Our first night in Venice was to be a fairly laid back night and it was for the most part. We went out to have a Venician dinner. On our way the tour guide showed us a few quick sites to work up our appetites. I couldn’t get over how close the buildings were built together but there are after all no vehicles in Venice with the exception of one island. Some of the allies were no wider than two people wide. It was definitely something to see. The food quality at the restaurant was a bit under the quality of most of the dinners we’d had but it was certainly edible. We were served prosciutto with melon for an appetizer and tiramisu for desert just as we have for nearly every dinner and I have to admit that I’m getting a bit sick of them. The up side for many was that the unlimited drinks were included in the excursion price and most of the group certainly took advantage. Unfortunately I was and still am on antibiotics so this vacation is pretty much alcohol free for me.
After dinner our guide did something that was probably not wise — she decided to show us some more sites on the way home. Intoxication and site-seeing yielded some unfortunate results as we managed to lose two gentleman in the process. We spent a long time waiting for them and trying to find them but to no avail. Everyone had a theory as to how they got lost and where they might be. At about the same time we lost these guys I observed a bit of bargaining for one of those slingshot glowing light things that they sell in the main squares. The drunkenness lead to great annoyance to the seller as we tried to bargain lower than what was clearly his LOWEST price. In the end we got a sarcastic as hell “Grazie” along with the corresponding F-U gesture. I didn’t find out until the next morning that the gentlemen did eventually find their way back to our hotel (which was by the way on a completely different island that could be reached only by water taxi).
The next day we got up early AGAIN to put out the luggage, eat and head out on our official tour of Venice. The Doge’s palace was truly remarkable but I was a bit disappointed that we weren’t able to get in to Saint Marc’s Basilica, despite having a reservation, because they were cleaning for an upcoming visit by the pope. We did get to see some extraordinary glass making though. I was tempted to buy some glass jewelry but well I couldn’t justify the expense seeing as how I don’t wear that much jewelry.
That afternoon I skipped the gondola ride (guess I’ll just have to come back with someone special for that) but went on a lagoon cruise that night on the way to dinner in Burano. Burano, unlike the center of Venice, was very quaint and quiet. The houses were painted very bright colors and no two houses next to each other were the same color. It was simply a very picturesque island. The dinner was very good and I even found some nice souveniers and gifts. The area is also known for hand-made lace. I definitely appreciated this high level of craftsmanship as well but once again decided to pass — lace is not my style.