July 13, 2012
Let’s try this again, Italy!
I’m having the worst trouble sleeping in Europe. I think I finally fell asleep around 2 am last night and woke up at 5:45 am when I heard Kelly toss and I reacted with, “Kelly, we’ve got to get up!” Something is wrong with me. We packed up as per usual in our morning routine of town/city/country hopping. Then headed downstairs for another delicious free breakfast… Then packed our pockets so we had lunch 😉
One bus and two trains (and then one more, with lots more gin of course) later we arrived in Florence. La Bella Vita! Florence (Italy take two more like) is beautiful. We came off the train and into a station where we really knew little to none of the language but we immediately felt a different vibe than Milan. Honestly, I have no desire to ever go back to Milan. Florence is so rich in history that is visible to the eye everywhere. The are statues and cathedrals and plazas and ruins everywhere. The people are lively and seem to express their passion for life in each of their big smiles. There is a tourist info office across the street from the station so we wandered in and stood in line surrounded by more languages than I could differentiate until it was our turn to be told what we should see. The woman at the desk was incredibly helpful. She marked each site on the map that we must see, told us where the fun markets are to shop, and explained how to get to Siena tomorrow for a little day trip. We said “grazi” and wandered on our way. We stopped in the McDonalds across the street quickly to use the restrooms and check for free wifi while we killed a little time before check-in at the hostel. We ate lunch while we waited (not McDonalds food though, ew). Breakfast leftovers; Kelly had a muffin and I had this:
We came to the door we believed to be our bed an breakfast sort of hostel down a street not far from the city center so we pressed the buzzer and waited. Someone let us in and we made our way to the first floor (MORE stairs) where we met a woman who spoke no English other then a word here and there. We said “reservation” so she said “name?” to which we replied “Costello” and that was the end of it as she proceeded to give a spiel in Italian. She signaled a few times to follow her so we did. Kelly and I were a bit confused at this point as she led us down stairs, out the door, down the street, and a few blocks away to another building. Mind you, in Italy, there are pedestrian signs for when to walk. She had no reservations for such signals as she strutted proudly across the street staring down the competitors (aka the passing cars). We followed close behind. She said “two” (which really means three here because their first floors are not considered the floor one) as she shuffled us in the door and pointed up. It’s a great room with a balcony, high ceilings, and a private bathroom.
So we had a great idea today. We decided to Seth Frankfurt and aim for Switzerland instead. Three hours of lounging in our room (semi-siesta-esque) on the wifi on our phones, skyping with my dad, going back and forth to the information desk at the train station,
and a whole lot of research later (I will spare you the details), we made changes to our plans but didn’t manage Switzerland this time. We did decide to drop Frankfurt still and instead we are going to a small town in Germany somewhere between Frankfurt and Luxembourg…. You’ll have to keep reading to see how that plays out! So sorry though, uncle Phil, I was really hoping to see the picture of you circa 1988 in the Balmers hostel. NEXT TIME!!!
Finally, we took to the streets:
(I’ve officially seen too many rivers that I am NOT allowed to swim in in Europe. This is not fair. I told Kelly today I think I’m slightly suffering separation anxiety from water… really an unpleasant feeling to miss Tod’s Point so deeply.)
I won’t go in to detail explaining everything in all the pictures from today because quite frankly I am extremely exhausted and would like to get a little sleep now. You’re on your computer though (I assume) so Google will answer any of your questions 😉
There are way too many flies in Italy. I’m getting eaten alive!!!
I don’t think any of you readers doubt the legitimacy of my travels but maybe I should start including one or two photos with me in them for proof?
Hope you have a wonderful night, world.