Italy, UK & Transatlantic Cruise 2019 travel blog


It was difficult to leave Florence and our responsive and pleasant Hostess. Our apartment was very nice, not too unexpected since it was Paolo's (our Hostess) daughter's apartment. The daughter now lives in England, and probably won't be coming home, but Mom still hopes so, and in the meantime is renting it out to tourists like us.

We had already purchased our tickets on the train before coming to the station. We knew there would be a line, and joined one behind a turnstile that was closed with a red X. Finally one of the passengers asked where we were going, and shocked us both as she said to go down to an open gate and run, because our train was about to leave the station! That's exactly what we did, and made it into the first passenger car just as the train jolted into action. Whew, that was CLOSE.

We didn't think about what class this car was, just that it was moving, and we were aboard! We stowed our luggage and took a seat across a table from a fellow who didn't have much interest in us, which was just fine. We did some journaling, some sightseeing, and (Jim) a lot of sleeping during the 2 hour ride. Oh, did I mention that we happened to be in the first class car? Yep, but we were never asked for our tickets until we left the train in Venice, and even then we just used them to open a gate to allow us to leave.

Our goal was to take a large Vaporetto down the Grand Canal, but as we began to follow our directions a fellow with "Porter" on his vest came over and asked if we'd like help in getting to the Vaporetto stop, all for 'just' 24e. We thought that was way over the top, so said 'thank you, but no.' He then offered to take us over the big bridge for 'just' 10e. No way! Well, until we tried pulling our 45lb suitcases up what seemed an endless climb. We motioned him to come back over, and he did, smiling all the time. Hey, 10e was cheap!

After a few wrong turns and a few ups and downs (mostly ups)we made it to the Vaporetto. A young man informed us that our 'bus' stop (St. Marco) was closed to 2 days. Oh, great! We finally did find our way to what appeared to be winding to our new 'home' Oh, it turned out that our stop was open after all. Along the way we found what seemed to be a good restaurant. Jim had noodles with duck ragu sauce (awful). Karen got Orrichetto with mozzarella and bacon - very good. We made it to our new digs with one wrong turn (a record). Exhausted from the very long day we had a snack supper and fell into bed.



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