Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Assumption Day

I am still here, lest you think that bump to the head got the best of me! Just been sleeping alot actually....amazing what a bump to the head can do to ones desire for sleep!

Today is Assumption Day. Being that I am Protestant and not Catholic, I havent the slightest idea what it is about! :-) But I do know it is a major religious holiday here in Italy and that everything is closed. In all actuality, however, I kinda liken it to our Labor Day or Memorial Day...there is a meaning behind somewhere that is long lost, but most people spend the day at the beach or BBQ'ing with friends. And so it is here. High mass was going on today at many churches and the bells were ringing non stop all day but the majority of Venetians headed off to the Lido and elsewhere for some R&R.

Although it was strangely nice walking around Venice in the middle of the day without crowds (who told all the tourists to leave today also????), I ended up travelling to another island--Sant'Erasmo.

This is the largest island in the lagoon area--bigger than Venice--and known for producing most of the fruits and vegetables I see in the market apparently. I hear they grow the best artichokes in the region. It was about a 1/2 hour boat trip to the island which is not that far from Burano (the brightly colored tourist trap island that everyone goes to). I knew going into it that there were only two things on the island 'worth' seeing.....the tower and the church (and since the church was built recently, I figured I didnt have to see that).

Right from the bus stop, you could tell that maybe a couple of hundred people inhabit this island as the majority of it is swamp and farm land. No directional signs anywhere, so I used rule number one in Venice--when in doubt, follow the people! I was actually surprised at how many people were on the boat to Sant'Erasmo--about 20.

We walked for a bit and then saw what was supposedly the tower. It was actually more of a two story round building but who am I to judge what is called a tower back then? It was so uneventful that I didnt pay the 5 euro to go in and I didnt even take a picture to show you! Then we strolled over to the only place to eat on the island--Bar Tedeschi (German Bar!) It was basically a glorified Luby's where you grab a tray and point to something you want. So, again, nothing worth photographing for you.

After lunch, we strolled along the beach for a bit. The beach here is no comparison to the Lido...much smaller, more rock but you can basically park your boat right offshore and set up camp. I think this is the draw for most Venetians. And because it was overrun with speedo's I chose not to photograph for both your benefit and mine!

So, not a photographic day but I am still glad I went. Not everything can be exciting in a town, right? And with all the walking I did, I was able to indulge in two scoops of gelato as a treat!

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