The next morning we all took photos and exchanged hugs. Our Taxi showed on time and we were the first to part. There was Steve, Jody, Ann and myself. Ann went to the train station to catch the train south. She had to meet her future Italian in laws and was dreading it. Steve and Jody had booked a Hostel in Florence and I was going to Bologna. We had to take a bus from Castillo to Arezzo and then the train to our destinations. The bus left at 12:10 and arrived at 1:50. It was a local bus that stopped in all the towns on the way. We enjoyed the scenery in between naps.
The mountains , woods and countryside of Tuscany are beautiful. We even passed through a medieval village that we would have not seen otherwise. Arriving in Arezzo, Steve and Jody booked the local train to Florence for 5 Euros. I used a machine and booked mine with reserved seat to Bologna for 16.50 Euros. If I had gone with them, I would have had to get off in Florence then book another train to Bologna…I wish I had. My train left 8 minutes after them but was delayed by a half hour, which turned out to be over 40 minutes. That brought me into Bologna 20 minutes after my bus left for the B & B that I was staying at. The bus only ran every two hours. I slept a little on the way but the air conditioning broke down and the train was full and hot so it was difficult to sleep.
When I arrived, I dragged my suitcases through the streets stopping at each bus stop and trying to get directions to purchase a bus ticket for my #68 bus to the B & B but either they weren’t Italian or didn’t want to try and understand. It would have helped if I learned some basic Italian. Finally I found what I thought was the stop but still have an hour or more wait in the heat. I went back to the train station to Mc D’s for a Big and Tasty and a toilette. The Big and Tasty was Big and loaded with Mayonnaise I had never seen before. The toilette was up two flights of stairs and I was not about to leave my bags with these strange mean looking beggars that approached you and demanded money while eating leftovers off the tables in Mc D’s. I got a cab for 10 Euros, checked in and after a beer, I died until 7 am the next day.
I just had some great Cappuccino and am ready to catch the bus to the train station to meet Steve and Jody at the Republic Plaza in Firenze. Wish me luck. Tomorrow, I will visit Bologna for an afternoon and catch up on my email in my room. This is a park for families. They have a pool , snack bar, convenience store, a bar and games for families. My Chalet is quite nice for 40 Euros a night…would be twenty Euros with another person sharing.
The bus for Bologna picked us up promptly after breakfast and I arrived at the train station to purchase my tickets for Firenze at a machine. Their were real long lines everywhere and no ticket counters open. I decided to try to purchase a round trip so I wouldn’t have to stand in line in Firenze. I misread 15:14 to mean 5:14 pm and bought a ticket to return at 3:14…too early.
I got a tourist map and some money when I arrived around 10:30 am and headed for the Duomo. I didn’t have time to go inside but it was truly magnificent. I walked all around it and took photos of the Gates of Paradise as well as a few buildings around the area. It was around Noon so I headed for the Piazza Republic to meet Steve and Jody at 12:30. I stopped to get a great sandwich in a take away restaurant then ate it in the Piazza. Steve and Jody showed up on time and we decided to go to the Pont Veccicho near their hostel. We walked over it, took some photos then on to the Pitti Palacio and the Gardens.
I thought I had just enough time to see that and they had other things on their agenda so we parted and said our goodbyes. I went to purchase the admittance ticket and the line was over a half hour long. That left me an hour and a half to see the whole thing and still be back at the train station. I was already exhausted from the heat and walking so decided to take a different route back.
