We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A foggy day in Venice

Yesterday morning we set off for Rialto market in search of fish, more precisely sardines, for our Christmas Eve meal. The fog was thick, so thick that all the vaporettos that run up the Giudecca canal were being routed up the Grand Canal. Typical winter though, it's foggy here. Here's what the vaporetto dock at Sant'Elena looked like as we were leaving.

I disembarked at San Zaccaria, with the intention of walking the remainder of the way from St. Mark's up to Rialto.  I had no idea there was a regatta being held yesterday, so  you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to discover  several boats queuing up right in front of the San Zaccaria boat dock. Not your usual regatta participants either. All the boats were being rowed by Babbo Natales- and , looking a bit closer , I spotted some ....yes, that's  right, women rowers.  Brava, ragazze!!!
These photos are as good a view as I could get, through all the fog.

As I watched these women maneuvering their boats, I found myself having an Italian language discussion with myself, in my head.  I thought..if one is Babbo Natale, is two or more of them (males) Babbi Natale??  or Babbi Natali??   Is a female then a Babba Natale?? And more than one Babbe Natali??
I found myself completely in the fog... inside and out!!   So I convinced myself to give up. To satisfy myself and end the internal debate, I took it upon myself to call these female rowers "Babette ", and not worry about the plural at this time. Basta.   At least then I could get my head out of the fog.

Hmmm... Rudolfo and friend pulling....a boat, not a sleigh. Only in Venice!

I didn't have time to stick around to catch the entire regatta as I needed to get to the fish market before it closed.  The market was swarming with people, all with the same shopping list I had, evidently- fish for their holiday meals.  I bought crab, oysters and rombo. Unfortunately, not one tiny sardine left in all of Rialto to be had by the time I got there (about 10:30-11 am).

Loaded down with not only fish but a bag full of vegetables, I waited for the vaporetto at Rialto Mercato to return home. Fortunately, most of the fog had burned off.  As I waited for the #1 boat to make it's way down the Grand Canal, some of the Babbo Natale regatta racers were making their way home down the Grand Canal, post race. I had a great vantage point for photos right on the front of the dock.

Wonder if she is the Ice Queen??

As the last rower passed in front of me, I turned to my right, and caught this man also observing the rowers (see photo below) while queued up for the vaporetto.     Santa?????

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