This is the 11th of a series of posts recalling my trip to Europe, using e-mails sent at the time. Unlike later trips, I didn’t e-mail people everyday. Trip reports are largely as I wrote them at the time with two exceptions: 1. I was usually pretty rushed due to Internet fees in Europe, so I’ve cleaned up my e-mails to make them more coherent, which wasn’t a priority at the time. Also, in some blog posts I’ll add additional thoughts with the hindsight of nine years later or to add further clarification. I’ll use “NOW” in such cases.
This 11th report covered my two days in Venice plus my first day in Salzburg.
I spent a couple of days in Venice. I nearly left the same day due to lack of accommodation. I finally found an E22 place for one night.
[NOW: I called various places and they were all full. Literally the last hostel on my list of hostels had a space open.]
Venice is nice to look at, and was about the first city that I wasn’t dodging cars (since only a few areas like Lido have cars).
[NOW: The two large sections in the middle of Venice as the ones that don’t allow vehicles, though you can drive to a parking area in one of these. Other sections can be driven in. I visited Lido because it had a beach. The funny thing is, I now recall it as being my dingy than I apparently thought of Venice at the time. There were certainly some areas that were quite run down. Remember that much of the land mass in Venice is artificial, cities of canals, so it wasn’t hard to find buildings that were showing water damage on the outside.]
Very easy to get lost, especially since the tourist map doesn’t list all the streets.
[NOW: Also the streets resemble a maze. I also recall stray cas there. One seemed afraid of me, sadly.]
I dropped my camera. Not sure if it’s still working.
[NOW: Remember, this was a film camera so it wasn’t until I developed the film that I discovered that it was in fact still working.]
I lost my Youth Hostel International bed sheet plus (I think) my phone number list); please send your number if you want me to call, I have been calling friends here and there to use up phone card times and to hear a friendly voice.
[NOW: Remember, this was back in 2002, though I still welcome phone calls from friends. Phone cards proved to be nice souvenirs.]
I compared train prices to decide next my destination. The two big cities nearly (relatively), Budapest and Vienna were E70, Salzburg was E48, and Innsbruck was E36; I went with Salzburg, it seemed best compromise between sights and cost.
[NOW: I did make it to Innsbruck later, however. Neither Salzburg nor Innsbruck was originally on my itinerary. I changed it due to the lost rail pass]
There was a gap between 3:30 and 6:15 in the morning between trains to Salzburg. In the in-between stop (Villach), the station had a clear glass cubicle for travellers. One person inside got up, took off his shirt and shoes, walked to the cubicle entrance, and started urinating; luckily a janitor cleaned mess well before I needed to leave the cubicle.
[NOW: Weird. I had recalled this as happening earlier in my trip. Will have to go back and revise a couple of blog posts.]
I lucked out in my hostel; it’s on top of a mountain, and only costs E12.5 a night. I bought two nights, as my next destination, Munich is only two hours away, thus no need for night train.