I crossed a different bridge, went through another neighborhood and arrived at the station a little early. Mc Café was calling. I swear they got the best cappuccino in all of Italy for the price. This time it was served in a real cup and they had a lounge like Starbucks, but better. I’ll never bad mouth McDonald’s again. It was so good I had another cup and almost bought a pastry from their amazing selection. I returned to Gate 9. That is where all the schedules said the train was departing from. After waiting until 15:25, I was beginning to worry so ran back to check the sign but it said nothing. I noticed a train getting ready to depart for Bologna on Gate 3 so ran over to the conductor and verified that it was the train I was to board. I have to learn Italian. I guess they announced the change over the loud speaker? While aboard the train, the conductor came around to punch your ticket. One women said she wished to purchase hers but the conductor didn’t have change for a $50. The passenger next to her made change with two twenties and a ten. Then the conductor said he didn’t have change for that and she needed $3.20 Euros and a twenty. No one had change but everyone chipped in a little of what they had so she could complete the transaction. Just made it back in time to catch my bus and return to the B & B.
I discovered they have over 40 of these state sponsored B&B’s in Italy. It would be great to rent a car and travel around the summer staying in them and visiting the local sites. You can get discounts each time you travel from one to another. A frequent user program like some of the Hostels. I’m going to try and do laundry and get out some email. I haven’t been on the internet in over 10 days! Well it appears the B & B’s laundry only runs with tokens you purchase for 3 Euros from a machine that is broken and the front desk only has one left. That is also the same for the dryer. I said I would wait to get two tokens the next day when the machine is fixed but the clerk told me there will be a huge line as it has been broken for days and many people plan to use the laundry tomorrow. I used the Bidet again to do laundry.
I boarded the bus along with a dog smuggler. His wife wouldn’t go anywhere without the dog so they smuggled it in a bag with a towel over the top. I visited Bologna for the afternoon on my last day and was elated to find such a beautiful , well preserved Medieval city. I took 42 photos, walked all over, finally got on the internet for 2 hours. I had a message from the SERVAS host wanting to know what happened and where was I? Apparently I misread a refusal and thought it was from her. Both were under the Subject SERVAS and I thought it was a reply from her. I felt so bad for her and also for me because it was my only opportunity so far to stay with a SERVAS host. She had been waiting for me…I felt terrible. I then had lunch with two guys from Chicago that were traveling Europe for the first time. They were staying in Bologna with his father who lived here. I was running late and didn’t want to wait two hours for the next bus so caught a city bus to near the stop and got out at the same time the B&B bus was arriving at it’s stop behind me. I actually jogged from one stop to the other and made it. I guess I am in better shape after the last few weeks of walking.
While on the internet, I booked a room in Venice for two days. I hope to get on the internet with MY computer today. I went to download my photos of Bologna and discovered the second drop of the camera had caused it to malfunction and over 35% of all the photos I took that day were ruined. The first drop of the camera ruined the LCD window so I didn’t know the photos weren’t coming out and now have a broken camera for the duration of my trip!!
I was up early so decided to pack and leave for Venice at 10am instead of 11am. A regular ticket cost 8.5 Euro vs. the “fast train” at 20 Euro. I finally found that out after a nice young lady gave me her place in line…I need a face lift!
The train ride afforded me some time to catch up on my boring, detailed
Journal. We stopped and according to my map, this was the last stop before Venice so I got off at the next stop. I forgot this was a regional train that stopped everywhere . I saw a sign that said Venice and assumed this was it. The sign was the train’s next destination. This is the last stop before Venice. I found this out after I bought a map of the city of Venice but the lady told me to take bus 2 to get into the city. I didn’t see bus 2 listed on the map with the other buses so inquired as to why when she finally stopped talking on the phone to inform me because this was not Venice.
I took the bus the rest of the way to Venice and bought a pass for 48 hours to take the water taxi to the Island of Lido which I failed to notice Lido Venice was not Venice when I booked the hotel. OK time for an adventure, as if I hadn’t already had one. I found taxi 51 and boarded for Lido. A half hour and 5 or 6 stops later, we arrive in Lido. I did get to see some sites and know where the St Marcus Square is.
Now, the way I interpreted the map, my hotel was on the other side of Lido where the water taxi didn’t go. I had to take the only bus listed on the map…#11. I got on the bus and off we went. I noticed it wasn’t making very few stops but thought that no one wanted to get off right away. Then we passed my hotel so I pressed the stop button but the bus went on and on.
I realized the button worked fine because I noticed the bus driver kept looking up at me. This was an express bus so I figured I would have to get off and take a taxi back but there wasn’t any business center or traffic. We arrived in Malacocco, the nearest thing to a city on my map, but it was in the middle of no where. I thought with all these people still on the bus, they must be going to somewhere resembling a town. They were. The bus drove right on to a ferry boat and before I could get to the door, I noticed the gang plank went up and the boat was moving. I looked on the map and it had an arrow pointing to St. Maria del Mar. I looked into my guide book with a larger map but it was not on there. Soon the boat docked and the bus drove off along a road with seawall on both sides. We arrived in a small fishing village and everyone got off while the driver started to read his newspaper. I finally approached him and showed him my map while explaining what happened. He said I have to return to Malacocco and get off at the stop to wait for bus A or B to take me to a stop near the hotel. I never knew there was a bus A or B.
I returned and got on B at the stop and off just past my hotel. It was 4pm when I arrived to this 3 star hotel in the middle of no where. There were no cars in the lot and I was the only person in the lobby except for the hotel clerk. He promptly took care of me and informed me that bus A or B run every 10 minutes 24 hours a day and so does the water taxi 51. Wow…I was getting ready to check out for another hotel in Venice…if I could find one. I decided that I came to far and went through too much to give up at this point. I’m off for Venice.
Bus to boat to San Marco Square, the Basilica San Marco, the Doge Palace, the Rialto Bridge….etc…etc. Everything went fine. I just hope the photos turn out. I left around 4:15 and after fighting the heat and the crowds I returned to Lido and St. Maria Elizabetta, the local beach town.
I really liked what I saw when I was leaving to catch the boat so decided to eat in the village rather than the tourist crap in Venice. I started with a Campari Spritzer…Campari, Vermouth, soda water, lemon and an olive. Then I went to a Apple Spritzer with Apple Snap’s, Campari, Vermouth, soda water, orange and an olive. We fought off the aggressive Pigeons for the peanuts and chips. When a party would leave the table, ten pigeons would descend, knock over the chips and peanuts before the wait staff could get to it then fly away and come back and eat the dropped food. They were like a gang of marauders that sat in wait then attacked all at once. I had a great server and enjoyed the evening with a great crowd of Italians, Chinese, and English. I then went wandering with the camera for photos and shopped for dinner.
I finally found a real nice Italian Café with outside seating under a grape arbor. I asked if I ordered a Pizza and couldn’t finish it if he could give the remainder to me in a take away. He said he would wrap it in foil so I ordered a Brie and Tomato Pizza that was outstanding. The tomatoes were Roma Tomatoes but nothing like what we sell in Albertsons. They were really flavorful. I had a half carafe of white wine and before settling the bill, I noticed some Chinese* smoking out on the sidewalk so joined them and bummed a cigarette. I’m back to OP’s now. It was my second in 4 days. They were from Hong Kong and had visited Vegas. One loved to gamble in Macao and the horse races in Hong Kong. The other did none of that. We had a really nice conversation and the man said I looked too young to be a grandfather. The Orientals and Italians respect older people. I told him I thought he was full of it but thanked him anyway. On the returning bus I explained to some young teens that I didn’t understand Italian and needed to know where to get off. No problem…they spoke very good English and directed me to the correct stop. It is 10:30pm and I am tired. Good night.
