Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Burano and Murano

Can it get any better?  We are having a wonderful vacation and enjoying ourselves.  Every day has been delightful.  Today we decided to visit Burano, a pretty group of islands known for colorful houses.  Burano is about a one hour ferry ride from San Marco where we are staying.  We wandered the little streets crossing the canals on quaint bridges and stopping for lunch at the far end of town.
It was on the menu so I had to have it, camino memories ...... Coquilles Saint Jaques (and a green salad) while Andree enjoyed her Spaghetti with Clams which looked equally delicious.  Naturally you can't have an Italian meal without washing it down with wine, so needless to say we had a nice leisurely lunch before catching a vaporetto back to San Marcos.  The conchas actually look like mine that Barbara and Ken gave me before my first camino walk in 2002.  Barbara and Ken served my Coquilles Saint Jaques on the shell that day for lunch, it was so thoughtful of them.  Barbara had lived in Spain so she was aware where I was headed and what I was about to do more than I was.
 What do you think this is?  Sure now, you know.
Venetian blinds in Venice .... thanks Andrée for pointing this out to me :)

The ferry returns to San Marco via the Murano Islands so we decided on a stop to tour the glass galleries.  There are many furnaces and glass blowing factories on the island supplying the galleries and gift shops.  We had been warned by our hotel receptionist in Florence that some shops sell Chinese glass products so we watched for it and know that what we bought is pure Murano.  Many shops have signs announcing "No Chinese Glass here".   Some of the art works were spectacular and others not so, some are a little over the top.
Then I spotted this sign .... at least the Murano shop sellers want you to know they have the real deal.
The islands of Murano is not as pretty as the Burano Islands but is worth a visit.  The glass making industry was moved to Murano in 1291 because of the fire hazard from the furnaces.  In 1291 the houses of Venice were mainly made from wood so fire was a concern.
Cometa Di Vetro - Comet Glass Star. 

Later in the afternoon, and although it was a little rich, I had to have it .... chocolate hedgehog!  Australian style hedgehog, not quite what my mother used to make but still producing fond memories.  Perhaps this is the original recipe and came to Australia from the Italians as Genoa was one of the first places to use cacao-cocoa.  As I finished the last bite I realized that I should have photographed it for Stephen who loved hedgehog when he was a kid (I don't know if he still does).  We did not know that the order was two slices each or we would have only ordered one serving, true!  Gave us both memories of the Lemon Meringue pie at the Grand Canyon with Kees and we spent some time laughing about that.  It was a long beautiful day at both stops.

After Burano and Murano we returned to our hotel to catch up on email and Blog.  We needed to  make and confirm the hotel reservations for our next stops.  We have another day in Venice and then the five hour train journey to Genova on Thursday.  On Friday I fly to Roma and onto Houston on Saturday.

Fantastic .... I can hear the thunder .... we are going to have a big storm tonight.  It is nearly eleven and time for sleeping, oh how lovely it is to lay in bed and listen to thunder outside.

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