Sunday we tried to sort out horseback riding, which we heard was available in the area. Sadly, the people who run the place were on a weekend riding trip, so instead we spent the day at the mineral baths. There were about 15 different baths, some inside, some out. One you scrubbed with Dead Sea sea salt before getting in, another was in a dark room with colored lights and calming music, one had a current that pushed you around a loop….you get the idea. There was even a bar in one of the pools – and yes, I mean in the pool. A very relaxing day. Then we decided to walk into town to use the ATM and maybe find a restaurant for dinner. After we found the ATM we decided we’d rather just get back to our place first before dinner, and tried to call the taxi. But the taxi fellow was out, and since there’s apparently only one in this part of town, we got to walk up the hill instead. Sure gives you an appreciation for the view, and it really wasn’t too bad. We also forgot that it was Sunday and many restaurants by our villa were likely closed, but fortunately there was a small café still open with some small pizzas and wine…..one of those days where nothing is quite how you expected, but it all ends well.
Monday we headed east to Venice for a night. What a city. As soon as you step out of the train station there’s a canal and all of these grand buildings. There are no streets at all, such that a car would drive on, but canals all throughout the city. I somehow managed to lose the directions to our hotel between the villa and the train station, so we had a bit of an adventure finding the hostel. They also weren’t entirely forthcoming about their location, which didn’t help either. After hauling our luggage over many bridges, we finally found the place. The staff were very friendly and it was nicely located for a getting most places, and the beds were comfy, so not too bad despite the effort of finding it. We grabbed lunch at a little café, apparently right next to the sewer Indiana Jones comes out of in the third movie. We went for a stroll up to the Basilica di San Marco and ate dinner by the water.
Sadly, I started to get a cold on Monday, and my Argentinian roommates checked out at 4:30 in the morning, so I wasn’t feeling my best the next day. Caitlin had some loud snorers in her room, and mosquitoes as well, so she didn’t sleep particularly well either. We did a bit more sightseeing, but were pretty tuckered out before long.The Guggenheim Museum was closed when we tried to go, and the gondola rides were quite expensive, so we finally had one of those off days for travelling. Our dinner was amazing though – we went to a local pizza place and had a pie with roasted pumpkin, gorgonzola, and thyme…..yum! We dragged our luggage back to the train station, hung out until 1:30 am, and got onto the overnight train to Vienna. Except our seats were occupied when we got on the train. Turns out when the lady at the train station moved us from the 9:30 pm train to the 1:30 am train she forgot that would be on a different date. Luckily, we found free seats, though it still wasn’t very comfortable. But we’ve made it to Vienna, and Niamh has made it here as well….let the next part of the adventure begin!
(Still no pictures yet.....as soon as we get to a place with a fast enough internet connectiong I'll post them all!)