Sunday, December 13, 2009

Venice from the water

The sun finally broke out next morning and I decided it was time to launch the vessel. I went across to the little square next to the canal and got the kayak ready. Piero helped me get in and launch and took pictures.

It was a magnificent sensation..Gliding in the calm, small, seldom seen neighbourhood canals and encountering all kinds of water traffic. The buildings were even more impressive when seen from the water level.

Once I had enough courage, I went down a major canal to the Lagoon. I paddled around opposite San Marco square to get some pictures.

As the wind was blowing there was lots of wave action, especially on the Giudecca canal, so I started going back on the Grand Canal. I stayed close to the shores to avoid the "vaporetto" and speedboat traffic near the center (and its wakes). Along the way I stopped and looked more closely at the magnificent "palazzi" on it's margins. I also tried not to get in the way of the Gondolas, especially the shared ones that cross from side to side.

I had to make a conscious effort to time my advances past the "vaporetti" (bus boat) stations so as not to block the way of any about to dock or depart. By the time I got to the Ponte Rialto, I was a bit exhausted and hungry.

I moved towards shore and an off duty "gondoliero" helped me tie my Helios and even gave some tips on where to get a cheap "fritto misto" (mixed fried seafood) and glass of white.

I sat on the piazza near the water edge and enjoyed, reflected on this peak experience I was living while I absorbed the rare winter sun.

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