To get to Venice in time for my ferry on Wednesday the 20thI had to place myself in a location a bit closer to my departure port than Zurich. Yes, I could have stayed in Venice, but I had already been there and what’s the fun in that? So, instead, I decided to hit another Italian city, Milan. Ideally I would see Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”, the Duomo and some of the fashion district. I successfully accomplished one of these items. “The Last Supper” was sold out (apparently you need a reservation to see it) and I didn’t really try hard enough to find the fashion district in Milan. However, I did see the very large Milan Duomo. I didn’t get to go in because I got there too late, but still, it was magnificent.
For my one night in Milan I stayed in a sketchy one star hotel near the train station. This is where those sketchy updates a few days back come in with me desperate for some Internet.
Anyway, I got up bright and early the next morning, caught a train to Venice, managed to find where my ferry was leaving from, and got on board for the 28-hour ride to Patras, Greece. Although the ship may have looked something like a cruise ship, about half of its decks were reserved for motor vehicles so it really was a glorified car/truck transporter. I was a bit worried about how the situation on the ferry worked. I knew I could get a “deck” ticket with my Eurail pass for only the price of taxes (7 euros), but for a 28-hour ride I felt this might leave me wanting a better place to sleep. When I got on the ship I scouted out the sleeping options and was happy to find they had a couple rooms filled with chairs best described as first class airplane seats. Honestly, I think that’s exactly what they were. I’d bet they had just been taken out of old planes and bolted into the floor of the ship. Nevertheless, they did the job, and when it was sleeping time I curled up with my bags around me and passed out quite easily.
Probably the oddest part of ferry ride was seeing how everyone else handled having a “deck” only ticket. For the most part people just found free space on the carpeted floor and set up whatever they had with them as their beds. There were sleeping bags, sleeping pads, blankets and tents strewn throughout the ship where people had claimed their bit of the floor. It was ferry camping. Not having any of these sleeping instruments with me I, as I already mentioned, opted for the chaired room (which I’m still not sure my ticket technically covered…). But overall, the ride was fairly painless and the views of the Greek coastline were ideal. I knew I was getting closer to Greece when the overpriced meal I purchased on the ferry came with a big hunk of lemon. It was just a teaser for the great meals to come.