We've all seen hundreds of photos of Venice.
It's lovely to actually be here and see the real thing.
It is just like all the photos and movies you've seen.
Trying to find your way around with a map is useless.
We stumbled upon the Bridge of Sighs today when we were sure it was way off in the other direction.
We were advised to throw away the map and navigate by landmarks so that's what we are doing. ..... Lots of wandering, getting completely lost and in the process discovering some gems around a corner.
It's very busy. Particularly around St Mark's. I'd hate to be here at the height of the season.
However, once you move away from St Mark's Square the crowds thin to a trickle very quickly so they are not bothering us really.
The photo opportunities are boundless and we keep trying for that perfect shot.
Today we decided to go to Murano and Burano.
Now, we had been warned by lots of people that Murano was too touristy and not to bother but we are so glad we did.
Luck was on our side and we entered a glass factory right down at the end of the quay. There was no one there and man on the front door explained that the public were only admitted to the shop.
"OK, it doesn't hurt to look, " we thought to ourselves.
At the shop door stood a young man whose family owned the business and as we were practically the only people there we fell into conversation with him. Before long he was ushering us through a door and we were given a personal tour of the factory, had the glass blowing process explained to us while we watched the artist and his assistant create a lovely chandelier !
But wait there's more !
Next we were invited into to high flyers showrooms upstairs to see all the really expensive stuff. Nothing much under 5000euros and most of it exquisite and much, much more.
Regretably , we were not permitted to photograph it and it is beyond words. We were terrified we'd knock something and have to sell our house to pay for it !
He didn't seem to mind when we left without purchasing anything and we made our way along the canals shaking our heads at our good fortune.
Next, more by accident than planning , we managed to find the stop for the boat to Burano.
What a treat waited there for us !
No, not the famous lace but the pretty buildings that line the canals.
They've made a feature of their town so that not only do they have exquisite lace and linen
but wonderful eye candy buildings and neat orderly streets.
No way you could escape with out some fantastic photos.
So once again we've had a lovely day.
Didn't cost much ( just the price of a pretty scarf and a necklace of Murano glass beads )
and we stacked a few more incredible memories away.