After sleeping late, having breakfast and playing catch up on my computer for 2 hours, I took the bus to Venice and a water taxi up and down the Grand Canal for 2 hours. Trieste was calling so thinking this was to be a short one hour ride by train, I bought my roundtrip ticket at the kiosk machine with my credit card. I saw the train was departing in 4 minutes. Perfect, I grabbed the ticket and was on my way to the gate. I boarded, then realized this was not a round trip ticket and I hadn’t waited for the machine to finish printing out the return trip which was now in the hands of someone else who probably thinks it is his ticket to Roma. Hopefully he was smarter than me and looked at it before running off. Well the train is off and I will just have to buy another return and eat 8.5 Euros. Now to plan my excursion around Trieste. First, how much time before I have to return…maybe 3 hours. If the train is there in an hour or an hour and a half , I should be able to get a return ticket departing around 6:30 pm and be back in Venice by 8pm giving me a good 2 hours to take photos of the harbor, have lunch, and walk around.
Opps….what’s that, the train doesn’t arrive in Trieste until 6 pm! Three hours from now! Well sit back and enjoy because this is it. Look at the scenery and relax. I arrived in time to buy a ticket back, take a photo of the train station, have a coffee, buy a postcard photo of Trieste, and am now back on the train and it is 6:45pm. The train started and we are ready but an announcement comes over the speaker. Everyone gets off the train and scurries away . I’m trying to figure out what happened and figured I better do that fast or may end up spending the night in the train station. The train had been changed over to another at another track for departure to Venice via 28 other cities in the middle. We arrived in Venice at 10 pm at night. I was in such a hurry to see everything that I saw nothing. First rule of travel…take it easy. I returned to Elizebetta, had some wine and lasagna then took the bus back to the hotel. The bus looped around Elizebetta then returned to where it started. I discovered (this trip is full of discoveries) that the Bus A has two routes and finally reached the hotel. It was after midnight when I retired.
I was hoping to catch the ferry to Pula, Croatia today but found out it doesn’t go until Friday so will have to take the train to Slovenia, arrive late, spend the night or two then continue to Zagreb, Croatia before taking the bus to Pula. I wanted to take the ferry from Pula down the Dalmatia Coast to Split.
I booked a hotel in Slovenia for two nights and took the water taxi around the other side of Venice to the train station. The attendant checked my ticket and explained I didn’t validate it like I was supposed to. I showed him the date and time of purchase on the ticket and where it stated …good for 48 hours…I had 10 minutes left! He had to check with his boss and returned with an apology.
I have traveled the major canals, all around the Island of Venice, Lido and whatever the other Island was all on my 48 hour pass.
The machine at the train station didn’t show my departure so after standing in a very long line I managed to purchase the ticket at the counter. My train consists of three cars…the engine, caboose and mine. I am now waiting on the train (few train stations offer a place to sit and if they do it is not air conditioned). Some trains have electrical plugs in the table separating the seats. This one does not and I will close my computer before my battery dies. Goodbye Venezia! Hello Ljubljana, Slovenia! Try pronouncing that! Try spelling that.
Well I got to see Trieste again as we passed it in the distance on the way to Slovenia. Now we are at the border crossing. Like Mexico…the train was boarded and everyone had to produce their passport. Some were stamped and mine wasn’t. I got my new passport last February and have been to five countries and still don’t have a stamp!
I got to try Lasko Pivo since 1825 . It is Lager Beer called Zlotozog and cost $2.80 for .5 Liter with 5% alcohol….info for Joe Duffy. It is made in Lasko, Slovenia. Now I’m trying Union Pivo. It’s the same except since 1865. The express train , called the Casanova, has a Bistro, a Casino with slots, and internet plug ins for us techies. I guess I’m in Slovenia. It looks like they actually hire graffiti artists here to spray paint the trains so they look good…I’m in Sezana now.
I guess that last stop was the Italian border police…now we got the Slovenia police and they didn’t stamp my passport either. They wanted to throw this nice man next to me off the train. He argued with them and they allowed him to stay. He said he is Albanian and they give him a hard time because his passport has Cambodia, Thailand, and a whole slew of Eastern European countries. He was wearing a ring with a marijuana leaf on it and I questioned that. He said that the Netherlands and Albania are the only places where it is legal. He travels to the Orient on business and is married to a lady that lives in NYC. He has a son that is American and worked for a time in Tampa, Florida. He doesn’t have money to travel for pleasure so had to budget his trips. He carries American dollars with him. He showed me. He likes all the European countries because though they are small by comparison to Australia or the US, they all have completely different cultures and the people look different. You can tell a Romanian from a Czech Republic person. Not only the language but the body language. He asked if I knew Anthony of Pier 4 in Boston. I said I knew of him and said he was Greek. The man promptly corrected me and said he was Albanian and that he knew Anthony’s Nephew. When G. W. Bush visited Albania, they gave him a big welcome not because he was G. Bush, but because it was the first time an American President, the most powerful country in the world came to Albania. If Hillary was Pres, she would have got the same treatment. The last time the Albanians were so excited was when the Blues Brothers did a concert in Albania. He spoke Slovenian, English, Spanish and a whole bunch of other languages. It was a very interesting trip. He said the train slows down after entering Slovenia. I looked at his map and though we crossed the border and Ljubljana was only a short distance away, we had been traveling for over an hour and were only half way. He said if they say they will arrive at 8:45, they will slow the train down rather then be early. They don’t do that in other major countries but only the small ones? We arrived and he tried to help me with directions but no one new the street I wanted. It was only 70 meters from the bus station, which is right there next to the train station. I walked all over a 70 meter area surrounding the station and even asked a Slovenian with a map to help me. He couldn’t find it so I took a taxi. He drove me right there but it was maybe two miles. The brochures said bus station and meant bus stop. The taxi was 1125 on the meter so I assumed 12 Euros and gave it to him. The cabbie didn’t argue and I just wanted to check in and unpack. It turns out that Slovenia has been accepted into the EU but hasn’t gone on the Euro. The Tovar is 240 to one Euro so I paid the man more than double for the fare!
Now I check in to this three star air conditioned 330 room hotel to find the hall and lobby is air conditioned but not the rooms. I came down to eat at the restaurant before the 10pm closing but the chef said no menu was available as it was too late. You had to take the 10 Euro buffet which was all picked over and ready to close. I was too hungry to go out looking so took a dried out piece of chicken, a fatty piece of pork, two greasy pieces of potatoes, dried out rice and passed on the soggy vegetables. A glass of wine and 12 Euros later I returned to the room hoping I won’t get sick. They have a free laundry on my floor so I got the key to the laundry thinking I would wash a small load that was beginning to stand up on it’s own. There was one small machine and one small dryer. The washer was full and operating so I returned an hour later to find it full and not operating. I thought a drink was in order so went down to the bar to find it closed at 10pm along with the restaurant but I could walk a few miles to the local bar. I had already walked around back of the hotel to get an ATM machine and passed a few homeless or druggies in the graffiti alley on the way. This reminds me of Slovakia…dark, dirty streets out of a Kafka novel. I decided to use the expensive mini bar instead. The TV was mostly Pay for View and nothing but erotic movies. The free part consisted of three boring stations that ran American rejects dubbed in Slovenian. I’m going to try this tomorrow after some sleep. The cheap internet access is taking forever to download a email, so maybe if I leave it on all night I may have some emails to read in the morning.
Ljubljana is a very nice city. The bus took me to downtown where three rivers meet. This is way better than San Antonio. Most of the area is blocked to traffic and the restaurants and bars serve good cheap food. I walked all over then went to the train station to take a bus to Bled and buy a ticket for Zagreb when I leave tomorrow. I ran into my Albanian friend who had been touring the downtown also. He concurred that it was lovely and the people were friendly. He is on his way to Budapest. I am off to Bled. After a nap I awoke as the Bus arrived in Bled. There I took a nice boat ride around a lake in the center then boarded the bus back to the hotel to do my laundry and pack for tomorrow. I’m on a new “EURO” diet. The Euro is High….I Don’t Buy. So far its working and I’m starting to lose all that I gained with the free food at school.
