Last week skipped from Croatia across to Italy. Our purpose was to collect our first visitor from Marco Polo Airport (Aunty Robyn, mum’s sister) and to spend a few days exploring the magnificent isle of Venice.
Attempting to clear Italian customs was an interesting experience. After a long day of travel, that afternoon we found ourselves bobbing around on a Venice Lagoon waterway looking for somewhere official to land. We sat on VHF radio for at least half an hour in a frustrating and almost comical radio conversation with the Venetian Port Captain’s office. We were handed around to different officials who each asked the same questions over and over. Despite the information we provided, they came to the conclusion we were a commercial ship and would need an agent to clear into the country.
After fruitless attempts to argue otherwise, we eventually gave up and navigated our way to a marina for the night. The next morning dad and Mike wasted four hours on foot in another attempt to clear customs. They were directed back and forth to different (and often the same) police and customs offices trying to locate the correct official who wanted to stamp our passports, view our ship’s documents and clear us into the country. As we were not arriving through airport customs, the whole process can be more time consuming and complicated by boat. It was hardly worth all the effort after our short stay in Italy, but we weren’t keen on breaking immigration laws so early in the trip. Dad and Mike plan to write to cruiser’s resource website Noonsite to recommend an amendment to their ambiguous description for locating Venice’s Polizia Frontiera office.
Prior to that, a highlight was motoring finally my darling through the Venice Lagoon entry channel and alongside the island via the main canal. We dodged past sleek Italian taxi boats, canal ferries, gondolas and a monstrous, police-boat escorted cruise ship that towered over the delicate Venetian architecture and was heckled by anti-cruise ship protest boats as it departed. For a tiny destination already besieged by a mammoth 20 million tourists yearly, the eyesore of a very different type of floating city destroying its serene vistas has understandably crossed the fine line of preserving a harmonious balance with tourism.
Though the appeal of Croatia was too strong. So after determining there was little else worth seeing along the North Eastern Coast of Italy other than a few grubby shipping ports, we skipped back across the Northern Adriatic. Whilst this post is geographically coming to you again from Croatia, I’m eager to share some images from what can simply be regarded as one of the world’s most photogenic cities.