Wednesday, May 15, 2013
On to Florence!
We lugged our overstuffed suitcases down to the lobby, ands took care of checking out of the hotel. We asked them to call a taxi to take us to the train station, and stressed the fact that it needed to be a large taxi, not a tiny little Fiat. Cute as they are, fitting four large Americans and all of their junk in to one little taxi is physically impossible. The taxi came pretty quickly, and it was an itty bitty little thing. The driver was a very surly man, who was actually angry that he had to try to fit us all in to his taxi. He was cursing under his breath (and between his teeth which were clenched upon a cigarette) and slamming our suitcases around. We finally decided that two of us would walk to the station while the other two rode with the luggage. This seemed to appease Mr. Surly Pants, and so Sally and I wedged ourselves in amongst our suitcases while Sarah and Jenny began the trek downhill to the train station. With a lurch, we were on our way as well. It was a wild ride- dodging pedestrians, squealing around corners, barely fitting through the narrow streets. The lovely man was still muttering darkly, and even though I understand quite a bit of Italian, I didn't even try to understand what he was muttering about. I am sure it would have been unrepeatable.
Halfway to the station, Sally leaned over and told me that she was about to barf. Just like old times in the family car as kids. However, we made it to the station in one piece, and guarded the mountain of suitcases until the others joined us. We made our train in time, and after the adventure in getting to the station, our sadness at leaving was lessened.
Florence is, as you probably know, an incredibly lovely city. Full of art, beautiful old buildings with gorgeous details on them, and stately bridges over the river. The city was very crowded, but it didn't seem noisy, and the city was clean. We stayed in a very nice hotel, and it was close to everything we wanted to see. We spends hours just walking around, taking it all in. There are a lot of high end shops there- Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi,Yves St. Laurent, Pravda, and so on. It was pleasant to just wander with no agenda, just stopping and checking out things that interested us.
The story does not end here though, as Jenny and I still had another 6 days in Italy. Furthermore, we all hope that there will be another Sister's Italy Trip in our futures. Stay tuned for the story of getting to Manarola, and two days in one of the most beautiful,places I have ever seen! Ciao!