This is our last full day in Venice as tomorrow is a travel day yet again ... it has been nice to be in the one spot for a week!!
Having tracked down "Row Venice" we were lined up to go rowing on the canals today! A group of young people who have some older Venetian boats - not Gondolas but somewhat similar, konwn as "Batelas" - give the punters a chance to row themselves around the canals of Cannaregio, with one of them firmaly in command at the back!! This meant we had to catch the Vap at Celestia for the couple of stops to Orto. We were a little early so we joined the start of 11 am mass at Chiesa della Madonna dell'Orto which was complete with Baptism! Just like being in St. Vincent's!!!
At 11:30 our batela and guide promptly returned from the previous outing and after being shown the finer points of providing the engine power to a Gondola (the brains, steering and control all rest with the guide at the back) we set off for a splendid hour and a half! We had felt that the actual Gondolas were just a touch tacky, akin to a ride around Central Park in NYC in a horse and carriage ... great for a romcom movie but a bit cheezy in real life! - so were happy to raise a real sweat!!! We navigated the various canals of Cannaregio and ventured out into the misty Laguna for a short while as well. Mick, of course, hammed it up by singing something remotely resembling a Gondoleri song and we had a lot of fun!! It was vry well worth doing!
Back home for a late lunch and a snooze before heading out to catch up with Marion Gifford who was to arive around 6:30. We had a couple of beers while waiting and really enjoyed seeing Marion emerge from the crowds around 7:15, after a somewhat difficult travel day - she is certainly the intrepid traveller!! Acting as tour guides we steered through San Marco and along the Rives before sharing a most pleasant meal at one of our regular haunts!! There was much sharing of travellers tales and laughter before, after leaving Marion at her hotel we fell into bed around 11:30.
Tomorrow, as a "big" travel day sees us catching the Alilaguna at 12 for the trip to the airport when Emirates will whisk us to Dubai (5.45 hours); 3 hours wait thence to Sydney (13.50 hours) where we arrive around 10 pm on Tuesday!! ... see you then!!!