Thursday, June 06, 2013

15th Anniversary Trip - Day 6

Today we explored Murano and Burano, two islands a short boat ride away from Venice. Murano is famous for its glass, and Burano, its lace. Both islands, for the most part, lived up to their hype.

We saw two different glass blowing operations on Murano, and they were both equally impressive. It boggles the mind the amazing creations that they fashion using little more than a long hollow metal tube, a pair of tongs and a heck of a lot of heat. Apparently the glass blowing ovens are kept at 2100 degrees F 24 hours a day, as it takes days to bring them up to that temperature.

One of the most amazing sites we saw today, if not during our entire trip, was when a master glass blower pulled a blob of hot glass from the furance. With seemingly little effort he drew out various lengths of it and shaped it. Before my eyes, in about 20 seconds, he managed to create a horse sculpture. The legs, mane, tail, and head were all pulled from that one blob in fluid motions. Truly stunning.

Another cool part of the trip: our guidebook reported that behind the alter of the Santa Maria e San Donato church were dragon bones! I can now report that dragon bones are large, but not as large as you might expect. Maybe this was a relatively petite dragon that Saint Donato dispatched?

I continue to be fascinated with Venice as a city. Of course all goods must be moved in and out of the city by boat, or if on land, by cart. I stood there like a 5 year and old and snapped photos of the trash boat as it did its duty hauling away Venice's garbage. I suppose this sort of scene is to be expected, but to a land lubber like myself it was really cool.

Tomorrow is our last day on the island, and then it's back to solid ground in Paris and more tennis. Now that I'm invested, I'm actually quite excited to see how this whole French Open thing works itself out. Look for us in the very top row of the men's semi finals and the men's finals! And I mean very top!

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