What a morning! Our little room in Austria was so stuffy and hot (just preparing us for Haiti) I managed to get only 2-3 hours of sleep. Up with the birds at 4am. Shelby and I were both a bit nervous about the train to Venice. Even though we have an unlimited train pass, all Italian trains require reservations. We had made our reservation online a few nights ago, and the emailed confirmation says that we need to use a self service machine to print our ticket in an Italian station. We aren't in Italy yet, we are boarding the train in Austria and entering Italy. Hopeful that we would be able to find a self service station or be able to ask for help we set out early to get to the train station. There were no self service stations. Okay, next.. We went into the information booth. The man said "can't print ticket here" and we asked how we go about doing that. His response, "I don't know. Goodbye." Cultural difference! In America, I feel like "I don't know" isn't a good enough answer in customer service. If a person doesn't know, they would lead you into a direction to find your answer. Not here. So we walked away with no answers and feeling a tad nervous about the adventure.
With everything that we have had to encounter, discover, and figure out, I don't think anything will phase me anymore. I've always been an individual that is plagued with anxiety, but this trip is teaching me just how much I'm able to withstand. How flexible I can be. Definitely building myself into an even stronger, independent person.
We boarded the train and found our reserved seats and hoped that nothing would go wrong. Aside from having to sit next to a man with really long legs that kept touching me (I feel extremely uncomfortable with strangers touching me ) and having to keep my feet flat on the ground (I also feel uncomfortable with having my feet on the ground for long periods of time) the ride was lovely. Winding around the mountains into Italy. It was the most beautifully scenic route I've ever encountered. As we got deeper into Italy, castles were strewn about, remains of the Roman Empire. I even saw a little fox scampering about not far off from the passing train.
And then... We crossed into Italy. When the train attendant approached us, our email with our tickets wasn't valid because we didn't get them printed off. We explained that we were in Austria and that we couldn't print them there and he said then we would have been better off getting on the train and buying a reservation because now we have to pay again. This didn't make sense to me. The Italian trains require a reservation to ride- but you can hop on and buy a reservation. What? We paid our reservation fee again, and I got up and found a new seat because I was sick of sitting next to the guy with the long legs.
Things got worse before they got better. Upon arrival to Venice. I hesitated about getting off the train, only to then miss our opportunity. We were stuck on the train, passed our stop. We ended up on the main island of Venice, but our hotel was back on the main lands. It's no easy hop onto the next subway, like we are used to. We had to wait 45 minutes for the train to bring us back, and then risk paying another couple euro. I was hoping we wouldn't get charged and we could make it back without any more issues. We did eventually make it to our hotel, and we again have wifi and free breakfast (which is a first).
I hope my experience in Italy brightens from this misadventure of a morning. I'm missing America slightly today.