08 Oct 2002 | And then there's Venice


Namur is where the rivers Maas (Meuse) and Sambre meet. I love cities with big rivers flowing through it, and Namur is no exception. It has a lively night-life, a nice old town and a great citadel overlooking the city. Too bad we weren't allowed to explore the city to a satisfying extent. We arrived quite late and had to catch our plane at 6:30am on the next day.

Raynair doesn't really fly to Venice, just like they don't really fly to Brussels. From Treviso airport, even smaller then Charleroi, you have three options for getting to Venice: Taxi (expensive), public transport (slow and infrequent) or shuttle bus (expensive and slow and infrequent but the most convenient).

In the week prior to us leaving for Venice, I had tried to secure a place to stay. Almost impossible. Originally, we were going to arrive on a Saturday evening and, apparently, in October, that meant booked hotels for months in advance. Although we now arrived a day later, we still planned on staying at the same place I did find a week earlier: a camping 'just' outside Venice. Not that we were going to stay in a tent. The largest part of the camping featured small bungalows in odd shapes.

We took the shuttle bus from Treviso to the Venice train station. From there we took a bus to Marco Polo (Venice airport) and from there we had to take another bus to the camping. We managed all this but, as it turned out, the directions given to me by camping staff ware incomplete. We got the right bus leaving from Marco Polo airport, in the wrong direction. By the time we figured it out, we had no choice but to walk back all the way to the airport and on to the camping. A mere five kilometer walk. When we finally arrived, we put together some lunch from the camping store and enjoyed the bread, cheese and wine alongside a nearby canal, just before taking a very necessary midday nap. We had made it. Sort of.

On the Canal Grande

Gondolas in Venice cost a fortune. I'm serious. The few people that do rent one generally take the 50 minute trip with 5 or more people, to make the trip slightly more affordable. An alternative is to take a vaporetto. Vaporetti (the plural) are, basically boat services running along the Canal Grande. The vaporetto No 1 runs from the train (and bus station) on one end of the Canal Grande, all the way to the Lido, going through the complete Canal Grande and passing the Piazza San Marco (if ever you've seen anything of Venice, it's this Piazza (square). The No 1 is slow, the trip from the train station to the Piazza San Marco takes about an hour, but the cost (about 3 euros for a ticket) is nothing compared to euro-per-minute for the gondolas.

Most of the pictures I took in Venice this time (this was my second visit) I took on one of two trips we took with the vaporetti during our two days in Venice.

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Packages Narrow street Quiet canal Three horses On the square Chugging past Smokin Workers Empty square Golden Feeding the pigeons Open waters Little blue boat Open doors Close to Venice Entering the market Up on the balcony Venices main square Insides of a church Waiting to get in Curly wurly Gondolas passing by A simple house Overlooking the canal grande Going under Contemplation Casino di Venezia A little garden Little church Up side down wheelbarrow Dusk approaching Gondola for hire Through the doorway Entrance A gondola and an overpass Green boat The Piazza On the main square Got something to sell? Betsy in Venice Pillars on the square The red hatter Gondolas in a row To dredge Where it all happens A pigeon is here, sir On the water Ride of the Valkyries Passing by Gondolas approaching Arches Moving Gondolas waiting The race Casino di Venezia But, which way? Jumble Church on the water Stopping for lunch Betsy contemplating Red A seagull on a stick Garbage On the go Sticks Your transport is ready Steps Babak and Betsy in Venice Columns C Coming through Grilled Through a crack Kids Posing in Venice Cornered Bridging the gap Overpass Statuesque Upside On the quay Playing guitar Get me out of here Under construction Overview Looking old In the distance Church A house on the corner Blocking off Racing past Next Blue and white The lonely boat Dropoff Facade Sided Full house Striped pyjamas Lonely man The Chinese are coming In unison Take me to the bridge The Rialto bridge Watered down Covered up Two boats A narrow canal A push Flyby Coming in Canal A wooden quay Facade Incoming Luggage Green zone Venice train station Luggage transport in Venice Dusk Cornered Quay side Chomp! Looking up Abstract hole Pigeons attacking Transport Taking it easy The drama! Thinking of that lost love Staying decent Our robot overlords have arrived Ladies Pointy Parked Church In transit


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After obtaining an M. Sc in maths, Babak Fakhamzadeh started with an office job at a major blue chip company but soon realised he'd do better on his own. Babak is a traveling web guru with a penchant for doing good and a love for visual and experimental art. Together with Eduardo Cachucho, he won the World Summit Award in the m-Tourism and Culture category in 2012 for Dérive app. With Ismail Farouk, he won the Highway Africa new media award in 2007 for Soweto Uprisings . com. Check out Babak's CV.


Babak is currently in Brasil.
+55 219 6557 5388 (Brasil)

August/September 2014