Friday, March 09, 2007

Madonna, mai visto!!

Mike &Bondi in gondola (1) 
Bondi had a bad night with toxic gas, possibly as a result of yesterday's gelato [lesson learnt]. This meant several late-night walks to eliminate everything stewing inside him. I was being mauled by mosquitoes again despite being covered in insect-repellent, so needed little additional incentive to visit Piazza San Marco at 2am and other smaller squares at 3am, despite having to re-dress and negotiate 60 stairs in and out of the hotel each time. One good thing that happened out of this, was that I stumbled upon a store in a backstreet with a coat in the window that I really liked - and returned to buy the next morning.
Very early morning gondolas

Outside the gentle rhythm of the rain there’s very little to hear around inner Venice at night. With each departure I expanded the radius of our nocturnal walk hoping to stir the remainder of the gaseous spirits which had possessed Bondi’s innards to depart en masse.

Caffé del Doge
Inasmuch as a 5 day visit allows, I created a new morning routine by returning to Caffé del Doge, where I met two expat residents: Kim, a South African artist, and Beth, a misplaced Seattle-ite, celebrating one year on the Bainbridge Island of the Adriatic. Getting on like the proverbial, we arranged to meet up at 7pm at a bar near the Rialto. In the meantime, Beth escorted us to the (Basilica Santa Maria Gloriosa dei) Frari to atone for our sins inspect the religious art on display.
Venice 20070309 (1)Frari-stitch 1  Frari-stitch 2Venice 20070309 (3)
Grand canal

Around noon I started looking about for a suitable gondolier. Noting a couple who also seemed to be making the rounds, I suggested we split costs on a 80€ ticket, which they were quite happy to do. It also meant that we could swap cameras for photo-duty.

Mike &Bondi in gondola (2)  Mike &Bondi in gondola (3)
Bondi took it all in his stride, the gondola being much roomier than the Cambridge punt that he rode in 18 months earlier. The journey started on the Grand Canal, then took us on a circuit of some of the smaller waterways, before returning us to our starting point below the Rialto bridge.
IMG_0659  IMG_0679
I'd love to see some of the footage taken by bemused onlookers from the Rialto and other bridges. Our otherwise able gondolier was no great shakes in the vocal department, and although we hadn't requested anything, we got a few alarming bars from Lionel Ritchie's "All Night Long" which will probably stop him from becoming Venetian Idol.

Mike &Bondi in gondola (4)


  1. Mike and Bondi!

    Hello, my name is Holly and I'm a Malamute too!! Of course, I'm not quite as large as you, but I am 114 pounds (that's about 51-52 kg's) and I live in Omaha Nebraska, USA. My human is a member of Malamute-L, and someone posted a message about your adventures. So, I had to check it out!

    How lucky you are to be traveling all over Europe and the UK! I really enjoyed reading some of your adventures and seeing all the great pictures. I will be sure to stop back often to see what new adventures you are enjoying. Stop by my blog to read some of my adventures some time too!


  2. The Malamute-L reference is from March 11 here: