Wow what a last couple of days! For a moment I thought Italy was doing all it could to keep us from leaving the country!
The story all began a very rainy and blustery Venice night when our hotel concierge told us there would be a 24 hour train and bus strike the next day….our last day in Venice. This was a big problem because we were staying on the island of Lido and the train station was on the island of Venice, only a 5 minute and 6 euro water bus ride but with the strike there was no water bus and the water taxis were 100euro! To our luck, we thought, we had scheduled an overnight train to get us to Vienna, leaving at 1:30am (arriving in Vienna at 8:30am). Because the strike ended at midnight we had plenty of time to get on the bus, get to the station and get on our train. It was a long day for us, we had to check out of our hotel early so we bummed around in the freezing rain for about 10 hours. We got back to our hotel to pick up our bags and went to the bus stop. This is where things really went down hill. We expected the number 5.2 bus to arrive at 12:22 to take us directly to the train station…..it never came. So, we hopped on the first one we saw that was going to the station. Unfortunately this bus went all the way down the grand canal (the long and scenic way to the train station). We were very nervous we were going to miss the train and were counting down the minutes. We arrived with about 20 minutes to spare but as we were walking up to the station, bagage in hand (and on back) our hearts started to sink….the station was padlocked up and closed! What about our 1:30 train??
We quickly double checked our itinerary only to realize the 1:30am train left from Mestre, on the main land and not even in Venice, blast raileurope.com! We took a brief moment to collect our despaired selves and started wandering the streets in hopes of a hotel that would have an open room and a 24 hour desk. We came across one very near to the station and booked a room. It was an okay room, not the nicest but not the worst. We found the next train (or trains) leaving at 7am in the morning. So we got about 3 hours of sleep and were up on the way to the station again (this time it was the Venice station). The best schedule they had was with 2 connections, we knew it would be rough. We had to get off in Verona to switch trains and get off and switch trains again in Kufstein arriving in Vienna at about 5:30pm (plenty of time to check-in and still have time for dinner in Vienna). So we made it on the first train, only about an hour to Verona, we stop at the station, we were all ready at the door with our luggage.
The door doesn't open.
We quickly run to the next car to try that door, again our hearts sink as the train begins moving again. We had missed our stop, which meant we would miss our next connecting trains. I don't need to go into detail of how we were feeling, I'm sure you can imagine. The next stop was only about 30 minutes away and we had the ticket stamp guy make sure the door would open for us. We then waited around about 45mins to get on the first train back to Verona. Luckily our connecting trains came frequently so we were easily able to get our times switched. However instead of arriving in Vienna at our first scheduled time of 8:30 am or the next time of 5:30pm we arrived at 8:30pm, completely exhausted. What an adventure.
The amazing thing about the whole experience though was what we were able to see on the train ride. We rode through Italian countryside, olive and wine vineyards and then through the entire country of Austria. We were able to see snow capped mountains, icicle trees, and the quaintest little villages. It was the silver lining in our mishap. Plus now that we got that out of the way, the rest of the trip will be smooth sailing (or railing)! J
We had a perfect day in Vienna today, which I will write about hopefully tomorrow and get ready because I was quite camera crazy J
Miss and Love everyone