The gondolier was young. Probably in his 20s. He teased one of the women, the one who couldn’t swim. He tilted the gondola and asked her if she was ready to swim. It was in one of the smaller canals and less than a meter deep. I don’t think any one of us would have drowned if we had fallen in there.
Later, one of the women commented that she saw us heading towards a wall. He quickly maneuvered the gondola and we went down another small canal. At one point, one of the other women caught him talking on his cell phone. He didn’t care that we saw him. Yeah, he was cocky. He put the phone away and soon we were on the Grand Canal near the Rialto bridge.
He told us one of the buildings there on the Grand Canal was worth €20,000,000. Uh…wow… Like the other buildings in Venice, it’s older than the city I’m from. A travel boat saw him and honked. He deserved it. Really. Then we went down another smaller canal. There was a delivery boat with two guys unloading some things on the dock. The naughty gondolier shouted at them in Italian or was it Venetian? Of course he was giving them a hard time. Well, one of the delivery guys answered in the same language in kind.
Of course, he had to chat with the one of us who was from Mexico City. (She had excellent English and I know she was the one of us who learned it as a second language.) I’m sure he was speaking Italian or Venetian and she was speaking Spanish.
When the ride was done, we were back at the Hard Rock Cafe. The naughty gondolier jump off of his gondola. He lit up a cigarette as we were helped out of the gondola.
I have to say that I enjoyed the gondola ride. I don’t know that I would take another one if I get to go back to Venice…