A Travellerspoint blog

Florence

I write alot when it's really hot.

sunny

Oh boy. I don’t even know where to begin. The drive from Switzerland to Italy is absolutely beautiful. The sights are on par with the scenery along the Coastal Classic train from Anchorage to Seward on the Alaska RailRoad. Good old days of tourguiding…The drive was rather pleasant, I was sitting near the front reading Atlas Shrugged, when all of a sudden there was a sudden jolt and the harmonizing chords of a blowout tire filled our ears. Our driver was fabulous, he very calmly drove our bus into a pullout lane and we all survived. The back left inner tire of the bus was completely destroyed, worse than anything I’ve ever done to my Honda, and trust me, I’ve put that thing through hell and back. We hopped off the bus and while the damage was assessed I continued to read in the shade. It was hot. Italian heat waves radiated off the asphalt. Okay, it really wasn’t that bad, but we were there for four hours. Apparently, to change a tire of this magnitude takes at least 6 men and three trips to the nearest town. It really wasn’t the end of the world, I was quite content with my book. Others were not as self-entertaining. The bitching began about 2 minutes after the blowout and continued throughout the evening well after we arrived in Florence.
I have a philosophy I try to live by. A close friend of mine, Plato, (you might have heard of him, he wrote Allegory of the Cave as well as a few other light reads), once told me, and I will loosely paraphrase, There are only two things one shouldn’t get upset about. Things (or events) you can’t help, and those that you could have. Granted, I’m not perfect and my patience often runs thin, but I try. So the way I viewed the whole bus fiasco was like this. Well shit. I’m glad we’re alive. It could’ve been way worse. What if the front tire had blown? Then our double decker rather top heavy bus would’ve tipped right on over. We’re very lucky. No one was hurt, and we made it to Florence eventually. Shit, it’s not even raining. We already had our lunch break. And there is a river right down the path to play in if we so choose. We have water. We have books, toys, people, music…etc etc. And we’re in fucking Italy. So it is really difficult for me to grasp why people were so angry. Literally angry. As in, demanding free meals/drinks/refunds angry. What. The. Hell. We’re in Europe! What is there to be angry about. Frustrated, I could’ve understood. But angry. At who?! The busdriver? Because he really wanted his tire to go flat on the middle of the freeway.

Well, we made it to Florence eventually, and our amazing guide Eve went out of her way to soothe the nerves of everyone aboard the bus. She got the approval of the tour company to buy us dinner and a drink, so pizza and beer was on the house. We then headed to a nightclub, and a four of us went in to check it out and see if it was somewhere we wanted to go on Saturday night. It was very hip. And we got free shots. Not a bad deal. After our stamp of approval, we all headed to a local bar Amadeus. Eve is amazing at getting what she wants. All of the drinks were 5 Euros that night for us, and we got free house shots, which were surprisingly high in alcohol content. Usually they taste like juice. These bad boys tasted like vodka. 5 Euros for a drink is a screaming deal in Europe, especially because these were real mixed drinks; Daquiris, Long Islands, White Russians, Sex on the Beach…you get the picture. My new favorite concoction is called Zombie. I don’t know what is in it, but it is delicious and efficient. We then proceeded to take straight shots. We started with whiskey. I won that one. The game is to not make a face. Perhaps my tastebuds are just weaksauce, but the boys I were drinking with could not handle their liquor. It was slightly funny. And by slightly I mean hilarious. We than ran through the streets of Florence and had piggy back competitions. I woke up this morning in prime shape. Best I’ve ever felt.

Our hotel, is worth describing. It’s a small, family run place and the hallways are reminiscent of The Shining. It’s not the nicest, but honestly, we’re in Europe. I don’t care where the hell I sleep, we have beds, bathrooms, and even a mirror. Game on. The rooms are actually rather spacious, and it’s set up like a hostel. Our windows open up into a small garden square and the birds are straight out of a scene from Snow White. Florence is absolutely beautiful, it’s exactly what you picture Italy to be like, and it’s not overpopulated. It’s actually quite small, only 4 by 5 kilometers. I’m getting to be damn good at understanding the metric system without converting in my head. This is an accomplishment in my eyes. Anyways, back to the room. I stumbled in last night and my roommates were already in bed. I swear I’m not the crazy girl who stays out later than everyone, my roommates just happen to go in earlier than most of the group. In my drunken stupor, I knew I needed to be quiet. It was pitch black, but I was confident in my ability to navigate the room. I had a mental map layed out in my head, and I had a plan of action. I did not take into account the large suitcase lying at the end of my roommates bed, so when I hit the floor, I was very confused. I had a plan, how the hell was I laying on the floor? Needless to say, I successfully navigated myself to the bed, of course it had to be on the opposite side of the room from the door, and I climbed in. Now, I’m not very picky when it comes to beds. I’ve been sleeping on busses and ferries for much of this adventure, so a bed is a luxury. Pillows on the other hand, I’m a snob about. I feel that if a hotel is to splurge on one thing and one thing only, it needs to be the pillows. I lied down and had to hold in a burst of giggles, because all I could think about was the fucking earth pillow. This one wasn’t scratchy or made of hemp, but the fluffliness or lack there of was equivalent.

Today I had one goal in mind. Go to the Uffizi Gallery. Mission failed. I would be upset, but I didn’t get up early enough, and I love myself too much to be upset at myself about that. The line was outrageous, and I waited in it for over an hour and a half, but by the time I got close to the front I looked at my watch and realized I would have less than an hour to peruse the gallery. I only take solace in the fact that I love this city so much and I know I will be coming back to Italy, so I’ll scope that next time. I’m seriously considering screwing the whole NASA dream and finding an international space program or even engineering program and living and travelling abroad my whole life. I love this continent. Tonight we’re headed to a wine tasting where we will also be fed homemade lasagna by the Nona of the vineyard. Then we head to Space, the club I checked out for the group last night. Tonight will be low key comparatively. Feeling shitty on a bus is never fun, and tomorrow is a travel day back into France. Fingers crossed for no more tire fiascos!
I could seriously write forever about Italy. The people here are the nicest I’ve met so far. I feel like every adult I meet treats me like they’re a distant uncle or aunt. Italian boys on the other hand are a little overwhelming. They love girls. And they do not discriminate. Any color, any size any species. They love them. If you happen to be blonde, it’s over for you. My friend Ariel is a beautiful blonde who looks as if she’s just stepped out of an HandM magazine, but is completely unaware of it. They absolutely adore her. She is afraid. Let the hilarity ensue. If you actually took the time out of your day to read this entire entry, I commend your efforts. It’s just the midday sun of Florence is too much for me, so I figured it was time for some blog love. I actually don’t have the internet at the present moment, so when this is posted, it will probably be a few days late. Only one more week of travelling! I feel like I’ve been gone forever, yet it’s flown by so fast. I realize that doesn’t make sense, but it’s just the words that contradict each other because the feeling is genuine and I don’t think they have the proper words to describe what I’m really trying to convey. Okay. I’m rambling.
Ciao!

Posted by CStassel 15:08 Archived in Italy

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