Backpack Benji

Venice, Italy.

In my train cabin from Salzburg to Venice was a well-to-do Muslim family, and an older couple from Australia. We talked briefly and followed each other as we had to switch trains in Villach, Austria for the second leg of the trip.  Our train was grossly delayed and we had to wait for hours at the medium-size station.  Our train finally arrived along with another train at the same time on the same platform.  Everything was written in German or Italian so it was difficult to know which train to board.  We all boarded and discovered at the last minute that we were on the wrong train!  We jumped off just in time to see our long-awaited train to Venice pulling away.  Luckily we were able to find a bus service to complete our journey.  The Muslim family and I had first-class tickets on the lower-level of the bus which had very comfy seating and a coffee bar in the back.

While in Venice, I stayed in the Boscolo Luxury Hotel Bellini – a former 18th century Patricia Palace in the Cannaregio district – with ancient marbles, authentic Murano glass chandeliers and numerous antiques. The hotel overlooked the Grand Canal and was close to St Marks square – the heart of the city. The hotel offered a nightly buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres and oh yeah…free wine. The area was rich in shops and restaurants and I spent my time getting lost in alleyways and hidden canals.


Here is a map of this trip – to see full size – click on the expand icon in the far low-right corner: