Train Ride / 1 and only day in Venice

Venice Travel Blog

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Everyday I think to myself how lucky I am! I am grateful to God for being alive, for my great sense of humor, for my adventures spirit and for being American, here is why. 

So I get on to my train to Venice from Budapest.  Let me add that the Budapest train station is a bit Dodgy (Australian term, I would normally say GHETTO!)  Anyway I board the train and when I get in I get all most stuff situated and take my set.  There I met my cabin mates, both from South Africa and a husband (lawyer) and wife (Physchologist), no joke.  Anyway, the train set off, we shared stories of our travels and shared pictures.  We talked for a bit and then decided it was nap time, in my case read a book.  The ticket master came by and asked for our tickets, I  gave him both my rail pass and my ticket.  He asked for the other couples tickets and passport.  He then gave them the news!  He told them that they were unable to take this train from here to Budapest with out a Visa into Croatia.  For whatever reason, Croatia requires South Africans to gain a passport, so at the next stop they would have to get off the train and return to Budapest and there they need to get a train to Praha then from Praha to Venice.    They took it and just said ok.  I think even for myself we both were kind of like ummm.... what did he really mean by that!!!!  So then we started to talk it through.  We came to the conclusion this guy must have a made a mistake.  They were not going to get off in Croatia and that it was just passing through it.  It made no sense!  So then the husband left to gain understanding and the wife texted her travel agent who set everything up.  The travel agent replied that it since they are passing through they should not need a visa.  So then she goes and joins her husband.  They talk it all through and then they even get a better English speaker!  Then they go over details over and over.  Mind you this is around 8 or so.  So they came back and like we have go all the way back to budapest!  WE have been on this train for almost 4 hours!  So then the ticket masters come back and give them an alternative solution.  They said prior to Croatian border they need to get off and take a taxi around Croatia and meet us in Slovania stop!  She is like ok...  So we sit in the cabin and start talking through and weighing the options.  I kind stay out of it for a bit and ask how much is going to cost for taxi.  They say it would 100 Euro.  So I ask them for their Euro rail time table book.  I show them the times for the next train back to buda pest and which trains to take if they want to go all the way around.  Then I show them if they get to Slovenia but miss the train here is when the next train into Venice.  We talked it through and finally they decided to take the taxi.  They only had 40 Euro on them.  So I offered 100 to help them out.  They declined a few times but insisted.  This was 1400 ren (South African currency).  They accept the offer after making a contract and switching information. 

The Croatian and Slovenian border patrol entered the train and took our passports.  The slovenian said no problem and stamped the passports.  The Croations made them get off.  Even for me he asked if this the first time in Croatia! I said yes but I am like I am not even getting off so I can't count it.  Then asked about if there was anything that I needed to claim for customs.  I said no!  I expect this type of third degree from America but a small country like Croatia!  Wicked!  Either case, we departed, they were outside on the steps waiting for the taxi.  I felt really sorry and actually kind of stressed for them.  I woke up at almost every stop to see if they boarded. 

The ticket master woke me up and asked if wanted coffee I declined and he brought me orange juice!  Such a nice guy!  Then he gives me the estimated time of arrival into Venice.  Then as I was getting ready for deboarding my South African friends tell what happen!  They had gotten to Slovania like an hour before the train arrived.  They had paid the taxi driver 250 Euro for the trip and waited by themselves in the middle of no where waiting on our train to arrive outside in the cold!  Talk about CRAZY!  We immediatly went to an ATM, said our good byes and parted ways!


As I got on the waterbus I was amazed on how awesome this really was.  I thanked God on how wonderful this experience is and how unqiue this city really is.  I was so early kids were headed off to school.  So I am all touristy and these kids are looking at me all weird.  I get off at the stop and walk towards my Bed and Breakfast.  I follow the directions and just can't help look up, down everywhere.  I absolutely loved every bit of it.  There were water boats for everything, no CARS!  Ambulance, delivery, ups, etc... everytype of transport was boat.  As I walked around I found my BnB.  I talked to the guy and he set me up.  I was way too early but nice enough to offer me breakfast!  So I stayed there talked to him about my trip and then I told him about my plans for the day.  He was like I understand you have to go to St. Marks, square but seriously!  Get out of there!  He said you will not find a single Venician there!  Then he brought a map and explained the what I should do.  Go through the square work your way up through the Jewish Quater, then work your way down and make it towards the south.  You will find were all of young people are.  They love walking the south end since there will be sun.  I have to say another blessing, a sunny day in Venice.

I left my pack and went towards the waterbus.  I got on and literally was on it for a hour.  It was just so cool to see the city on it.  I finally made it onto st. marks square.  It was different then I expect but even so.  I walked around for bit and took a few pictures.  After that I went into St. Marks and it was beautiful  There was mosiacs on the wall.  I don't even want to know who had to do all of that work...  Then I made it to the top and took a few pictures over St. Marks square.  After that I left the cathedral and started on my journey.  I went through all of these streets.  You can get really disorientated in these streets.  With out a map to check myself I just couldn't find my way!  I finally found the way and walked and decided it was time for lunch.  I stopped at this nice little dinner and had my first Italian pizza.  It was tasty but I guess I am too use to american pizza.  I had a cup of hot tea and enjoyed the scenery.  The funny thing is that shops close by noon.  Then open up at 3 and close again at 5.  For the most part anyway.  Hilarious.  I walked around, and it felt wierd since some parts I was by myself.  I guess everyone around me was on there lunch break.  I wandered for a while and then located the south end of the Venice.  I walked it, he was right it felt good to be in the sun.  And young people were there, and even some high school kids running as though it was a track lol!  Then I walked and found another cafe and enjoyed some hot tea were the sun was shinning.  I figure do what the Venicians do!  As I did.  After I was more then content I went back to my Bnb and decided it was time for a shower, then it became a nap since the over night train was so suspensful. 

I got up and got ready and headed out.  It was dark now and there wasnt many people out on the streets.  Either way I walked around for a while and walked!  I was getting hungry for dinner and I found this place and needed something inexpensive so I gave pizza a second chance.  Again it was ok, nothing great...  After that walked around the night shops and looked at some the hand painted masks which are amazing.  I would like to bring one back but it would totally get squashed and not be as beautiful as it once was.  So I located a pub and had a beer.  It was cool cause this guy had like huge hunk of meat on his plate and he actually offered me some, I was just courious but I politely declined.  After that, I couldnt think of much more, but walked around.  Found a place for gelato.  Then I headed back home.  I decided to listen to some music read and sleep.  By the way the own room and shower is amazing.
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photo by: asturjimmy