Embarking on a train journey from Salzburg to Venice, I found myself in unexpected company, sharing a cabin with a diverse group of fellow travelers.  As I settled into my assigned cabin, I discovered that my travel companions consisted of a well-to-do Muslim family and a friendly older couple from Australia. We quickly struck up conversations and enjoyed each other’s company throughout the journey. Arriving at Villach, Austria, for a brief layover, we found ourselves faced with an unforeseen delay for the train to Venice. Making the most of the situation, we lounged on the platform, soaking up the warm Austrian sun.

Confusion arose when multiple trains arrived simultaneously at the same platform. One was our very late Venice bound train, and another was a train bound for somewhere completely different. In Europe, you are able to enter a rail platform with a ticket, but it is up to you to board the correct train. Each train stops only briefly, and tickets are then checked once seated onboard. We were uncertain about which one to board, and needed to make our decision quickly.

In the rush to board, all of my previous cabin mates and I mistakenly boarded the wrong train, only realizing our mistake at the last moment! The Muslim family and I bolted out of the train just in time to see our long-awaited train to Venice pulling away.  With the Australian couple unable to disembark in time, they found themselves enroute to a different destination. Fortunately, the Muslim family and I managed to find an alternative bus service to continue our journey, and we embarked on a serendipitous adventure. The bus was a double decker, and our first-class tickets allowed access to a coffee bar in the back.

Arriving in the enchanting city of Venice, I was greeted by the grandeur of the Boscolo Luxury Hotel Bellini. Housed in a former 18th-century palace in the Cannaregio district, the hotel exuded elegance and charm. The opulent interiors showcased ancient marbles, exquisite Murano glass chandeliers, and a myriad of captivating antiques. From my room overlooking the picturesque Grand Canal, I marveled at the timeless beauty that surrounded me. The hotel’s proximity to St. Mark’s Square, the vibrant heart of the city, allowed me to immerse myself in the rich cultural tapestry of Venice. The hotel also offered a nightly buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres and free wine from a large urn with a spigot near the lobby.

Exploring Venice became a delightful adventure as I wandered through its alleyways and hidden canals. Getting lost amidst the maze-like streets, I discovered the city’s true essence. Every corner revealed a new enchantment, be it a charming boutique, a quaint cafĂ©, or a striking canal bridge.

My journey from Salzburg to Venice was marked by unexpected encounters, train mishaps, and the enchantment of a city suspended on water. Despite the challenges faced along the way, I embraced the serendipity of the moment, forging connections with fellow travelers and delving into the rich cultural heritage of Venice.

Scroll down below the comment section (leave a comment if you like), to read the next post and discover the next adventure…