Grand Canal

A Boat, A Bus, and a Train

I can't go without blogging about my travels back to Vienna from Venice. With a combination of boat, bus, and train, my journey encompassed all sorts of landscapes. Starting in Venice, I had to ride the Al Vaporetto, the boat, to get to the bus station. It was a lovely short ride along the Grand Canal, giving me my last glimpse of the palaces, the gondolas, and the island. Bittersweet.

The Grand Canal

From there I took the bus to an Austrian city called Villach. Didn't really know what to expect to see from my window...maybe some small Italian towns, but nothing spectacular. More than anything else, I think I was just upset that I was leaving Venice to enter the world of cars  again.

But my frame of mind changed soon after with views of winding roads, acres of vineyards, and would you believe it, the Swiss Alps. I had no idea that I'd even come across those great mountains during this trip! I had totally forgotten that the Italy, Austria, and Switzerland all neighboured each other! And surrounding the mountains were little streams and a river with the cleanest water I've ever seen in my life. I don't know the name of that river but the woman next to me said it's one of Italy's longest...I'll have to research that later. But anyway, there I was sitting on the bus in awe and I couldn't help but think that the people who live there get to see this scenery every single day. Do they realize how beautiful it is? Do they still appreciate its grandness or is it just there...a backdrop simply ignored?

The Alps

But alas, the journey didn't end there...I had to switch on to the train and enjoy four glorious hours of the Austrian landscape. How could I have forgotten that the Sound of Music took place in Austria? With the vast and rolling hills in sight, I pictured Maria twirling around singing, "the hills are aliiiiiveeeee...". So lovely! Seeing the homes there, I imagined again of how life must be like. Crazy to think how much diversity there is in this world... both in lifestyle and in geography.

The Hills of Austria

I really didn't expect that adventure back to Vienna. I just thought I'd sleep or read much of the way but how could I with scenery like that? Who knew the sights I'd behold on a boat, a bus, and a train would be so breathtaking?

Ciao belli amici!

Ciao from Venice, Italy!

Made it to this quaint little city yesterday morning and no sooner do I step out of the train do I see that famous Grand Canal with all the gondolas. Let me tell's everything I imagined it to be! Everytime I step outside, it shocks me to see boats and gondolas as the main mode of transportation. And walking along so many bridges to cross not a street, but a canal! It's like I'm living in a totally different world!

I've been spending the past two days just walking everywhere and turning at every small little alleyway and trying, as much as possible, to take the unbeaten path. I've done some hefty exploring walking from San Marco to Accademia to Rialto to San Lucia...and let me tell you, my feet are on fire! I feel like I've walked the entire island already (almost actually).

The weather has been gorgeous and promises to be for the rest of the week...lovely to see everyone just hanging outside with a glass of vino listening to the live band playing in the background. It makes me think of everyone back in Toronto who are always so excited when patio season comes knocking around the corner. Excited to find a spot near the canal sometime later this week and just take in the sun and a good book. This, my friends, is the dolce vita!

Anyway, I've got to run. I've got an early morning train to catch tomorrow AM to Milan. Just for the day though and then I go back "home" to Venezia.

Ciao for now!