Day 10-11: The Hell Train to Venice and the Road to Saint Marco

Jess: Ah, the night train. What an unexpected nightmare. We were a little late reserving the train because we weren’t quite sure what we wanted to do at the time. We ended up reserving a chair since all of the beds were booked up. Being new to the night train, we were unaware of just how much worse the cabin chairs would be than the beds.

Hilary: As you’ve seen before and as you’ll surely see again on this blog, I can sleep anywhere. I slept maybe two hours on this ten-hour train ride. We were in a six seater car- three seats facing another three seats- and when one women left in the middle of the night it was every man for himself to claim her old spot. A sleepy Hilary is ruthless in her quest for comfort, and I don’t remember snagging the seat but somehow I did. Jess was murderous. Sorry, Jess. 😦

When we finally arrived in Venice, we were delirious but alive. We only had a few hours to see the city, so we decided to keep our bags with us instead of putting them in a locker for the afternoon. Cue non-stop sweating for the next five hours (and really the next 10 days in Italy). It was some serious sweat-dripping-off-my-nose-when-standing-still kind of sweating. I must have lost 5 lbs that day. But don’t worry. I’ve already gained  it back with all the pizza and pasta we’ve been eating.
The streets of Venice are not very intuitive and can be difficult to navigate if you don’t have a map. Though mapless, we were determined to make it to San Marco square, the main square in Venice. Here’s a recap of our journey:
Hilary with her backpack having just exited the Hell Train. Tired, but ready to find San Marco!

Hilary with her backpack having just exited the Hell Train. Tired, but ready to find San Marco!

At first we tried to use the canals to navigate, until we realized that every street was a canal. Here's Jess pausing to take in the scenery.

At first we tried to use the canals to navigate, until we realized that every street was a canal. Here’s Jess pausing to take in the scenery.

One of the hundred canals we passed. We were considering taking their freshly dried clothes because ours were so sweaty.

One of the hundred canals we passed. We were considering taking their freshly dried clothes because ours were so sweaty.

Hilary after shedding her hat and glasses in favor of sunglasses.

Hilary after shedding her hat and glasses in favor of sunglasses.

We tried to steal the gondola, but these guys were too fast for us.

We tried to steal the gondola, but these guys were too fast for us.

So, where is this place?

So, where is this place?

Jess: "This....is it? I mean, it's pretty I guess." Hilary: "No, this can't be."

Jess: “This….is it? I mean, it’s pretty I guess.”
Hilary: “No, this can’t be.”

Ok, so not the right square, but HATS!!!

Ok, so not the right square, but HATS!!!

Nap break number 1. Much deserved.

Nap break number 1. Much deserved. Backpack stuck to back.

Jess marking her territory. Just kidding, that was there.

Jess marking her territory. Just kidding, that was in the back alley we wandered into.

Seriously. Where the hell is this place. Should we get a map?

Seriously. Where the hell is this place.

These stylish cats were laughing at how lost we were.

These stylish cats were laughing at how lost we were.

A clue!! Could it be?!

A clue!! Could it be?!

WE MADE IT!!!!!

WE MADE IT!!!!!

Details of Saint Mark's Basilica. Totally worth it.

Details of Saint Mark’s Basilica. Totally worth it.

Saint Mark's Basilica.

Saint Mark’s Basilica.

Hilary and Jess at the Grand Canal to celebrate our victory!

Hilary and Jess at the Grand Canal to celebrate our victory! Still sweaty.

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