This is a gondola.
|Silly Venetians. Boats go in water, not in a palazzo!|
Row Venice might be for you. For the 80 euro you would have spent for 40 minutes riding, you can get 90 minutes of instruction on how to row yourself.
I met Nan, my teacher, near the marina, where she helped me in and showed me the basics. They seemed pretty...well, basic. Then I got to start trying, and oh my freaking sweet Hell, it was a lot harder than they make it look. It was easier on the body than paddling a canoe - I guess the oar lock helps your body do the work, and the motion is a lot like walking, or it's supposed to be...I never quite got it right, and my oar kept popping out. Which brings me to how it's harder than canoeing. I don't know why I couldn't figure it out. Possibly because - contrary to how graceful I ALWAYS seem, haha - I am not a very coordinated person, and your body does a lot of different things when you voga properly. There's the weight shifting back and forth, while not going up and down, but your knees are bent softly, twisting your wrists, pushing the oar FROM THE TOP, pulling it back, keep it flat! So many different things going on at the same time, and while it's something you just have to do and practice, I'm a visual learner, and you can't see all that, so I followed Nan's commands not to look at the oar, and I didn't fall out or drop my oar, which given my track record is success.
The sweat absolutely rolled down my face. It was hot, but it wasn't as hard work as I was expecting it to be, and it was as much fun as I was expecting. I'm not sure if I'd do it again, but I'm really glad I tried it.