|Saturday 22nd September 2007 Weather:- another sunny day-24 degrees
(J) We actually got up early today as we wanted to go to the markets; Fruit and Vegetable and Fish that is. It is about a 10 minute walk from our place, just on the other side of the Rialto Bridge. All the shops on the Rialto were still closed at 9:15am; they must be used to the tourists all sleeping in. The market square was buzzing though—more locals than tourists I suspect.
The fish market was the busiest, they had on offer a lot beautiful fresh fish that I had not seen before also life scampi (little prawns) crabs and wriggling eels; one of the eels kept hopping out of his bucket with the store owner trying to pick it up to put it back in, it kept slipping out of his hands—not a job that I would like to line up for. It was bad enough when I had to pick up a couple of life lobsters from the fish supplier in Sydney many years ago and then had to go home to cook them!! I tried to drown them in the laundry tub in fresh water but the buggers also tried to hop out all the time, and there was me pushing them back in with a broom while having hysterics.
I found out where all the good tomatoes end up, there were plenty of them in the vegetable market. I tried to buy a couple of little ones but the smallest amount that they sell is ½ kilo. As we are travelling tomorrow I do not want a surplus to have to take with us. That is a problem around here you cannot pick your own fruit in the market and the quantities that things are sold in are family size. I had the idea that we could have a nice salad for lunch today so my thoughts were 'a handful of salad greens, 2 tomatoes, a small cucumber, and a shallot' etc. That was soon dashed with the first request. In the supermarket the smallest amount of potatoes is 5kl. too many for these two little biddies. The selection in the market is fantastic especially in the variety of mushrooms, we have them at the Adelaide markets but the rarer ones are a lot more expensive. It was nice to see them piled so high.
After our market tour we decided to walk to St Marks Square to visit the Archaeological Museum or 'Museo Correr' it is dedicated to the art and history of Venice. We saw a lot of statues and busts, some of them from BC150 and some coins and medals from the early 1500's. Again there was some militaria of bygone days and also models of galleys and ancient maps of the world. The maps were drawn up by different nationalities as I noticed ones from France, Holland and Italy. One of the maps even had an early version of Australia on it (when they thought that Tasmania still was part of the mainland). The piece de resistance is the spectacular library; the book cases are all elaborately carved out of oak and they must be at least 20 foot high all with glass and oak doors. They hold some 1000 codexes left to the republic by Cardinal Bessarione in AD 1468. The ceiling was again adorned by masterpieces of the painting type, the artists of which are in all our vocabularies. At about that time Herman and I said that we are about cultured out for a while and that we should go outside to see what is happening.
I had a fleeting moment when I thought that it might be fun to sit in St. Marks Square to listen to some music, we had already ascertained that a coffee would be AU$15 each and "to make it worth your while" we had been told by fellow travellers you may as well have a bottle of white wine (AU$53 for the cheapest, most probably $8 in the supermarket) then when we found out that the cover charge was another AU$16 we decided that lunch at home was much more palatable. We are now off to the internet cafe to put these last two days entries on and then I will go home to start packing.
Tomorrow we are off to Barberino val D'elsa, I think, I had better check my itinerary.