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Venetian Violin Via Gondola

May 30, 2007

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As the gondola swayed on the Grand Canal, Mozart donned her Venetian mask and played her violin which our gondolier Roberto just loved!  Both his grandparents and his father before him were gondoliers and
his good friend was a violin prodigy and still plays here in Venice. This will definitely be a place on the violin-playing-around-the-world video that we are making, that will be obvious where it is, instantly.

It was DaVinci’s great idea to use her mask that we had gotten as a souvenir and to do her violin video for Venice while we took our gondola ride. It turned out to be a great inspiration as it is my favorite one next to the video in the Sahara. Mozart had a lot of fun doing it and loved picking out the right mask. She could not wait to try it on and even wore it for a few minutes on the ferry ride to Venice.

We took some on the Grand Canal and then later did some at a very pretty area in the smaller canals.
I am not sure when we will get time to edit and get these up, but we will eventually even if it is in the winter in Spain. Perhaps we will add a few more if we end up with a long stay somewhere this summer.
It is challenging enough to just keep up with the blog on the move and finding places to upload it, so you might just have to wait. That is why I thought I would at least give you this teaser still photo that I love.

I can not imagine going to Venice and not doing a ride on a gondola, but it is a very expensive splurge. We walked around and negotiated with lots of different gondoliers. I wanted someone in nice traditional dress, DaVinci wanted a beautiful and comfortable gondola, we both wanted someone that would understand our video needs and Mozart just wanted to go on one. The prices range from eighty euros (for a shorter ride and lesser boat) and up, and we ended up paying a hundred euros  for a forty five minute ride and were very happy with our gondolier and ride. It is definitely worth a one time splurge.

We decided to go with someone who could tell us a little more about Venice instead of a singer (although that was tempting). We actually did not see one singing gondolier in Venice in our five days there, so not sure that there are many of those, if any. We were happy to go under the Bridge of Sighs (where prisoners during the Inquisition were led from jail to the Doges’ Palace), to see where Marco Polo lived and died and other places.

Mostly we just enjoyed the romance of riding in a gondola,taking in the views of Venice from this level and our sweet gondolier Roberto. We saw more of the every day life and importance of boats as we watched things get delivered, we watched the tourists on the bridges as they watched us, we got a close up look at other gondolas as we passed them on the canals and just relaxed in the shade, gentle movement and sound of water.

We really could not miss a romantic kiss on a gondola, so we drafted Mozart to be our photographer to capture the moment for eternity. She has only used her own camera and not ours, so it was a big responsibility (especially over the water when we have already lost one camera),but she was up for the task and did a great job. She started with a practice picture of me with her dad watching and then was ready to do a few “couple” shots for us. I guess we will have to add photographer to her many talents.

Of course, never one to be left out, she decided she needed a kissing shot too, so we got some cute mom and babe “romantic” kiss shots too on a gondola. In hindsight, I wish I would have got some with her smooching with dad too, but somehow we did not think of it at the time. There is a lot to see, the boat is moving along and musical chairs is not easy to play on a small boat, so there were shots that we missed.

I was happy that DaVinci got a good one of Roberto pushing off from a wall which is a move that fascinated us along with how very close he would come to other boats negotiating his way, yet never hitting any. DaVinci was particularly amazed at his adroit manipulation of the boat thru hectic situations and would shout out a “bravo” from time to time. I love the photos we got of Roberto and Mozart together which was a spontaneous move we could have easily missed. I think we have more than enough great pictures and video to remember this special once-in-a-lifetime moment.

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