Christy and Aaron Tracker

Follow Christy and Aaron on their backpacking trip around the world

Back in Venice… train station

Posted by Aaron in Posts on 08 28th, 2010

As our ferry was docking in Venice we passed San Marco square and we could see the leaning tower of a church near the hotel we stayed in when we were in Venice earlier. It was weird being back in Venice. It was amazing that two and a half months had passed since we were last here. It was also strange to be in this city without my parents. Memories only a few months old came flooding back. Shortly after the memories of Venice,  memories of the destinations between my visits in Venice started playing through my mind. It was the first time we had returned to a city on this trip after leaving its country. I did not feel the deja vu I was expecting, but a feeling of summary and reflection on a phase coming to an end.

The time of reflection did not last long, because straight off the ferry in Venice we went to the train station. We were planning on catching a train later the same day to Paris to get us most of the way back to London. We waited in a long line to get our tickets to Paris, but they were sold out. There were no tickets available for over a week! We felt panic momentarily flush through us. We had to get back to London in 5 days to catch our flight to Cairo. How much was buying ourselves out of this situation going to cost if we needed to get plane tickets? Fortunately the panic did not last and we got out of the ticket line to find an alternative train route. We got out our Eurail maps and timetables and came up several back up plans. We ended up choosing Zurich as our next destination since it is very well connected to other European cities. We were really lucky we were not cutting the timing of our return to London too close. We had already learned that lesson a few times. One and a half hours after arriving in Venice, we were on a train to Zurich.

30 hours on the poor man’s cruise

Posted by Aaron in Posts on 08 27th, 2010

We are almost finished with the European part of our journey. All that is left is to get back to London from Greece to catch our flight to Cairo, Egypt. The first leg to get us back to London was a 30 hour ferry from Patras, Greece to Venice, Italy. Our EuRail got us free deck passage on the boat. We were surprised to find out that we literally had deck passage tickets. There were some small uncomfortable chairs available, but Christy and I figured we would be more comfortable laying of the floor. We were some of the first people on the boat so we choose a spot by the pool and laid out our travel sheets. The cold wind from the boat woke us up during the night. We ended up sleeping in all of our rain gear to keep us warm in the wind. To make things worse, I was already fighting a head cold.

Christy camping on the deck of the ferry to Venice

When we woke up in the morning we were surprised to find the boat had filled up with other deck passengers. People were laying in every available space on the boat. The ferry, which seemed very nice when we got on (it had a pool) began to feel like a poor man’s cruise. Everywhere we walked there were people on air mattresses and in sleeping bags.

People camping on the ferry

People camping on the ferry

People camping on the ferry

Some people even brought tents.

Tent camping on the ferry

Thirty hours later we arrived in Venice. We were stiff and tired, but we could not stop to rest. We went straight to the train station to continue our journey back to London.

Venice, Italy

Posted by Aaron in Posts on 06 21st, 2010

After Florence we took a train to Venice.

Aaron's mom and dad on a train to Venice

Everyone we talked to about traveling in Italy had negative things to say about Venice. The most common comment was only one day is needed in Venice. We were getting a little nervous since we had 3 nights reserved for Venice.

When we got to our apartment we were pleasantly surprised, we love Venice. The roads only allow pedestrians and are as confusing as a maze. Canals are everywhere and the buildings are all old, just like in pictures. All of these factors combine to create a really atmospheric place to get lost and wander around.

It has been raining here but we still had fun walking in our rain gear. We took advantage of a short break in the rain to do the gondola ride my mom really wanted. The gondola ride was amazing. Our navigator sang, showed us important sights, and pretended to tip us over a few times. I thought we were going to fall in when we had to get on one side so the boat would lean and we could fit under the small bridges.

Christy and Aaron on the gondola ride

Aaron's mom and dad in the gondola

We are looking forward to another day of wandering around Venice before we leave for our most anticipated destination, Cinque Terra.