Our first full day in Venice began with a morning boat ride to a Murano glass factory. It was already hot out with 85% humidity when we stepped off the boat.
We were treated to a guided tour and a glass blowing demo. Theresa tried to take photos but couldn’t keep the camera lens clear of fog because of the humidity. The craftsman made it all look so easy.
Depending on what you’ve read, Venice has a reputation for the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of the canals. Some writers have asserted that the canals “smell.” Our only experience with that issue happened on this city hike. While going down a narrow alley, most in our tour group were assaulted by a powerful stench. When our guide took us around a corner, we discovered the source, a septic tank pumper boat. We quickened our pace, rounded a corner, and had no further run-ins with odor.
The basilica turned out to be anti-climactic. First, it was insanely crowded, even with our “jump the line” passes from Trafalgar. Second, the Gatekeepers prohibited visitors from showing “exposed shoulders” and “exposed knees,” which frankly seemed like an excuse to hawk gauzy thin “wraps” at 2 Euro apiece. Finally, no photography was permitted inside the sancutary, which was quite dark and frankly not as well appointed as some of the smaller churches we had been in earlier on.
We grabbed a quick lunch and then met the boat for the leisurely ride back. But first, I discovered an Irish pub just up the street from our hotel, which occasioned a “different” sort of pilgrimage.
This being the last full day of the Group tour, we enjoyed a farewell dinner at the hotel, which Theresa followed with some nighttime photography. It was much more relaxing for both of us, knowing that we had additional days for exploration. Most of the members of the group had early flights the next morning.