In my previous post "Success in Budapest", I shared a written report from Tamás, who was there when Vittorio Orio arrived at the end of his expedition which began in Vienna.
Here we have a collection of great images captured as Vittorio made land in the Hungarian capitol of Budapest.
The chase boat.
Media attention at the arrival.
Shaking hands with dignitaries.
So what does Vittorio Orio's boat look like?
Let's take a look:
The gondola and her chase boat.
One of the key elements, of course, is making sure that the sponsors get good exposure.
A good gondola expedition should always have a good cause:
...and a ristorante worth visiting:
After all the rowing and handshaking, the boats were hoisted and everyone went home happy (and tired, I'm sure).
Some comments for the photo sequence:
Photo 1: Mr. Orio rowing southwards to the diplomatic reception.
Photo 1: Strictly speaking, the gondola is in violation of the treaty with the flags. The Danube has been an internationalized river since 1920, so anybody from any country must be allowed unhindered passage up and down, but the flag for the nation of the territory (e.g. Hungary in this case) must be flown at the forefront and the vessel's own national flag at the poppa.
Human-powered boats need not fly any flags, but if they do, they must obey the rule. This regulation is somewhat strictly enforced, in hindsight, it's a bit suprising the police boaters ignored the Fondazione + Marina Mercantile + 2 x Serenissima flag setup. Maybe they were in a big hurry to send the expedition to the reception site.
2: The gondola being towed upriver after the diplomatic reception, the line is faintly visible. Danube river width is about 300 meters (330yds) at Budapest, water yield varies between 2-8.000 cubic meters per second (currently on the low side, but the current is still strong).
3: Mr. Orio rowing southwards to the reception site, Margaret Island's disused water reservoir tower visible in the background
5: The sightseeing motorboat is a converted former minesweeper vessel. Built in Yugoslavia for riverine and coastal use circa 1980, has alu body to avoid magnetic fuses. Three sisters continue to serve in the hungarian military's riverine fleet.
6: At the urging of the police speedboat, Mr. Orio starts the extra etap southwards for the diplomatic reception.
8: Very first photo of the sequence, Mr. Orio turns into the yacht club's bay, before the police boat arrives.
10: Notice how the river Danube is isolated from the city. On each shore there is a 2x2-lane north-south highway right on the riverbank, plus tram tracks, plus the height difference because there is stone breastwork in two tiered segments, to keep a maximum of 10 meter floodwater between the banks.
On one hand, Pest was razed by a Danube flood in 1838, for lack of protection, on the other hand, the residents of Budapest are now effectively banished from the Danube, it is so difficult to get down there and put your our ankle into the river. Will change in a few decades, hopefully.
11: The honourable lady in the flowery dress is the italian ambassador to Hungary.
11: The building of the Parliament is seen in the background. Built of limestone, acidic air pollution eats it, so some parts of the vast structure are almost always under scaffolding for restoration. (This time the part that faces inland.) Carries quite an amount of venetian styling clues mixed with excesses of 1890's neo-gothic architecture.
It's getting rarer to find a city that has that many trees in between the infrastructure. It's almost like a John Hayson-designed mansion I saw where the house looked almost overwhelmed by the trees.
This almost makes me want to start a Gondola business. If anything, it would make for some very unique sydney harbour cruises.
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