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Old 14th September 2010, 14:08   #136
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Default Swiss Visa and Entry

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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Yes, this changed in 2008 I believe. You do not need a swiss visa if you possess a valid Schengen visa.
Dec 2008 to be precise. When i was in the Netherlands mid 2008, i had a Schengen Visa and a Dutch Resident Card. The Visa was only valid for Schengen countries and like Sam described without any immigration or border control we could travel via road/ train to any other EU countries. However the case of switzerland was slightly twisted.

Switzerland allowed entry to
1) EU citizens
2) Swiss Visa holders
3) Resident permit holder of EU countries.
4) Citizens of Countries who are allowed visa on arrival.

Hence in spite of me holding a Schengen Visa ( Swiss excluded) ,Dutch Resident permitted me entry to Switzerland .

My immigration lawyers informed me that once i had the a EU resident Card , I need not carry my passport, since all my relevant details and information could be accessed by any EU government organization via the unique id no on my Resident Permit.

EDIT: all the above swiss vs schengen visa restriction on was applicable before Dec 2008

Last edited by leadf00t : 14th September 2010 at 14:15.
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Old 14th September 2010, 16:19   #137
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Default Arrival in Venice!

We realise that there are about 3 to 4 large park houses at San Roma. This is the area beond which cars may not go.

How would they? Venice is connected only by walking paths and waterways.

Quanto costa?
35 euros a day!! Jesus Christ, that's like getting a hotel for the car!!


As we drive up to the second floor and begin to park I receive instructions from the parking attendant in German.

Why is he speaking to me in German Jenny?
Your numberplate.

Ah. I forgot.

Throughout the EU, you can identify any car simply from the European Union Stars and the letter in between them.

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D for Germany, I for Italy, F for France, GB for UK and so on.

I am a bit annoyed. It is expensive to leave the car here and pay parking fees of 2500 rupees per day!

I soon realise that the extent of the attendants german is, forward, backward, left and right.
You leave car open and key inside.
No.
says Jenny before I can react.
Everyone everyone. He waves around. Everyone open and key inside.

Soon we're dragging our bag and standing at a hotel booking/information service.
Hotels in Venice are really pricey. Ordinary family guesthouses are 70 to 80 euros. Simple hotels are 150 euros and fancy hotels are all 200+. Whoo.

How do we get here?
By boat bus.
Nice. Where's the station?
Here. You take number 1 and get off at this boat station.
She marks it on the map. The ticket is 6.50 euros each.
We take boat route number one to Piazza San Marco. Our hotel is here.

Bags on the boat bus (can take 100 or so people) and off we go!

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GOD! What a place! Narrow waterways, stunning architecture, beautiful!

Hot to the point of sweat, beautiful sun and unbelievably blue sky. None of the photos have been color corrected. That's how it looked!

And we haven't even started yet!

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 14th September 2010 at 16:24.
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Old 14th September 2010, 17:45   #138
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So Italian border/immigration control exists for air and sea entry only.
I think they do not have border/immigration control for air travel also, if your flight originated in a Schengen country. We had travelled from Paris to Rome in Dec '06, there were no checks in Rome (IIRC).

On the other hand, during the return journey for the same trip we took an overnight train from Florence to Paris - our passports were taken away during the night and returned only in the morning.

I have also made a couple of few Paris -> Brussels trip by train and my passport was checked each time.

Are the rules different for travel by train?
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Old 14th September 2010, 18:10   #139
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Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
I think they do not have border/immigration control for air travel also, if your flight originated in a Schengen country. We had travelled from Paris to Rome in Dec '06, there were no checks in Rome (IIRC).
Right you are. There are no immigration checks within Europe, it is pretty much treated as a domestic flight.

Example: If you flew to Paris and then took another separate flight to Rome (please note this is not the same as having a single ticket with Air France to Rome) you would only have an immigration stamp from France.

Let me explain.

Scenario one: You buy a ticket to Rome on Air France. Your ticket has one change at Paris. Your baggage is checked all the way to Rome. You get off the flight, do not pass immigration and take the next flight to Rome.
In this case, you receive an Italian immigration stamp.

Scenario two: You buy a ticket to Paris from Air France. You then buy a second ticket on Alitalia (Domestic) or Air France (Voyageur) or any airline which takes you to Rome.
You are expected to collect your baggage at Paris. In this case you receive a French immigration stamp, even though you are flying to Italy next.

Then you receive no stamp when you arrive in Rome as you have arrived on a euro-domestic flight.

You are however, expected to fly with your passport. No option there.

Quote:
On the other hand, during the return journey for the same trip we took an overnight train from Florence to Paris - our passports were taken away during the night and returned only in the morning.

I have also made a couple of few Paris -> Brussels trip by train and my passport was checked each time.

Are the rules different for travel by train?
You are obliged to carry your passport. Train, air or car. But I've never heard of passports being taken away overnight. That is strange.

I never leave my passport with anyone for more than 5 minutes.

I have travelled very often by train in Europe. Sometimes my passport was checked by a police officer (he did not check every passport on the train) - I guess it was because I am not and don't look European.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 14th September 2010 at 18:19.
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Old 16th September 2010, 03:08   #140
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Default Venice!!

As we weave through the grand canal of Venice I see beautiful, beautiful and romantic sights.

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It does not take us long to get to our boat station and from there we walk to our hotel.

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It is about 5 in the evening, but that is the wonderful part about European summers. On a hot summer's day, sunset can be as late as 10pm, giving you a long beautiful day to explore.

