  comments to the effect that we did not want to pay 400 Euros for a jug he started losing interest in us. He suggested that we look at the room with the discontinued pieces as they were cheaper. Again, a lot of them were things that I didn't like, but there were one or two pieces of jewelery that I might have been interested in, but our guide had to leave us at that point, and another man took place, and he kept following me around with a mirror saying that I could try things on if I wished.  That hard-sell was the final straw. We left without having bought a single thing. So it was a waste of time and money for them, but not so much for us.

Glass making in Burano
After that we wandered around the rest of Murano.  The concierge had also given us recommendations for a place to eat on Burano and a place to buy lace,  but after that we didn't feel like even  considering them, so we had lunch on Murano,  and then caught the vaporetto to Burano.

All the examples of lace I saw in the shops there were all the same thing. What appealed to me most about that island were the brightly painted buildings, though I don't think Andy was so keen on them. Well, we can't all like the same things. [Andy is a Georgian at heart - he likes symmetry and muted colours.]

Colourful buildings in Burano

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