Europe Trip 2010 – Side Trip to Innsbruck, Austria (Day 28)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Venetian Highlights:

  • Sunrise near San Marcos Square

Transport Highlights:

  • Snow in Brenner Stazione, Italy

Innsbruck Highlights:

  • Finding Nepomuk’s Hostel/Hotel Bed & Breakfast

I had set an alarm this morning for if I wanted to wake up at some unruly hour and take vaporetto #1 down and back through the Grand Canal to watch the sun rise near San Marcos Square. Though I didn’t wake up at 6:30am, I managed to get myself up at 7:30am and walk out of the hostel towards the train stazione where the vaporetto ports were. Getting on one of these today would make my 18 euro 24-hour ticket worth the price since I only went on two yesterday and it’s 6,50 euro per ride if purchased individually.

I looked quickly at the guide and hopped on one that looked good. Unfortunately for me, I still haven’t figured out how the vaporetto system works quite yet, and though I got on one that goes to San Marcos Square…it was a vaporetto that went all the way out of the Grand Canal (opposite the direction I wanted to go), around the main island of Venice, and around to San Marcos Square…and it was vaporetto #2 which should’ve tipped me off in the first place. However, I accepted my silly mistake and enjoyed the ride and caught the Venetian sunrise from the southwest side of Venice on the vaporetto out on open waters. And it was beautiful.

2010.04.01 Venice, Italy

From San Marcos I walked to Rialto Bridge and hopped on another vaporetto (this time #1) back towards the train stazione, but got off a few stops early at Ca d’Ora to see if I could catch some free-wifi outside of Mc Donalds lol. I was able to just fine and checked some email, looked up some addresses, and downloaded a free “Notes” app since I realized that I couldn’t take notes on my little Droid.

Then it was a race against time to get back to the hostel, pack my backpacking pack, race over to the train stazione, figure out what train I was on, pay for my EuroStar ticket, and get on it before 8:58am. I had about 25 minutes to do all that. I was mildly sad to find that when I got back to the hostel Colin was already packed and gone. I figured he’d woken up early to get a cafe, and since he stuff was all gone, that he was catching an early train too. So I decided to wander my train and voila he was on the same early train as me a few cars down, except headed for Zurich (our train was going to Milano but I was getting off at Verona). So I got to say my goodbye after all, then headed back to sit and space out in my own train car for the next hour or two.

After getting off at Verona, it was time to catch a train to Brenner in north Italia. I noticed that the train started speaking in Italian AND German at this point. And I also noticed that as we traveled further north, the climate changed to more snowy and rainy weather and the houses started to have a different architecture. By the time we got off in Brenner, it was snowing fairly hard. The wind and snow hurt my eyes and I had to squint when walking around the platform looking for my connecting train. I didn’t find it until after it had already left. Turns out the connecting train was at platform N, which wasn’t near the regular train track, but at the faaar end of the train stazione…ie it took off from just one end of the train stazione, hidden behind all the buildings and trains. I found it only 1 minute after it left, so I had to wait for an hour for the next one to come, which I guess wasn’t too bad.

2010.04.01 Venice, Italy to Innsbruck, Austria (Transit)

When I did board the train, there were quite a few people my age with their skis and snowboards boarding as well. We chugged through a blizzard and snow covered everything and I started to panic inside. If it was snowing like this in Innsbruck, and I had no idea where I was going to be staying yet…I would not be prepared for this. I just sat frozen in my seat going through every scenario in my head to work out a plan and a back-up plan for when I arrived. What luck to find that 10 miles out of Innsbruck, it wasn’t snowing and was just damp with previous rain instead. Innsbruck itself was snuggled between all these blizzard mountains and was itself safe from the storms. I got off and spent an hour in the train stazione trying to get internet to figure out where to go (this failed), tried to get something to eat (successful but could hardly breath in the cafe because of all the cigarette smoke), and went to the info booth where the guy gave me directions to the two or three hostels I was looking to walk over to. And off I went. First stop…Old Town where I had heard about Nepomuk’s from Colin’s Lonely Planet Europe on a Shoestring guide back in Venice. The area looked nice. And I got one of the two last beds. I was exhausted and didn’t do much more that night than walk around old town, look for internet (unsuccessfully once again…nobody seems to know or understand the concept of free wi-fi here), and get a nutella/banana crepe which tasted amazing but was impossible to eat with just your hands (ie you needed a fork and knife which I didn’t have), so walking around trying to eat it looked like a disaster to all by-passers lol.

2010.04.01 Innsbruck, Austria

I also met my new roommate, Farmer Jon from Australia. Are all Australians as adventurous as every one I’ve come across so far? Because they are all amazingly cool.

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