Friday, 5 September 2014

The Italian Job - Florence

I got to Florence sometime in the afternoon, found my hostel and checked in.

When I went upstairs I saw they'd given me a top bunk, but there were plenty of bottom bunks free so I went downstairs and swapped. I went about my ablutions and sorting my bag etc, I think I had a bit of a lie down, and by then it was dinner time. Now it seems in Europe that they push the limits of advertising further than we would at home - in this case the lonely planet had mentioned that dinner was free in the low season, and the flyer at the front desk advertised what was provided by the hostel, including free breakfast and below it was dinner, which on a quick glance you would assume is also free, which it wasn't. In saying that I ended up getting the three specials which were a Euro each, a basic margarita pizza, salad and a basic pasta dish. At this point I had the choice of sitting by myself, or by a girl who'd already got her dinner, or one who'd come in after me. I decided the best idea would be  to sit by the one getting her dinner after me as then I'd have more time, and also I think the other girl had been fussy when ordering, and I'm not having the mother of my children being a fussy eater lol

I asked the "after" girl if I could sit with her and she was happy to have me. We had a good chat, she was from the Netherlands and studying Italian. She told me about Florence, and I mentioned how I was heading to Amsterdam and currently reading Anne Frank's Diary in preparation. I even mentioned my new baby niece, but it was all in vain as she was meeting an old friend later on.

After dinner I went to the station and organised my ticket for Rome for the next day at 6pm and went to the Pharmacy and bought some more nasal strips as I had run out, and so far I've only had one mention of snoring, and that was a night where I have drunk the most.

When I got back to the hostel I sat down to organise my accommodation for Rome and got talking to a girl next to me, as she was trying to decide what to do in the next few days. She then asked me if I wanted to go for a beer later on, which I was up for. As luck would have it, the first hostel I checked out was conveniently located etc, so I booked that without too much effort and went and got ready.

I went and found Hannah (the girl from the computer) and we and her roommate who was originally from Panama but living in the States went out. Hannah was keen for sushi, so when we came across a place we went there.

The next morning I got up and had breakfast, and was joined by Hannah. It was a fairly decent breakfast considering it was free. I went back upstairs and got my pack ready, checked out and put it in storage and by then it was time for the free walking tour that the hostel provided. 
It was a good walking tour, informed me of stuff I wouldn't have otherwise have known. Hannah and I got talking to an Australian girl called Kate and once the tour concluded we swapped names to add each other on Facebook and went our separate ways. I headed first of all to the Michaelangelo square which was on top of a hill, and had great views, albeit souvenir seller Mecca. On the way I stopped for lunch and had a Penne in Pesto pasta.

After the square I headed back to where the tour concluded and went across the bridge, which had buildings along it to (imagine the London bridge that burnt down) and to the Duomo/cathedral etc. I got a ticket and went through the cathedral and catacombs, and climbed the bell tower. I didn't bother with the Dome as the line was too long and I didn't have time. The bell tower was an effort to climb, but good. Once I did that I headed back and got my bags and headed to Rome on the train.

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