“Pig-Dog”: Friend, Not Food! Picking Up Our Boat From Italy

Ciao, my name is “Schweinehund” (read more about my name HERE) and I was born in July 2015 near Florence, Italy. I am a wing rigger double scull rowing boat and my “skin” color is celeste (sky blue). After around 14 hours on the road last week, I now live in Vienna, Austria. My “parents” Marlies and Tina are really nice and are always very exited to see me. It is currently extremely hot so the three of us sadly can’t spend a lot of time on the water because there are almost always too many swimmers and recreational boaters (as well as terrible algae), but it can’t stay this hot all summer, right? Thank god I am used to the heat from my home in Tuscany. But let Marlies tell you more about her trip to Trieste, from where she, her mother and her grandmother picked me up last Wednesday.

I had been looking forward to the day I would be able to pick up our new boat ever since it was ordered in late May. After rowing with a boat made for heavier crews for almost a year, we decided to test a few different Salani boats at Thomas’ club because we were thinking of possibly buying one. We had the best time and couldn’t stop smiling. I just felt right. The wait was too long of course, as it always is when you are stoked about something. Needles to say, I woke up with the biggest smile on my face last Tuesday morning and couldn’t wait for my mother and grandmother to pick me up and hit the road to Italy. After picking up the trailer from the club and having breakfast with my mother’s partner and his mother at a highway rest stop, we enjoyed a scenic drive through Austria and Slovenia. Unfortunately, I was so exhausted from my workout the day before, intervals on my stationary bike, that my mother had to drive most of the time, with the exception of one or two hours. I couldn’t help joking about the fact that she had to chauffeur two “sleepyheads,” me and my almost 90-year-old grandmother, around half of Europe.

My mother and grandmother at a rest stop in Slovenia

View from rowing club Adria’s roof

Trieste by night


Rowing club “Adria” is on the far right

Thanks to my mother’s speedy driving (I can’t confirm she was speeding because I was asleep. Haha.), we arrived at the rowing club Adria Trieste, where we would meet with the Salanis the following morning, almost in time. The club’s coach, Pino Castriotta, and his daughter and translator, showed us where to park our trailer and car and invited us to the club restaurant for a drink. The club is located beautifully in Trieste harbor and the view from their roof is stunning: boats, shimmering water and Miramare Castle in the background. After chatting about rowing for a little while, we checked into our accommodation on Piazza Venezia not far from the club and I got a chance to do my workout while my mother and grandmother started exploring the town. Unfortunately, the exhibition on the years Trieste was part of Austria that my grandmother really wanted to see had already closed, so they walked around a bit and bought groceries for breakfast. After my workout, it was finally time to get dinner. Of course I was already starving and thus very pleased we were able to find the restaurant, Zoe Food, one of a few vegetarian places in town, very quickly. Unfortunately, the menu was only in Italian, but one of the employees was kind enough to translate for us. All but two or three dishes were vegan, so we had a lot of options. I got a wok with whole-grain rice, seasonal vegetables and tempeh and my mother, who eats vegan most of the time, got a vegetable bowl with millet. The dishes were all very good, but could have been seasoned a bit more. We all really liked their yogi tea latte, as well as their desserts, which weren’t overly sweet. My grandmother complained a little bit, but the has a slight sugar addiction, which isn’t very good if you have diabetes. Oh well.




The hard work is almost done


Leaving Trieste

Crossing the border into Austria


At a rest stop

The next morning, we got up quite early, had breakfast and headed to the club across the street. Since the Salanis had not arrived yet, we went for coffee with Pino and one of the rowers he coaches. We were deep in conversation about rowing, coaching practices and the weather (there is one big rowing family after all) when Leonardo Salani and his son Elia arrived and joined us for coffee as well. Afterwards, it was finally time to “meet” our boat and move it from one trailer to the other. Everyone was extremely helpful and kind. It is so wonderful to be part of the Salani Boats family now. I feel so honored that Leonardo, the boss himself, was so interested in our plans for our rowing future, encouraged us to share as many pictures as possible with them and asked us for feedback as soon as we got a chance to try out the boat. It simply was much more than “just” a business transaction, and I made so many new friends on the trip. I am hoping to visit Florence, the Salani boatyard, and the club in Trieste in the near future. The journey home was very relaxed and I managed to drive through most of Slovenia. We were very happy to get home at around 7pm though, as it had been a long drive nevertheless, and eternally grateful that the Salanis met up with us half-way. Lastly, I would like to thank Pino and the club for helping us out so much. It is a dream come true to finally be able to train with a boat that is perfect for us, and we are looking forward to getting as much time on the water as possible.




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