25 August 2014

In which snails and lobsters make a run for it

Saturday morning dawned grey and cold and wet, but it seemed a fair penance for the unusually cool but bright week of weather we'd been treated to over the rest of the cruise. The most dramatic, as we learned while boarding the water taxi to the Rialto markets, were the rough waters brought on by the wind.
A small canal between the Lagoon and the Grand Canal
From the industrial port, through little back alleyways of canals, to the Grand Canal, we made our way past converted mansions (now condos) and municipal buildings to the Rialto bridge, and the markets in its shadow. 
The Rialto fish market
Joining our adventure was the ship's chef, looking for inspiration for the evening's farewell dinner.
Characters of the market
Stalls of beautiful vegetables are similar all over the world, I've found, so I'm often more interested in watching the shoppers, in this case mostly older men and women with little rolling carts and no care for anyone else's toes. Carlos (our chef) picked up some rocket (arugula), green beans, tomatoes, and green plums from his favorite vegetable vendor, then led us on to the fish market, located in a nearby covered plaza (formerly the entrance courtyard of a single family home).
We're having octopus for dinner!
For the most part, people buy their fish, then hand it to guys at the end of the stall, who are happy to descale and filet the fish. It's an impressively fast display of knife skills. 
Carlos teaches us the difference between shrimp types
Carlos bought ocotopus and lagoon shrimp (whose shells are sorter, because they have no natural enemies) for our dinner, then let us alone to explore around the market.

My favorites were the slowly escaping snails.

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