Trip Start Feb 25, 2005
11Trip End Mar 06, 2005
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When we woke up at Casa Petit this morning Gaston (the dog) greeted us happily and wanted to play fetch. The little family is away, and Manuela's sister is looking after us. We had our usual breakfast of granola, croissant, black vanilla tea and some sort of mystery juice, and then we took a 40 minute water bus to Murano, the island where glass is made.
Murano is beautiful. It's a sleepy little town away from the hustle and bustle of tourism (at least it is in March). Rick liked it better than Venice because of the quiet. We actually found hot chocolate for 2.50 and Cafe Americano for 1.00 (in euros), the cheapest yet. People were friendlier in Murano, too. We were sent by a salesman (we think now) in the wrong direction to a factory/storefront where the glass was very pricey, and the workers were on lunch break
We wandered into another factory and watched two men, one young apprentice and one master (we think) make glass roses from a lump of flame. They made it look so easy. Rick said it seemed like a sort of dance they'd been performing so long they didn't need to speak to each other anymore. They passed the hot glass back and forth between each other on long iron poles. One man stretched and stamped it. The other added finer details and fused the pieces together-- petals to leaves. They were silent, and the kilns hummed with fire.
We strolled down the canal peeking in shops and visiting with the local cats until sunset. Rick was in search of beads for Nan. He picked out some in a little shop that was buried in dust. The store owner must have just reopened after a long winter's break. She was dusting all of the glass while we were in there. I dusted a few pieces with my sleeve just to watch the metamorphosis.
We stayed until sunset and then went back to Venice to search out the Modern Art Museum for the next day. We found the bus stop, and then wandered through the little streets near San Stae following a stumbling drunk who was bellowing an Italian song and peeling an orange. We could smell orange everywhere, and the next day we saw the peelings left in the snow
We had a delicious dinner at a osteria near the museum (which we found eventually). We had seafood salad (which really has no greens in it, and I just closed my eyes and swallowed the octopus tentacles whole), and tortellini with proscuitto, and cannelloni, and flan for dessert. We don't like flan, though. But our waiter was bald, and he said, "Tonight for dessert we have flan, prepared by me," lowering his head and pointing at his chest. We couldn't refuse.
There's something about going on a journey together -- maybe it's a miniature version of life in fast forward. There's so much joy and surprise and awe and confusion in such a short span of time. I think we are doing all right.