Our night train was fine, as stated before in my earlier post it was a lot nicer then the night train from Berlin to Vienna. If K and I had had the car to ourselves for the entirety of the ride we could have scooted the seats down across from one another to make a bed type thing, but alas.
The seats were still better then before. Around midnight we we welcomed in two other night train travelers in Salzburg. Cooper and Carlo. We stayed up till about 3am just talking and laughing. Because there were only 4 of us in the compartment, Cooper and Carlo were able to lay out in the way that I described earlier but K and I being across from each other had to make due with the space that was left. It was alright, we had done it before we could do it again.
I woke up around 5 and was greeted to an astonishing view of mountains and Italian countrysides. This was a breathtaking sight and I managed to snap a few pictures along the way.
K and I got into Venice fine, we went to the train ticket office first as always to figure out how we would get to Florence. We were given two options, we could get there in 2 hours and pay 10 euro or we could get there in 4 hours and make two transfers (we decided to pay for the direct high speed train). We then walked entirely across the city (to the Rialto bridge from the train station)
and its confusing streets with our backpacks on in order to find a travelex ATM (we had almost no more cash left).
We then walked all the way back across the city towards the bus station to buy our tickets to get to the campsite that we were staying at back on the mainland. We would have liked to stay in the city center but unfortunately everything was really pricey. We got to the campsite without too many problems and it only took us about 25-30min. We were able to get into our rooms right away at 11.
We got lunch from the market that they had which was alright but pretty pricey, but there was no other supermarket around the campsite. We were pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.
K and I decided that we were going to use this day as a rest day, do laundry, finish my Vienna blog and just relax. Which we did. Later that day while we were sitting by the wifi spot we saw Carlo (from the grin walk in) we talked with him for a bit. Then the friends that he had met at the campsite earlier that day came by (Robert and Sam). We just talked, joked, and asked for advice from them for the rest of the night which was really nice. Robert was from the Washington state area which was nice to talk about that and maybe I'll have friends over there when I get back :) :) ! They gave us some awesome travel tips, too bad we couldn't explore a city with them, but they were off to Paris the next day. Afterwards, K and I exhausted from our day went to sleep, ready to explore Venice in the morning.
Two weeks in! We got up a little late, but still got to the city early. We spent about 2 1/2 hours trying to find a grocery store ( apparently Venice has no grocery stores ). Either way when we did find one, it was 11:30ish and we decided to just continue with our original plan to have breakfast and so we did. Rob and Sam had told us about the grocery store and it having a free bathroom as long as we brought our own toilet paper, so we used that because as we found later throughout the day there we no places to go to the bathroom. I ended up having to pay for my first public bathroom :( .After eating we tried to find our way to San Marco Square, which we did eventually find but not without some navigating difficulties.
When we did find it, the square was jam packed with people. The lines to get into the different places were extremely long, so we opted to just take pictures.
Rob and Sam had also told us about a gelato place that was supposed to be amazing so we tried our hand at finding it and eventually did.
The gelato in K's eyes was pretty good. I didn't really have a benchmark for my gelato tasting, so it was hard for me to determine whether or not it was good or not.
We walked around with our gelato for a bit and of course took pictures.
We then began our search for a bookstore that had been mentioned in a Buzzfeed article. Liberia Acqua Alta
( http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinlarosa/bookstores-that-will-literally-change-your-life [number 5]). The bookstore was very cool and full of weird things, not quite as organized as the bookstore in Amsterdam had been but that was alright, I got my full share of pictures.
Because why not have a gondolier boat full of books?
Book staircase that you can climb.
It was perfect that we had visited that day because I had finished the book that I got from the bookstore in Amsterdam. I tried to do a book exchange, but the bookstore had a small amount of English books and the ones that I did find were not small enough to travel with me (back to my kindle I guess). The owner did give me my book in exchange for a notebook that I will be needing very soon as my current notebook is getting quite full maybe a another two entries (but probably really only just one).
After the bookstore we found a place in a piazza to sit down, rest, and eat our fruit as we had been on our feet all day. Not very many parks in this city to rest, so we made due. We looked at our guidebooks to see what else we could do and figured that we would try to find a post office as we needed to despartly send our postcards. We had the hardest time trying to find the post office (I don't think the one we were looking for even exists). We ended up just going into a convienance store that sold stamps and had a mailbox. All of the frustration from walking around in circles trying to find this elusive post office had us sitting at another piazza flipping through our guidebooks for a cheap but good eats for dinner. We found a place, but when we got there it was closed until 6:30pm and it was 5:45pm at this point. We just wandered around wasting time and trying not to get lost. One of the places that we came upon was a Piazza that was filled with locals at the early evening. It was nice to just watch the children playing, adults lounging, and rambunctious dogs. When we felt the appropriate amount of time had passed we went to the restaurant.
We sat down and ordered our own pizzas, and had an experience of cutting pizzas ( hard to do with the crust ). I thought that mine was decent but K liked his.
We were going to try and stay in the city until dark, but we couldn't make it we were both so wiped from our day. We did get to see the sunset and made it back to the campground and 9:30pm and collapsed into bed.
We got up earlier this day because K wanted to see San Marco Square without as many tourists. We aimed to get there early. While waiting for the bus we met another traveller, Jack, who is a flight attendant. We talked throughout the entire bus ride which was really cool. He invited us to have lunch with him and other people from the campsite. We booked it to the square and even had a nice Italian woman showing us the way (not really, we were secretly following her).
We did get to the square, but there was still a lot of tourists and the lines to were still too long. We found a park (the only park, we could find that was open to the public!) we ate breakfast and then found a tourist office. We tented to see if we could get a gondola ride for cheaper. Unfortunately, we could not. We could pay 30 euro each to share a boat with strangers for 35mins or 80 euro for just the two of us for 35 mins. We decided flip a coin to help us decide what to do. Either just buy a boat bus ticket and see the canals that way or get pay the ridiculous price of the gondola ride. The coin landed on buying the bus ticket, which we did later in the day and we had a good time as well.
We did manage to make it to the meeting point to connect with new people. We met Andrew and Sophia and we just wandered around with them for a while. We took pictures, we talked, and we even came upon a famous market.
We stumbled into a place to get lunch and had some good conversations. They will be heading off to college in the fall, boy are they in for the time of their life.
K and I left them after lunch to find a tickets for the bus boats and then just traveled around for the rest of the day.
We had an easier time finding the supermarket and getting dinner mixings.
We also bought for breakfast as we would not have time to get that before leaving the campsite and getting to the train station the next day. We had wanted to eat our dinner on one of the islands, but I was not feeling good. So we headed back and had a campsite dinner. We planned our next couple of days. We had originally flipped a coin between Montpelier and Nice and Montpelier had won, but when we got to Florence the travel between the two would be too difficult. Either way we went to bed and the next day headed to the train station.
Tomorrow we are traveling 9 hours to Nice and so I am hoping to write my Florence blog there. I am sorry for the delay in Venice, but hey I was enjoying the Tuscan countryside, can you blame me? :) until next time.