Travel in the rain
In October I left Paris still feeling ill, taking a high-speed train to catch up to the overnight train to Venice (Big Mistake)! When shown to my cabin and the conductor opened the door there were two people in the lower bunk I had reserved and the cabin was so full with luggage I couldn’t see how I could fit! I ended up paying an extra 50 Euros for a private cabin where the heat was on full blast (Not great while still sick). If you want the adventure of an overnight train, I wouldn’t book in a 6 person cabin!
At least the weather was good when I got to Venice. So I sat outside for coffee at the train station before taking the “water bus” to the Hostel.
I liked the Generator Venice hostel, it was away from the main tourist attractions, had a bar/restaurant and good views. The neighborhood was good to walk around and explore. The weekend entertainment was also good with a live band! A Booking.com link to Generator Venice
The good weather didn’t last and on the day I left it was pouring so bad the “bus” back to the train station wasn’t running. I missed my train and had to book another because I didn’t know I couldn’t reschedule after it had left.
On to Rome and more rain. the hostel I had booked in Rome looked seedy and had strange rules that you had to vacate and leave your stuff for 5 hours each day. Still sick and with the rain I got a decent deal as a walk in at a hotel nearby and not far from the train station. Feeling a little better on the day before I was going to leave and the rain seemed to be letting up, I decided to do one of the double decker bus tours. Of course it started raining again 10 minutes after I got on.
Next was a great train ride along the coast to Nice.
In Nice the weather was finally nice (I had to say it)! I stayed at another great hostel! The Villa Saint Exupery Beach Hostel is great with a lively bar and some rooms even have bathtubs! It’s a short walk to the beach, lots of restaurants and shops. A Booking.com link to Villa Saint Exupery Hostel
A note about public bathrooms in Europe: They charge in many public locations, so make sure you have some Euros!
After getting better again in Nice I found a cheap flight to Barcelona and back to the rain! I found another good Hostel in Barcelona. The Black Swan hostel has food every night and even has cooking lessons on some. A Booking.com link to the Black Swan Hostel
BE WARNED! Barcelona is probably the worst place in Europe for pickpockets! I had my phone and fake wallet stolen the day before I left.
Finally into the sun
I got on board the Norwegian Epic for the 13 day cruise back to the states. The weather was great with stops in Tenerife and San Juan. I finally felt human again when we got to Orlando. One thing about cruising is that most stops are just for the day with enough time to do a shore excursion or tour before you get back on the ship. If you want to get to know a place find a way to go there and stay cheap … Teaching English as a foreign language is one way… more about that in a future post!