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My early morning walk around the campground left me with free day passes for the vaporetto — a woman I met was leaving today and she had a pair of three-day passes, she thought it would be a shame to waste them and gave them to us.

We’d started talking after the two of us almost walked into each other, both were too busy watching an enormous container ship glide past, almost near enough to touch.

Breakfast in the café, more 1980’s music. Cyndi Lauper and the Village people, endlessly repeating. How the barman can stand it I don’t know! We escaped back to the tent to plan the day’s activities.

Caught the 10 o’clock ferry across to Venice again; then hours and hours of endless walking. Boats here are used for everything — deliveries, garbage collection, workman’s cars, ambulances… We hopped in and out of shops, looking at glassware, looking at paper-ware, hopefully trying to find a wedding album! The glass is too breakable, the paper too bulky, neither really suited to carrying in a backpack — and both are quite pricey!

Another ferry across to Murano, home of the Venitian glass industry. We debated catching the ferry all the way around from the Arsenale on the south, but decided to avoid the hour-long trip, to walk across to the north and catch it from there. Dived back into lane-ways and alleyways as we zigzagged through some very non-tourist parts of the island, ordinary grocery shops and cafés, no glass, no souvenirs, finding our way without too much problem across to where we wanted to be.

Onto the ferry and across to Murano, then an hour or more spent looking around the glass museum. An impressive collection of Venetian glass from the 15th century to today, together with archaeological glass finds from back to 100BC. Some of the three or four hundred year old pieces were almost indistinguishable (to me) from pieces created in the last decade! Most of the museum is labelled in English as well as Italian, but the layout of rooms is slightly confusing, and with no map or floor-plan we nearly missed visiting a few rooms.

Exhausted on leaving the museum, it was definitely beer o’clock. The first café that we sat down at refused to serve just a drink — for some reason there can’t be enough profit on €5 beers without food as well! The second attempt was more successful, two cold, refreshing beers for only about two-and-a-half times what they cost in Australia!

After the beer it was time to start heading home, lest we be forced to do the unthinkable and have to pay for a meal in Venice! Back to the ferry, then packed in like sardines for the Murano-Venice trip with all the homeward-bound commuters. A long and tortuous path through lanes and paths and streets and stairs to the Stazione to check train timetables for tomorrow, then back to Fusina wharf, just like yesterday, we were just in time for the 19:10 ferry.

Another sunset trip across the lagoon, magnificent colours as the sun sank through the pollution haze over the oil refinery. Three large cruise ships or Mediterranean ferries were all leaving at once, dwarfing us as they silently moved past in the channel, and the bay was so thick with tiny fishing boats that it looked as though you could use them as stepping stones to get from one side to the other. What were they fishing for? The water looks shallow enough for it to be shellfish off the bottom — with the islands only one or two metres above sea level, is the water here that much deeper?

Back to the campground for a beer before dinner, the barman’s accent jolting with the friendly greeting of “Gidday, waddaya wantmate?”

Dinner of pizzas and another half litre carafe of wine, nothing exotic, everything tasty, everything enjoyable. Then off to bed with the distant sounds of the refinery and ships passing in the lagoon.


Venice Fusina