Night train again, this time back down through Germany and across (it was daytime at this point) to eventually reach Italy and our destination, Venice. The trip was ... OK ... except for starvation between the times that a smiling couple pushed their food trolley through and our eventual arrival: for we declined to buy from the couple, believing we could do better at a station. Yeah, you guessed it: we never stopped long enough to be able to go searching ...!
Finally I recognised one phrase: senso unico ... "He is saying that these canals are one-way", I told CS; "do you think it's true ...?" And after another fifteen minutes or so and an eventual bill of over AUD50 (1989 !), we decided that it was not. And of course it wasn't; Italy is full of conmen seeking wide-eyed innocents like we ... and so is everywhere else, too; we'd been lucky till then, that's all.
Our hotel (booked from Oz) was on a canal, and our room opened out onto it. You can't do much better than that ... well, actually you can: you can have hosts who are friendly and do more than sit around watching «I Promessi Sposi» on TV, endlessly, that's what you can do -- in a town other than Venice, perhaps ... In Venice, you're lucky to have locals *speak* to you, they're so fed up with tourists. And really, you can't blame them: tourists are, almost with- out exception, unspeakable.
Some wonderful things to look at out the windows, this trip -- trains are far better in the daytime ! -- such as the Alps ... Oh ! we *did* see some snow, but it was far, far away and very high up, so still no snowmen for us ... And the train did pass some castle ruins, which looked entirely inaccessible to tourists (thank heavens !) ...
Upon arrival at Venice, we carelessly trampled several tiny children in our eagerness to reach the railway's sandwich bar ... Then, several yummy panini later, we wandered out to the waterfront (it's everywhere, of course) and hailed a water-taxi. The driver took us, we think, via every canal in the city to reach our hotel, speaking rapidly in Italian the while.
But CS fell madly in love with Venice, and wandered about in utter joy of it, taking wonderful pictures with his camera and talking about wanting to live there. But ... he has been known to say the same of *other* places, too ... :-)