Trieste - Venezia Mestre - Bologna
Finally got a true taste of first class travel! My Interrail ticket is for 1st class, but I’ve often travelled on regional trains where there hasn’t been that much difference between 2nd and 1st class (if there even has been 1st class cars on the train), and those stretches that I’ve been on 1st class high speed trains have usually been so short it really hasn’t mattered that much if the seat is a bit wider or not.
But this time the additional luxury on Trieste - Venezia Mestre came much appreciated: the same trip for the other direction was one of the most strenuous ones of this journey. It was absolutely fully packed commuter train that was unbearably hot even though outside temperature was rather chilly. I only found a pull-down seat in the train car lobby, where I was pushed and shoved in stations when the commuters got in and out of the train. And on one station some guy tried to walk away with my luggage, but luckily some shouting and cursing fixed that pronto.
So, it was great that the same journey the other way around was a total opposite: almost empty and well air-conditioned train car, comfortable seat, electricity for the laptop and even complimentary prosecco together with some snacks!
So wouldn’t have minded staying on that train for even longer, but the first leg to Venezia Mestre wasn’t much longer than an hour. In Mestre there was an hours worth of wait for the Bologna train, but the bar in the station is really crappy. I had already found a much better alternative for passing the time on previous occasion: just across the street from the station is a bar called Soul Kitchen, with nice, modern ambience, friendly service, great wines & free wifi. It is so nice of a place, I even bothered to make a tip on Foursquare! ;) So I ordered a glass of Valpolicella and made the latest updates to the blog. The wine and ambience were so relaxing that I almost forgot the passing of the time. 9 minutes before the train to Bologna was supposed to leave, I realized I was in a hurry. Quick payment at the counter, rushing across the street and hurrying through the underpass to the platform I in the end did make the train on time.
The Venezia - Rome evening train I hopped on was real tourist line: the 1st class car was filled with chatter in American English. Apparently the Americans had been very thirsty for prosecco as the staff was already out of it when they got to my seat ;) Not much sceneries to look at after dark usually, but now there was an absolutely gorgeous full moon hanging low tinted in red.