Are you familiar with the HMS Honey Badger?
After finally making it to Saint Mark’s Square, we wanted to take a gondola ride but couldn’t justify the exorbitant price just to float around in circles and go nowhere. So we decided to take a water taxi.
We got in the water taxi. The captain shoved off. We calmly entered the channel amidst ferries, other water taxis, and even gondolas on the open ocean.
We headed towards the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. We’d seen it a bunch from the shore but had no idea what it was.
From there we trolled up one of the less-populous channels, idly drifting past old waterfront houses and passing watercraft. The whole time it felt like we were on the set of Casino Royale. All it was missing was Daniel Craig chasing shadows through these sinking neighborhoods.
Our captain was clearly bored with his route, as he alternated between steering, texting, and talking on the phone like a crazy nasty-ass. I wanted to rub his fuzzy head but the entirety of the cabin separated us.
We rounded another corner of a large canal into a very narrow corridor. This one was barely wide enough to fit three boats abreast.
I thought for sure it would have to be a no-wake zone but the captain roared his way down it to the chagrin of some poor guy trying to repair his moored boat off to the side. He yelled at our driver. Captain Honey Badger didn’t give a shit.
And with that, we pulled up to a dock for water ambulances which our renegade pilot freely moored the boat to.
What? We thought for sure we must be misunderstanding him. Surely he meant 16.
He wasn’t kidding either.
We paid him and disembarked, more than a little sore at thinking we just got fleeced. So we wandered over to the nearest water taxi stand and looked at the fare board (none was posted where we embarked that I noticed) and saw that to get to Saint Lucia station would have been 110 Euros, so 60 to take us about halfway there sounded right.
The irony was not lost on us that we took the water taxi because we thought a gondola ride was expensive. No matter; it was still a hilarious experience in Italian high-seas courtesy.