I have now entered the Italian part of my trip 😮 (which will last about 5 days).
Yesterday, I flew to Florence at the crack of dawn and met my friend at the train station. Since we are both teachers on a budget, we planned not to get a taxi unless absolutely necessary – we are also using Rick Steves as our tour guide (and he suggests walking around Italy, if you are fit enough, to fully take in the sights and ambiance). We came prepared with full water bottles and some sunscreen due to the outrageous humidity and heat! Rick mentioned to get a Firenze card if you were going to do most of the museums (that is a story for the afternoon portion because we couldn’t get one in the heart of the city).
With our suitcases and bags in hand, we started our trek using a map to the hostel. It was extremely hot and much farther than we thought to get from the train station (we did not realize that our hostel was basically on the other side of town!) We got turned around a few times and did not trust our misguided extincts, so ended up using a phone map and forfeiting the money for data. We discovered the “bridge of many stairs” and made our way to our hostel. It was very well-kept and we had no one else in our room when we arrived!
It was slowly getting later in the day, and we really wanted to get this Firenze card in order to start seeing all the amazing sights. After getting situated and changed, we walked the wrong way numerous times but ended up back in town – finding the Firenze card was much more difficult than we imagined..!! But we finally got that, and figured out by trial and error how to activate it. And now, the day starts to get a bit better 🙂
On Mondays, many things are closed in Florence so we had to look in the guide book for things that we not open on Tuesday (our second day). We went in to the gorgeous bapistry and saw the popular bronze doors built by Ghiberti.
We then really needed some food (neither of us had eaten since before 10 that morning!) We both ate lasagna specials, which came with potatoes and bruschetta, and a glass of rose at a cafe near the Bapitsry 🙂
In the evening, we walked back to the hostel (got a little less lost), took showers, and were set to plan out hitting as many things as we could on Tuesday. Tales to come of the long journey tomorrow 🙂 I am writing each day’s events on the following night!