photos by Ed Mohr
When your dad knows just how obsessed you are with gondolas,
and he's on vacation in Austria and sees some boats that remind him of your obsession, well, you get a photo of some "zillen".
What the heck are "zillen?"
they are long flat-bottomed boats in Austria and southern Germany.
The singular form is "zille".
These boats are rowed by a standing oarsman,
who faces forward and only rows off of one side.
I described more about these unique wooden craft a few years ago
in my post "Familiar Rowing Style in Austria"
(along with video and links to other online posts).
That post was based on the zillen on a lake called Hallstätter See.
The ones above were spotted on the shore of Traunsee - a neighboring lake.
Like Venetians, a lot of the residents of Traunkirchen are fishermen.
The pulpit in the church there is actually shaped like a boat,
symbolizing that they are "fishers of men".
My dad also told me thatTraunsee lake is also said to have its own lake monster known as "Lungy". In Austrian folklore, The legends tell of a Waterhorse being ridden on the back by a Mermaid. There are some rare photos and videos online showing what appears to be a large creature swimming in the lake.
(As if I didn't already have a good reason to visit the region)