Friday, June 12, 2009


OF COURSE there is internet access. These days WiFi is like a human right rather than a privilege.

So we had a great train trip (in my opinion, Sophie) because I was like an excitable child unable to sleep because it was all SO exciting!!

The train was very comfortable. We were in a 3 bed cabin. The pictures we took don't really show it very well, so they're a bit pointless. When we got on board, three comfy large seats were in our cabin, and above our head was the top bed already made up. There was a little cupboard that had a sink and towels and cups and hot and cold water. When we went off for dinner (very romantic, but not sure restaurants should really be on trains. we almost fell off our chairs when the train was at full speed!) at 9pm, the train staff turned the room into the beds for the night. That's when it got a little interesting. They also luckily put a ladder in for the person on the middle and top bunk. I was put on the bottom because of motion sickness fear, Mum was in the middle by default because Dad really had no choice but to keep going up the ladder in order to make room for Mum brushing her teeth. The beds were long enough (maybe not for the boys, but Mum and I were comfortable). We all put our iPods in and tried to fall asleep. We were pretty successful. Of course it is on and off but I couldn't believe how easy it was considering we were on a moving train (which made quite a few stops...).

A bed (the bottom one which was transformed from the seats into the bed):

We awoke in the morning having been uninterrupted the whole night. That's right. Nobody was killed or even stabbed and nobody black mailed us for money in order for the return of our tickets and passports like I had been assured would happen by Mum and Dad. We got up at about 8:30, had coffee and arrived in VENICE!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY FOR ITALY!! at about 10am. By some miracle, our hotel rooms were ready! The showers are tiny but apart from that everything else is really nice. Most importantly? IT IS HOT HERE!!!!!!!!! It's a relief after the wet and cold of Paris.

We went for a walk at lunch (Pizza and Gelato of course), then slept for about 4 hours before the tour meeting. It sounds pretty interesting and covers some ground and of course there are boat roads to the islands and gondolas and St Mark's so very exciting. There are 12 people on our tour. It will be a new way to travel for Mum and Dad. Fingers crossed it's okay. They also seem to think Venice is a lot better 20 years later. Their opinion may change again after we do the really touristy things tomorrow though. We just got back from a walk to the Ponte di Rialto and a paper shop Mum was interested in for her binding. So nice strolling in the warmth and seeing so many different things. It was definitely like stepping off the train into a new world portal or something, so different!

One of the many mask stores/stalls. Very vibrant and intricate. Too bad I don't have any masked balls coming up.

The view of our hotel from the grand canal side. Sort Of. The hotel with the red/black candy stripe poles is the front of our hotel.

The Ponte di Rialto:

A little canal with a tree in the middle of it:

The street side of our hotel (you can see the hotel sign: Hotel Principe, deceiving though because it's actually pretty huge on the inside, tiny sign though).

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