Living the life of the Jet-Set

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
Trip End Sep 27, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Italy  , Veneto,
Monday, September 13, 2010

From Steve:  Beck and I went on our clock tower tour this morning.  The history of the builder and keepers is interesting, for approximately 500 years there has been a family living in the clock tower winding the clock twice a day.  It started with the builder, the only man who could maintan the clock at the time, and was passed down through generations until a restoration in 1989 put electric pulleys in to wind it.

We followed the tower tour with a taxi ride to the island of Murano.  The ride was free because a glass factory sponsored the taxi to ensure they got people through the door.  Very nice wooden speed boat which was fun to ride in.  After Murano (island famous for glass work) we caught a boat to Burano which is another island this time famous for lace work. 

Steve's Word of the Day: History

From Alison:  Steve and Beck headed off to the clock tower ahead of Sam and I - we weren't on the tour, so no need for us to hurry!  :)  Sam and I got over their only five minutes behind the others and even though their tour wasn't due to start for another half an hour there was no sight of them.  So Sammy and I went shopping - (I shopped, Sam grumbled).  You will all be happy to know that I found myself some Black Italian made leather shoes with gorgeous pointy toes!  The big selling point for the salesman was the quality leather that they were made out of - very popular in Italy - Canguro - all the way from Australia!  (Kangaroo for those that haven't worked it out yet.)   

After wandering around for a while we decided to sit on a step and wait for Steve and Beck - very brave as there are lots of 'no sitting in St Mark's Square' signs all over the place.  When we thought that their tour must be nearly finished we stood in front of the clock only to see them appear on the roof!  They stood there looking directly at us and couldn't see us waving madly at them - must be blind (or maybe it was that there was about a million others there as well!)

Wandering towards the ferry to go to the islands of Murano and Burano a man hijacked us and asked us if we would like a free water taxi ride to Murano!  So we said yes (must have been his easiest sell all day), and headed off with him to the water taxi.  We had been warned before we got here that the water taxis are super expensive, and they look so slick, we just couldn't resist a free ride.  There is no such thing as a free ride - it took us directly to a glass factory where we 'were under no obligation to buy', but just try and get out of there without opening your wallet!  I am now the proud owner of a gorgeous vase - the guy was trying to sell us a $20,000.00 chandelier - I don't think so. 

After the most expensive pizzas so far we walked around Murano checking out all the streets, bridges and shops before catching the ferry to Burano to see the lace.  Steve decided it would be prudent if he and Sam caught up with Becky and I at 6.00 pm - giving us time to stop at every lace shop that we desired.  One lace shop lady made the glass salesman seem a pushover - she was so pushy!  Thank goodness not all of them were like that.

The best part of the lace at Burano - is that the actual Burano style lace is still made by hand by the locals - so it isn't cheap but it is gorgeous.  There were ladies in several shops working the lace and in one street there was two ladies sitting making lace while the kids played around them - a true cottage industry.  While wandering we saw a shop that said 'Antico' so we went to see what antiques they had (thinking they were for sale).  In the back of the shop was an antique lace collection - free to view - there were about 50 lace fans along with dresses and fragments of lace dating to about 1600 - a couple of pieces were even older.  The further into the collection you got - the further back it went- and upstairs - and back even further.  It was divine. 

A slow ferry trip back to our hotel (we didn't spend enough for the water taxi to take us home :)  ), we had a late dinner at the restaurant next door before collapsing into bed.  (Oh yes - I had beef rib steak cooked over lava stones with vegies!)

Alison's Word of the Day:  Lace

From Becky:  Today me and Dad headed out for breakfast earlier then Mum and Sam and met them down there, we then left Mum and Sam at the hotel and headed off for a clock tower tour. The guide told us about how it was Venetian before Catholic for your religion, and how the Saint Mark lion above Virgin Mary on the clock tower resembles this. We got told heaps about how everything on there was working (there was a man that had to wind the clock twice a day and he only had two days outside and his son had to wind it up then) and how it was considered a prison. When it was almost 11:00am, the guide took us up to the top of the tower where the bell is and we watched one of the statues hit the bell with his hammer to tell us that the next hour is coming, we then went down a bit, but still on the roof, to watch the second statue hit the bell to say that the hour has started, but it was broken, it tried to hit it but it couldn't.

We got a free taxi to Murano and watched some people make glass leaves and horses, it was AWESOME, there was a shop right next to that area which we got dragged into and mum bought a vase, I asked if there were any of the horses which we saw the man making but he said no, when he was convincing mum to buy something he said that he'd give us two free horses (yay!). We then wandered around that island and had lunch there, then went to Burano for the lace. Burano had brightly coloured houses which I loved, there was pink, purple, yellow, green and red, it was so colourfull and pretty. Sam and Dad went around the entire island when Mum and I were still at the start so we set a time and place where we would meet and went our separate ways. We wondered around the streets and I bought a lace umbrella.

After Burano we took the ferry back to the hotel, had dinner then went to bed. Another action packed day.

Becky's Word of the Day: Colourfull

From Sam:  Today I had banana flavored yoghurt for breakfast at the hotel before taking the Vaporetto to Saint Mark's square where we waited for Dad and Becky (who had left earlier). While we were waiting Mum shopped for a bit before finding a step for us to sit on so I could play PSP. We saw Dad and Becky up the top of the building but, despite all of our waving, they couldn't see us. While we were walking back out of the square a man approached us asking if we would like a free taxi ride to Murano (an island where glass objects are made) (we were about to take the Vaporetto there anyway). We got in the taxi (a speedboat) and headed to the island.

When we reached the island we were given a free tour of the glass factory with a display/shop of glass objects at the end. All of the glass was very fancy and cost way too much. A man who worked in the shop/display tried to sell us everything there and gave us many prices 'only for you' that were still too expensive and tried to sell us something else every time we tried to walk out 'We can still be friends if you don't buy but ...'. When we finally got out we had some pizza (they were tiny) flavored diavolo (spicy) and another flavor that I can't remember. After lunch we wandered around, went into a park and Dad and I complained and tried to hurry up Becky and Mum as they stopped at every building we walked past. Just as I was getting tired of saying "hurry up!" we arrived at a vaporetto stop and got on the vaporetto to go to Burano (an island where lace is made and all the buildings are brightly colored). We walked down the street in front of the vaporetto stop. By the time Dad and I had finished looking at that street Becky and Mum had nearly finished looking at the first shop. Because they were going so slow Dad and I decided to have ice cream. After our ice cream we explored the area. We went into a church and walked through the main square. After this we went back to the Vaporetto stop and played PSP while we waited for Mum and Becky. When they finally made it back to where we were sitting we took the Vaporetto back to the main part of Venice (it was a lot slower than the speedboat). When we arrived back at the main part of Venice we had tea ( I had a mixed meat skewer with cooked vegetables, a piece of Capricciosa pizza and some bread).

Sam's Words of the Day: Incredibly boring

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