Traveling allows for you to gain a new perspective and therefore each time you visit a place (even if you have been there hundreds of times) it is different because you have changed and the world around you has changed.
This weekend while in Florence & Venice, Italy there were moments where I as a traveler had never encountered. Not only did we not know where people were on that intense Friday night, but we had train delays and cancellations.
In my entire two months of living in Florence, Italy- not once did I have a train delayed or cancelled on me. And within three days of visiting Florence and Venice, I had both happen.
Olivia, Richelle, Alora, Luisa, Jen, and I woke up very early on Sunday morning (3:30am) to catch our 4:35am train from Florence to Venice. We were excited to spend our morning on the train and the rest of the day exploring and discovering Venice, Italy.
Little did we know the morning would be filled with a train cancellations and beautiful Italian men we self-named Niccoli.
That dark, early morning we rose to climb abroad on early train- least expecting it to be cancelled moments before we were suppose to board. Now, what would you do at 4:30 in the morning in a dark train station as four girls without any form of communication?
Well, our soluation was to ask a beautiful Italian man, who we later self-named as Niccoli. He told us the train had been cancelled due to a strike (of course) and to wait out all of the trains until one is heading to our destination.
So we waited.
At 7:00am McDonalds and a snack bar opened so we could grab some snacks and wait some more.
Finally, around 8:00am news came through there would be a train from Florence and Bologna at 8:30am. It was the first of six trains that were heading to Bologna that had not been cancelled.
Not having a reservation ticket to that particular train, we immediately headed to the platform so we can get empty seats on the train. Thankfully we did because minutes later, they put up barracades and checked everyone ticket to make sure they had a reservation to be on the train.
We successfully snuck onto our first train of many for this transit filled weekend.
In Bologna we sprinted to our exchange train and once more succesfully snuck onto another train we didn't have tickets for. Unforunately all of the seats were filled on the train and we were forced to stand in the hallways for two and a half hours.
My feet most definietly hurt after that.
We finally made it to Venice and checked in to our hostel, Camping Rialto (the same one I stayed at last time I was in Venice).
After checkin, we took the bus to Venice and explored for the day!!!
We even rode a GONDOLA!!! (Bucket List Item - CHECK).
As we were trying to head back to the bus station, we got lost and asked these random Italian men if they knew where the bus station was. Luckily for us they were heading there and they told us to follow them- so we did.
For a little bit it was okay, until we started to go down random, empty alley streets and our spidy senses started to tingle. The guys resurred us we were almost there, and they were right. Within minutes, we were standing the large bus plaza.
The next morning we checked out of the hostel and with our backpacks in toe headed back out to explore more of Venice before our afternoon train.
The first train was smooth sailing- until, well, it wasn't. We soon found out our train was moving slower than it was suppose to and we were running 35 minutes late. We were heading to Milan to catch our train change to Brig which then in Brig we would catch a trian to Lausanne. However, we only had a twenty minute train change time between the Venice to Milan train and Milan to Brig train.
Which of course we missed because the train was running slow.
Luckily, another train was heading straight from Milan to Lausanne that was leaving twenty minutes after. Unluckily, nearly every seat in the train was filled so we sat and stood in the hallway once more for nearly three and a half hours.
During that time we made some Italian and Masadonian friends, which was really cool! They told us some cheap places to go grocery shopping in Lausanne.
All in all and despite the trains and random mishaps, this four day weekend was incredible. I loved traveling with these ladies and loved exploring Venice and Florence through their eyes and their new experiences.
I can for sure say that it was a successful first non-Swiss Travel week-end.