Finally got a load of laundry done. I’ve been trying for two days but with only one Washer and Dryer, there has always been someone using it. I finally left it with a note to please throw in washer when finished. Somebody did so I have some clean clothes. I had my favorite Ham and Cheese on white bread with a beer before retiring last night. They put sliced dill pickle on it this time.
This morning I had that same crappy instant coffee I’ve been fed for the last three weeks. Even at the school. I decided to pay for a cup of real coffee at the hotel but it tasted like they used the same grinds twice…mine was the second. I needed to book my flight to Lyon before checking out. I discovered the cheapest was $400 so I decided to cancel the ferry to Split and take the ferry from Pula to Venice. It only runs tomorrow or I have to wait two days. I took tomorrow but now have to figure out how to get to Pula by 8 am tomorrow. I have the ticket to Zagreb for this afternoon so will head out to trade in for hopefully another ticket leaving here for Pula or may have to go to Zagreb to catch the bus to Pula?? There is no bus to Pula and the train left at 7:30am and there are no more until 7:30 am tomorrow but my only ferry to Venice leaves at 8am from Pula. Now I have to take a bus to Rijeka, which is just an hour away from Pula. The bus doesn’t leave until 3:30pm and arrives at 6:30pm….then, hopefully I can get a bus to Pula, spend the night and rise early to catch the ferry? No one knows if I can get a bus from Rijeka because I am in Slovenia not Croatia and they are separate countries even though I’m close to the border. I had hoped to check the Croatian Railway or Bus system on the internet to confirm there is a bus but even though the sign said…Just ask information for the free WiFi password and use our network, no body knows the password or anything about it. After being passed back and forth three times I gave up. The nearest internet café was over a mile with luggage in the heat of the day. I decided to wait and hope Rijeka had an internet connection. I will know by then if there is a bus but need to know about a plane out of Marco Polo airport in Venice to Lyon…if I get to Venice.
I did manage to get my ticket to Zagreb refunded. First she told me I had to go to the tourist office to have the ticket stamped and then return. I got in line at the tourist office, the clerk stamped it twice on one side, once on the other then signed it, then made me sign it and returned it to take back to the ticket office for a refund. When I returned, there was another line and after 15 minutes I gave the ticket , all stamped and signed to the agent. She pulled out a big book and wrote some information into it, then stamped the book and had me sign then book. I then got my refund of 10 Euros.
I had a few hours to kill and was getting restless so decided to rent a locker for my bags for 2 Euro and go to that Internet Café in town. To secure your bags, you put them in the locker, then close it and deposit the money , then take your key. Mine wouldn’t take the money. The attendant came over to help but no luck. There was ONE locker left that wasn’t occupied and it had my name on it. It is around 1pm and hot outside as I stroll into the center. I found the Café with no problem but it was closed and didn’t open until 2:30pm on Saturdays. I checked at a Kiosk to see if the man knew of others close by. He said there was a bar next door that had a computer and they might let me borrow it. I inquired with the barmaid but someone was already on it and she directed me to the tourist office where they had a free one. That turned out to be only information on Slovenia so I returned and asked to use her computer. The guys that were on it, finished up and I took over only to find out there may or may not be a bus from Rijeka to Pula. I may have to hitch hike. The cheapest plane from Venice to Lyon was $310 so I may be taking the train to Lyon from Venice.
I arrived back at the train station and noticed a train leaving for Rijeka in 20 minutes. That is what the information desk was trying to tell me. I thought it was funny when purchasing the bus ticket that the bus didn’t leave until 3:30pm when I remember the man telling me 2:50pm. I returned my ticket for a refund but the bus station takes 10% plus reservation fees. I didn’t care. I purchased my train ticket, boarded the train and am on my way to Rijeka and hopefully to Pula.
I got off the train at 5:45 pm and headed for Tourist information. Closed at 5:30pm so asked a nice young couple that directed me to the Bus station down the street. I went as fast as I could so I wouldn’t chance missing the last bus out of town for Pula. I could see Pula painted on the side of a bus in the distance with a line to board. I jaywalked a 6 lane super highway to get to the line. I asked if I could pay rather than get a ticket in the station and he agreed as he took my bag to load in cargo. I asked how much and he asked if I had Kruner. I’m not in Kansas anymore…only Euro I replied to which he asked for 1 Euro and I boarded. Then he approached me on the bus for the 69 Kroners for the ticket. That first Euro was for the bag. A common practice some places. Taxis sometimes charge for more than one bag. I paid him 10 Euros so assume a Euro is equal to 6.9Kroners.
This country is beautiful. Rijeka was a very large port city on the Adriatic. The bus followed the coast to Pula through seaside resorts with concrete beaches. There seems not to be any sandy beaches but mostly rock with large forests coming right down to the clear, blue , calm water. This is a very expensive looking area and full of tourists. The weather has been sunshine and clear skies for days. The afternoons have been hot but not like Phoenix.
This road is becoming steeper and narrower. I can feel the blood rushing out of me. I am white and scared. These mountain roads at 50-60 with no guard rails make me think of what those Polish tourists saw before their bus went over the side in the Italian Alps last week. We will never know. It has been 2 ½ hours now and we are approaching Pula. I have only to find a room on a Saturday night in a resort town on the sea.
Well that was easy. I got off at the terminal, ATM’s some Kruners, bought a map of Pula, walked downtown to the waterfront, checked in to the Grand Rivera, got a wake up call, and paid 42 Euros for the room. The same room was 72 Euros when I looked it up on the internet.
I went out for a seafood dinner (Fish Fry) on the wharf in a restaurant called the Adriatic. It had a veranda overlooking the port. There was a two story yacht tied up to the restaurant ,next to my table, with a couple having a candle light dinner aboard. I asked the waitress if she could bring me my dessert on that boat. She thought I owned it and was thinking about it.
I stopped at a “Flair” bar on the way home for some fancy expensive drinks then retired for the night in my hot room with no fan or A/C. I took a shower, went to bed wet with a wet sheet over me and fell right to sleep.
I woke and had breakfast on the rooftop restaurant, walked to the ferry and boarded. We flew over the Adriatic in a hovercraft and arrived in Venice in three hours. I slept most of the way. We had to go through passport control and I thought they said people just visiting Venice for the day without luggage wait while the others get off. It was the other way around. I found that out after going through customs and then they wouldn’t let me back to get my bags. He wanted to know the name of the boat as there were three and he had to get a boat official to come and escort me. I didn’t know the name but after some discussion he figured it out, got the boat master and I got my bag.
I went back through customs, bought a water taxi ticket even though the train station was only 5 stops away and they seldom check tickets. They didn’t check mine either…6 more Euros. Then the taxi stopped at the station before mine and told everyone to get off? I thought I had gotten on the wrong taxi so armed with a ticket I tried to board the next taxi but it was closed. The Grand Canal was closed down for construction and I had to walk up and down over 5 bridges to arrive in time to purchase my ticket to Milano
Well I had to go the bathroom and had just enough time but it requires 0.7Euro and correct change which I did not have. You can not just go up to a kiosk and ask for change…they don’t give it and usually ask you for change. I decided to buy some water 1.20 Euro for the train but they only have one cashier that services the bar, restaurant, ice cream shop, grocery store and cafeteria. You have to go to her, tell her what you are ordering then go to the place and give them a receipt to get what you want. The line was out the door and I waited. After receiving my change I ran to the bathroom and found all the stalls occupied except the one with the broken lock. I took it and put my suitcase against the door. I made the train in time to board. It took off just as I found a seat. I’m running out of hemorrhoid ointment!!
…to be continued…photos to follow.