Thursday, August 23, 2018

#SoloTrip - Day 2: Jesolo Adventure

How to turn a trip to a touristic resort into an adventurous memory? It's easy. Just pack too little food and drink with you, get to the bus station a moment when the bus is leaving and get off another bus on a wrong station. Add a bit of horrible navigation sense, cellphone with 10% battery and powerbank without connector ... And you'll experience a day full of unforgettable memories!

On Thursday morning, when I woke up in Verona, I realized I have no idea what else could I do there. I packed my bag and I headed towards the bus station, thinking of taking a trip to some of the nearby cities. After about a half an hour of walking in circles around the station, thinking and considering all the options, I relized it's not a very good idea to go sightseeing in this hot day. I bought Flixbus tickets about 15 minutes before the bus departure and I got on board of a bus to the nearest stop on the coast.
Lido di Jesolo.

Touristic center of Venetian riviera, full of hotels, restaurants, sandy beaches and crowds of tourists. Later that day I found out I chose the "pefect" day for my trip - on 15th of August, Italians celebrate "Ferragosto" (the summer feast or the Feast of the Assumption) day and most of the families spend the day lying on the beach.

After few hours of lying on the crowded hot beach without a parasol, I went to meet a friend who works in a camp, about 15 minutes drive from here. Since his afternoon break was just about 2 hours long, I went to with him to nearby Cavallino where I then spent few hours on my own on the beach and from where he was supposed to get me back to the bus to Verona.

Around 5pm, I started feeling not only light sunburn but I also began to doubt if I'll get to the bus in Jesolo on time.

I didn't. Obviously.

At the end, we got to the station in a minute when the Flixbus driver decided to stop waiting for the latecomers and headed to Verona. Unfortunatelly in this direction there are only two Flixbuses a day available - on goes to Jesolo and one goes back to Verona. I'd known this fact even before I booked the trip. What I didn't know, was the fact that it was also the only way to get travel directly between these two cities. The only other option was to take a bus to Mestre and then a train to Verona - which was exactly what I tried to avoid during the whole trip.

Traveling by Flixbus is easier, a bit faster and more comfortable. However if you buy the ticket in the last minute, traveling by bus and then train from Venezia is about 5$ cheaper.

Getting the tickets is not a problem at all - you simply just say the name of the town in a "biglietteria" at the bus station and then stamp you ticket before you get on the bus. So my problem appeared not when I was getting on the bus, but when I was getting off. Even though I was counting the confusingly marked stops, written in the timetable I got on the station ... I somehow ended up getting off one stop before the railway station in Mestre. So with nothing to drink, horrible thirst and dying phone battery, I had to reach the 2km distant railway station on foot.

The railway station in Mestre is very well organized and it's easy to get on the right train even if you have a zero orientation sense and you can't say a word in Italian. You can simply buy your ticket through the automats, which you can find all around the station. You just have to choose your destination and then stamp your ticket in another automat, right before you get on the train. If I understood it right (according to the smart tips on the internet discussions, which I was reading while waiting for the train), you should stamp the ticket not earlier than an hour before the train departure. It's recommended to do so after your train if written on the board at the station because in case of any problems, you can cancel the ticket 30 minutes before the train departure.

While on the board, watch carefully the stations, which are not always announced in the train. Also mind that in some cities (like in Verona), there's more than one railway station, which I was fortunatelly notified by English speaking French lady sitting next to me.

Around 10pm I finally reached the station in Verona and suddenly I felt incredibly happy. Traveling by an Italian train might not be a great travel achievement. But the feeling of overcoming my irrational fear meant so much for me. I feel like this is exactly what the solo traveling is about - overcoming your fears and stepping out of your comfort zone so at the end of the day you can realize that you figured out everything on your own, that you survived on this new unknown place for another day ... and that you actually enjoyed the whole adventure AF!

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