November 1, 2019 Nov 1, 2019   Venice, Italy

The minute we got off the train in Venice's Santa Lucia station, the train itself an attractive conveyance, with modern bathrooms, wide seats, and free snacks in business class, and fast, at one point the speedo showed 298 kph, well, as I was saying, as soon as we got off the train I was flooded with the feeling that we'd made a mistake. I knew the feeling well, it was the exact same I had when we got off the bus in Atacama after the long ride over the Andes from Purmamarca. I wrote something like Atacama appears to be a place where other places send their garbage. In today's case, Venice hit me with the impression that it is a mash up of Disneyland, a cheap Caribbean cruise, and Las Vegas. It turns out even off-off-season Venice is mobbed, and it is with people I don't want to be around. And this being southern Europe it's overlaid with the stench of second-hand smoke. Makes you want to come, eh?

Funny thing though, after a short while Atacama moved up in my estimation, actually it became a south American high point, so I've learned not to hold onto first impressions as sometimes they are attenuated by experience.

And sure enough, by the time we jumped off vaporetto No.2 at Giudecca Palanca I began to see a glimmer of hope that my attitude could adjust. I saw a bit of Bangkok in the way the packed water busses race around each other and then oh-so-briefly tie up to the dock, kind of like a bee exchanging pollen with a flower, only this time it's clots of humans disembarking and embarking.

It was getting late so I set my camera to b&w which I think captures the feel of Venice, all light and dark, outlines and shimmers, a magical and ancient ambiance. Not sure I'll leave it in b&w but for the moment that's how I like it.

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Vaporetto No. 2