Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Travel Diary - June 2nd

The sun woke us this morning.
It had just begun to shine through our porthole - either because the clouds had opened or more likely - because the ship had changed position.
I felt the vessel's gentle movement - the same rhythm that had made it so easy to fall asleep last night.
Then again, the check-in process of boarding a large cruise ship may have also helped to speed up that process.
We are aboard the MSC Armonia - an Italian ship.
A day after the Vogalonga, we boarded the big floating city and marveled at Venice - shooting hundreds of photos from the top deck as we passed through the Giudecca canal.
My daughter Cassandra and I staked out an area on deck twelve and went nuts with our cameras; she with a mid-range lense, and me with a big three-hundred.
I won't really know how well the photos came out until I'm back home in California at my computer.
Today we're in the Southern Italian city of Bari.
To my knowledge there are no gondolas here, but if there are, rest assured that I'll find them.
I spoke with Nereo Zane on the phone yesterday and he confirmed for me that the 2009 Vogalonga was among the toughest. When I return to Venice in a week, he'll give me a copy of Monday's Il Gazzetino and we'll see what the reporters have to say.
In the days leading up to the Long Row, I had hoped to visit with friends in Venice.
Unfortunately that didn't happen.
So to all of my friends (the ones I've met, and the ones I will soon meet) You can get in touch with me by commenting here and I'll try to respond to you via e-mail at the next port.
We're off to Greek and Croatian ports in the week to come.
In the mean time, I'm doing my best to communicate and function on a ship full of Italians. My language skills seem to be improving a little each day.
Wish me luck.
Arrivederci my friends,
Gondola Greg


Tamas Feher from Hungary said...

Hello Greg, were you on the GSVVM Mestrina with wife and daughter in the front?

I did not realize that until reviewing photos today. At the time I was running like a poisoned mouse from S. Lucia to San Marco and shooting at whatever appeared in the viewfinder.

I went to C. Avogaria's campiello before noon on monday but the premise was already vacated. (I got shamefully seasick on sunday afternoon, despite taking the Lido-Burano-Torcello route on the ACTV motorship).

BTW, I do feel something was not right about this Vogalonga.

Tamas Feher from Hungary said...

I was on the top of San Giorgio Maggiore's camponile around 10:30am on sunday. The wind was so strong it was literally impossible to straighten up, so I took photos kneeling, pressing the camera against the stone.

I saw a hungarian team arrive at Burano a little after noon. One must wonder how they made it there (20 person asian-style dragonboat, very narrow and with little freeboard). Some of those onboad wore lifejackets, which I consider totally justified.

Tamas Feher from Hungary said...

The Gazettino website now has report and photos online: many boats capsized and 50 had to be rescued from water! People accuse each other, the foreigners, the motorboats, the rowboats, the authorities, the "greedy" organisers and whatnot in the comments section, if the translation robot is right...

Next year there should be "rolling planning" with a backup "rainy day" reserved for such havaria events.

Anonymous said...

There are a series of short Youtube videos about this year's boatwrecks, search for vogalonga disastro 2009.

On a lighter note, Venezia has the winged lion, while the chinese have a winged cat: