Train to Venice
Today I would be taking the train to Venice. So, up early and a short walk over to the train station. My first train ride went from Vienna to Innsbruck and included 10 stops. The platform number came up on the departure screen and I set out for platform eight. If you have a confirmed reservation, your ticket will tell you your coach number and your seat number.
I purchased my ticket before I left Canada, from the OBB website. So convenient to pay for the ticket and print them from the comfort of home. (Your ticket will be printed in German.) So, if your German is rusty, write out in English your train number, coach number, and seat number.
When the train to Venice arrived at the station, I boarded coach 20 and found my seat with the reservation tag attached to it. A little awkward as it was a table seat facing another person. I guess it would be fine for your spouse/friend, but I was not looking forward to four hours staring at a German man! Once the train departed, I got up and found a seat without a reservation tag. That gave me much more leg room and an enjoyable ride!
The lush, green countryside passed by as we headed westward. When nearing Salzburg, you could see mountains with snow on the top. When we got closer to Innsbruck, the train was going through green valleys, surrounded by snow covered mountains.
I will say I found the Czech rail product to be superior to the Austrian one. Czech offered meal service at your seat and free bottled water. The Austrian service was a guy with a cart passing through the railcar. He had a choice of snacks, fruit, and sandwiches. If you wanted a coffee, he had to lean over you to plug in the Nespresso machine. A small cup of coffee cost 2.20 euro or $3.20 CDN.
We arrived in Innsbruck running 5 minutes late, but I still had twenty minutes to catch the train to Venice. I went to the train station to grab a drink and a baguette for the next part of the train journey towards Venice. Stocked up I headed to platform 3 to catch the 13:27 train. It arrived on time and I found my place in coach 263 and seat 26.
This train to Venice had several cars with compartments. Each compartment has four seats and a sliding door. Not sure of the etiquette in these situations, so I nod and say hi. There is no response, so it will be a quiet train ride. The scenery was spectacular passing through lush valleys with snow-capped mountains. At the mountain rail station, hikers exited the train with full backpacks and walking sticks.
We passed several other trains carrying trucks up through the mountains. Near the top, transport trucks drove off these trains. Half-way through the journey, everyone in my cabin left. Another set of non-English speakers replaced them. Further, into Italy, the landscape changed and became less mountainous. Grapes grow on both sides of the train. At one point they were growing on the narrow strip between the train tracks and the highway.
A cup of coffee went up in price on this train and I paid 2.80 euros or $4.05 CDN. I was longing for the delicious cheap latte from the Czech train! A passenger left a few stops before Venice and then before you knew it we were crossing the long causeway over to Venice and the train station.
Arriving in Venice–Again!
I had a general idea of where the bus station was and how to get there. Crossing a bridge and the bus stop was on the left. To the right is the ticket kiosk to buy your bus ticket. My hotel was near the airport, so I caught the number 5 airport bus.
You are given a card as a ticket and when you get on the bus, you need to confirm it. This is done by holding it in front of the validator and it shows a green light. The stop I wanted was 14 stops away, but I wanted a back-up, so I pulled up the route on a map. I was glad I did because we only stopped at requested stops. Our bus driver drove like an Italian race car driver down a good stretch of the route. If I had not been paying attention, he would have flown by my stop!
At my bus stop, I noticed the hotel which we had just passed, so at least knew which direction to go. On the way, I found a pharmacy and explained my flu-like symptoms to the Italian pharmacist. She gave me medication that should do the job. Check in went smoothly, and the staff was helpful. No restaurant at the hotel, but they recommended a place next door. TripAdvisor rated it highly, so I went and ordered pizza for my last meal in Europe.
I booked this hotel for convenience to the airport and it had a free shuttle in the morning. A little quirky, but clean, quiet and had free wifi. It had a free breakfast, but not sure how hungry I will be at 4:30 am! Looking forward to my day tomorrow and flights to Asia.
Venice Bus Tip:
Be careful when buying the bus ticket as you do not want the “to the airport” price. If you pay for going to the airport, it will be 8 euros. If you pay for “just before” the airport, it will be 1.50 euro. This bus is used by local people for commuting and is good value!