Venice Hotels Articles

July 21, 2010

Planes, trains & automobiles: Transport nightmares

We had already experienced a couple of mishaps and mistakes along our travels around Europe with our Eurorail monthly validation tickets. In-fact we had a couple of nightmares with the trains, not that i wouldn’t do it again. It was fantastic. But this journey in particular i will never forget. The smells, the noises, the emotions we went through, and this was all before we even set foot on the train.

We were due to leave Venezia for Prague at 2040 on Saturday the 21st of July 2007. After a wonderful and very hot time in Venice and Italy it was time for us to move on to another country and city. A sleeper train was always going to be a bit difficult we thought, but we would fill our bellies with beer and have a good hearty meal before boarding this train journey that would last around 8 hours. So like any traveling man does, with caution, at 2010 our train still wasn’t up on the board of departures and this alarmed us greatly. So we queued like everyone did for fifteen minutes until we got to the front where one walks in to the ticket and information booth one by one. To our amazement the train had been canceled. And not only was it not mentioned up on the board to everyone traveling this route, there was also no alternate train at that time, or any train going from Venice to Prague at all. There had been a train strike for reasons still unknown to this day. We had been done. This was it. We had come all this way, traveled for four straight weeks through six different countries and we were hit with this. Lady Luck was not on our side tonight, thats for sure, and what was about to take place later on was a perfect example of this.

Vienna we were told was the only train we could get that would have trains going to Prague, but not Venice nor any surrounding towns or cities in Italy. We were beginning to really hate Italy now and could not wait to leave her and her boots behind. So now after all the waiting around we were redirected to Venezia (Mestre), which is a small town where most people who work in Venice commute to and from on a daily basis. And here in the small station of Mestre stood hundreds, maybe even near thousands of people waiting for various trains due to other cancellations also. It was crazy. Drunks everywhere, families huddled together, people bringing out sleeping bags to sleep in until their train was due to arrive. One family even put up two separate tents on a platform in an attempt to get some sleep or maybe just to hide

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