Monday, May 21, 2012

The Denmark Gondola

Showing up in Copenhagen, I was looking forward to finally meeting Simon Bognolo in person. We'd stayed in contact via e-mail over the years but this would be the first time we shook hands.
I was happy to find him even more friendly and accommodating than I'd hoped.
He was also a lot taller than I'd expected.  But having spent some time in various Scandinavian countries, I'd gotten used to being towered over.
Simon's father is originally from the Veneto - Giudecca, to be exact. 
He moved to Denmark after having met his wife who was Danish.
This gondola, like several others I've encountered over the years,
serves as a way for her owners to stay connected with their heritage.

Judging from the condition of the boat, the family has stayed well connected - she's in pristine shape.

Denmark receives her fair share of precipitation, and Simon has an effective rain cover to keep the water where it should be.
After deftly uncovering the gondola,

And placing the flag-bearing canon,
The boat was ready to go.

As is the case with many gondolas in seasonal regions,
this vessel had been fully painted and prepped before her launch just a week or so prior to my visit.
There was fresh non-skid pain on the gondolier's platform,
and all surfaces were black and shiny.
The gondola is referred to by her owners as "Stefania" - a name engraved on the top of the trasto da prua.

We grabbed some oars and headed out onto the lake for a nice,
if all too brief, row in the sunshine.

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