I have to say there are a number of truly wonderful things that are coming out of the Ultimate Train Challenge idea that I came up with eight or nine months ago. I get to work with some amazing travel bloggers on one of the first extensive cooperative travel blogging efforts to date. I get to engage in one of my odd travel fixations: namely, weird travel challenges. I get to do it all on trains, which are my favorite mode of transport.
And I get to work with one of the best sponsors in the travel blogging community, Eurail.com. They have been so wonderful to work with in preparing for our great train journey that it would be hard for me to appropriately compliment them.
So when they heard that I was coming over to Europe early, to prepare for the train challenge,they invited me over to Venice to join them for an appreciation party for their clients. I couldn’t turn down Venice and a party, so I headed right on over.
They hosted a party on Friday night at PLUS Camping Alba D’Oro, who were nice enough to host me for the weekend and their cool campsite slightly outside of town. The party was quite enjoyable and even included a foam machine to add to the mayhem of the dance floor (no, you won’t have any pics of me in there), but for me, the best part was getting a chance to meet the half dozen people from Eurail.com in person that I have been dealing with in the virtual world. They are truly some of the nicest and most social media savvy folks I have met yet.
Their excellent idea for this whole Venice event was not merely throwing a great party, but also providing a unique opportunity to those people traveling on Eurail.com passes this summer.
They were giving away free 30 minute rides on one of the gondolas in town.
Well, it started as just a gondola or two, but the demand was so overwhelming, they had to enlist more gondoliers to help in the effort. In the end, from July 15th to 21st, they ended up having more than a thousand of their customers take them up on the offer. A truly incredible success.
A few more words about PLUS Camping Alba D’Oro.
They are just outside of town (near the airport on the other side of the lagoon from the islands of Venice) and have not only campground space, but also dozens of cabins and other lodging options. I ended up in a two bed cabin and loved it.
Getting back and forth from town is very easy. The bus stop is right outside the gates of the campground and PLUS also runs regular shuttles into town. The only complication on that front is that the last bus coming back leaves Venice before midnight, so make sure you are well aware of the schedules and don’t get trapped a expensive cab ride away.
They’ve got a store on the campgrounds where you can buy food, beer and other supplies. There is a really nice pool on the grounds and also a couple bars and places to eat. It is an option that you should consider, if you are on a budget while traveling to Venice.
That part is really the key in my mind. You can get a place at PLUS Camping Alba D’Oro for under 20 Euros a night, which is far less than any place I was able to find on the islands. Far less.
In any case, they were really great to me and found me a bed very late in the process, since I didn’t give them much heads-up about coming into town. Between their excellent hospitality and Eurail.com’s, I have to say the weekend was a big success in my eyes.