Zion Canyon 2011

Zion Canyon 2011
Zion Revisited 2011

How To Approach an Ultra or Ironman

Jordan Rapp quote sums it up!

This Jordan Rapp quote sums it up.
"It's about the process. It doesn't matter what you do tomorrow and it doesn't matter what you did yesterday. It's about today, and making today count. That's especially true in training, but it's the same mentality that I carry into racing. Focus on the task at hand, not on the finish line, or the next part of the race, but what it is that is right there in front of you in the moment."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Italy, Day 6 .......Venice

 We arrived in Venice in style, aboard some old water taxis. I must say, Globus, our tour company, certainly pampered most of us most of the time. We stayed at the "Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal", and the little poster inside the room said it cost $505 euros/night, so around $700Cdn/night. Ouch.
We went to a glass blowing demonstration. The guy looked like a UFC fighter,  not a glass blower.

I was going to make a standard glass blowing joke, but decided this guy could crush me like a grape.

What is he making?

It's a horse! And he finished it in about 1 minute.

  We settled in our amazing hotel room, and headed out for the Sunset Champagne Gondola Serenade. It was great.
When the moooon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amorrrrrrreeee

Vooooh-larrrreeeeeh, whoa-oh, whoa-oh, some car-eh? Woah-oh-oh-oh.
Ellie is clearly enjoying herself....

Gondolier Pose-down

Turning off the Main Canal onto a side canal

Nice street scape

The competition!

  After the Gondolas, we ate a hearty dinner (I had the Sea Bass) and we spent the night drinking wine and beer in St. Marks Square with some of our new friends, watching the people go by.  A surreal evening, we even managed to stay awake until 11:00p.m., which is 5:00 a.m. back home.
The 160 ' tall clock tower in St. Marks Square. It was built in 1514, and collapsed in 1902, killing  a cat, nothing else. It was rebuilt exactly as it was over the next 10 years.

 The Basilica, St Marks Square.

The Doges were the rulers of Venice, which was an independent city-state. The Doge was a rival of the Pope, with just as much power. The Doge protected Galileo when the Pope wanted him killed for saying the earth revolved around the sun.
  Venice was a world power from 1200 to the 1500's. Once Columbus discovered America, it was over, they no longer controlled the world's trade routes. As an added kick in the ass, in 1630, the plague killed a third of Venice's 150,000 citizens.Not good.
Executions were held between the two pillars you can see.That's the Doges' Palace on the left.

  We woke up at 7:00am (which is 1:00am back home) the next morning to the sound of the bells of St. Mark's Square. It was the latest we were allowed to sleep the whole 10 days! But like a friend pointed out, it was a trip, not a holiday. We packed in an awful lot, which was nice. Anyhow, after breakfast we had a guided tour of Venice. I can't do it justice or describe this spectacular city properly, so lets look at the pitchers.
Forgot this shot of Portage at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Now back to Venice.

Very expensive shops in Venice. We saw boots for $10,000 euros. Very nice boots, but boots.

A chandelier made of Venetian Glass. One of these goes for about $50,000US.

 Later, we went by water taxi to Burano (a very colourful town that reminded us of Aruba), where we had a fresh fish lunch with lots of Prosecco, a local sparkling white wine. Then the womenfolk shopped, while the menfolk sat waterside and drank beer. Good times.
The men pass the time in Burano while the women shop.

Later on that afternoon, it was back to the Main Island and we sat in a waterfront cafe and watched the people go by (again). We were having another beer when Portage says"Look! It's our neighbours!"Sure enough, it's Tim and Heddy from just down our street in Toronto. They had walked right past us, so I jumped up and snuck up behind them."Can I take your picture?" I asked from behind them. Heddy didn't even  turn around, she just said"I know that voice,?!?!"We couldn't believe what a small world it is. They had arrived from Zurich, and neither of us knew the other would be there.
Just before we spotted our neighbours from the 'hood.Looks like we're waiting for the first round.



Elton John's place is somewhere behind this church.

Low tide. At high tide, some of Venice, like St. Mark's Square, flood.

  Later on, we headed back to St. Mark's Square for dinner, drinks, and people watching.
This was cool. St. Mark's after dark. That's Keith from Lloydminster Alberta on the right.

Dueling orchestras. One would stop, then another a few stores over would start.

The bells. They were amazing. More a bit later on this building.

Another Orchestra takes over.

The Clock Tower in St. Marks.  Two moving statues on top hammer the bells every hour.  And see the roman numerals halfway up? They tell you what time it is. This is taken at 8:40 am. 

 "This impressive clock was built between 1496 and 1506. "
The clocks workings were by Paolo and Carlo Rainieri, brothers from Reggio Emilia. It took them 3 years to complete. Local legend stated that other cities were so jealous of this fine clock, they circulated a rumour that the citizens of Venice tore out the eyes of the brothers to prevent them ever building a similar piece. 
 The clock doesn't just give an accurate time, but also shows the zodiac sign and latest lunar phase for the time. This is one of a few clocks in Venice that show a 24 hour clockface. The legend 'Horas non numero nisi serenas' is depicted, and translates as 'I only number happy hours'

Close up of the bell.

Night time bell, taken from our outdoor restaurant table..
Extreme close up

After a couple of hours, the final bill came. It was the most expensive dinner I've ever had. There is a cover charge of $6 euros just to sit down, and I'm guessing wine and beer were about $13 euros each. And we had some sandwiches, I don't even want to guess how much they were. But it was totally worth it. Portage wrote in her journal "What a wonderful night", and not only do I agree, I would do it again in a heartbeat!
Off to bed, an early start the next morning, leaving Venice for Assisi. Sad face.They don't call it the most beautiful city in the world for nothing.
  Portage has lots of amazing photos that put mine to shame, but she's still getting them organized. Once she does, I'll put up the best of the best.

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