We check in, take a quick shower and we're out exploring again. OF COURSE the first place we walk to is the St. Mark's Square, the Piazza San Marco.

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It is magical. We walk around a bit and at the same time get some information.

Venice is beautiful, but not our final destination. Of course we want to get information about the ferry that can take us to Croatia, either tomorrow or the day after.

And that's when we find out...

The Ferry from Venice to Pula or any other Croatian port is passenger only. No cars!

Of course there are ferries that do take cars and passengers but these are from Ancona, not Venice. Driving to Ancona is pointless.
We look at each other and shrug.

Let's just drive to Croatia.
Yeah, let's.


And so it is settled. We're going to drive up to Trieste and then past the Slovenian border into Croatia. Easy, lol.

Now that that's decided we continue enjoying the streets of Venice until it gets dark.

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I'm hungry.
Yeah me too.
Let's stop to eat something.
OK let's.

How about here on the left?


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How beautiful! Time to eat some Pasta!

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 16th September 2010 at 03:18.
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Old 16th September 2010, 03:12   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
As we weave through the grand canal of Venice I see beautiful, beautiful and romantic sights.

Attachment 424538

Attachment 424540
Wow, great pictures. A perfect setup for honeymooning. I know you said, you are just beginning...
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Old 16th September 2010, 03:40   #142
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Default A beautiful evening in Venice...

Dinner is slow and full of talking and maps. By the time we finish, it is already getting dark. The city is still alive and beautiful. We walk, like you must in Venice.

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That looks like an Opera House.
Yes it does.


She goes over to ask.

Justa begin. You go now.
The tickets are about 30 euros each. The opera house looks old and grand and I am sure that the opera would be grand too.

It is indeed.

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Wonderful performances from the Barber of Seville and more, it is lusty and delicate and completely enjoyable.

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I am still in a dream. I find it hard to believe that unplanned, my wife and I are watching an opera in Venice, Italy. How beautiful and blessed life can be.

Later, we leave the opera and walk back home, past the San Marco square. It isn't sleepy, the performers are playing and the people are eating and drinking and laughing.

But we are tired. And rightly so.

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We walk home. Back to our Hotel, Hotel Do Pozzi at the Corte Dei Do Pozzi. Simple, old, small and clean. Perfect.

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We get to bed, with tired legs and shining eyes. What a great FULL day.

What a beautiful place.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 16th September 2010 at 03:42.
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Old 16th September 2010, 05:22   #143
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nice pics sameer, Venice is indeed very romantic and utterly beautiful.

and congrats to you and jenny and best wishes for a gr8 life together,

cheers
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Old 16th September 2010, 10:36   #144
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Sam, a quick question.
How does the water along the waterways in Venice smell?
Is that not salty water? And is it stagnant? What about the waste management of the city?

I read that tbe buildings are actually built on wooden foundation which over the years have become like granite slabs.

Once again, a long and happied married life to you both.

-Biju
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Old 16th September 2010, 10:46   #145
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Awesome Sam,
Really good to read this TL. Feels like we are with you. Great narration, I am sure you have heard it a million times before, but cant help it.
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Old 16th September 2010, 11:05   #146
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Once again, a long and happied married life to you both.
This is what happens when thoughts travel faster than the fingers! (embarrassed smiley).

So here's once again wishing you both a long and happy married life.

Last edited by pjbiju : 16th September 2010 at 11:11.
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Old 16th September 2010, 11:16   #147
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Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
Sam, a quick question.
How does the water along the waterways in Venice smell?
Is that not salty water? And is it stagnant? What about the waste management of the city?

I read that tbe buildings are actually built on wooden foundation which over the years have become like granite slabs.

Once again, a long and happied married life to you both.

-Biju
Hi Biju,

No it does not smell. No more than any island or waterlocked city smells. No more than Amsterdam or Fort Cochin.

Yes, it is salty water, Venice is built in a lagoon of the Adriatic sea. THe same blue sea that touches the Croatian coast.

You are correct about the buildings. However it is also noteworthy that Venice is sinking, but at a miniscule rate. Don't worry, we are talking about a country that prevented the leaning tower from leaning any further. They won't let anything happen to Italy's erstwhile fashion capital.

I am not sure about the waste management though I may be full of crap but I'm not qualified to answer that question, but WHATEVER it is, it works well.

Thank you for your wishes. The story continues today.
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Old 16th September 2010, 12:54   #148
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Wow, Venice is amazing. Italy is the European country I most regret not visiting. One day, maybe!
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Old 16th September 2010, 14:31   #149
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On the other hand, during the return journey for the same trip we took an overnight train from Florence to Paris - our passports were taken away during the night and returned only in the morning.

I have also made a couple of few Paris -> Brussels trip by train and my passport was checked each time.

Are the rules different for travel by train?
StarrySky! I guess you traveled by EuroNight which is the nightly intercity train between European cities. On these trains it is common for the coach attendent to take your passport and return it back in the morning. This is by used so that you can be tracked and passports can be examined during border crossing at night. Some EuroNight services have seater accommodation in addition to sleeper (couchette) for which the passport is not collected. Also, note that when you are in Schengen region you are always tracked. If you are staying in a Hotel, the hotel authorities take care of this information.
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Old 16th September 2010, 16:14   #150
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Stunning Sam, simply stunning!! This is stuff that dreams are made of. An unplanned road trip across Europe. What else can you ask for?

Best wishes to Jenny and you.

I think I want to go to Venice now!!
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