Dinner and cocktails - that's about all I can call the blog of Florence, sorry guys!
Trying to remember where I left off as I am writing this up on the bus. Makes so much more sense to waste time writing blogs when I have little else to do. So I believe last report was after 2 long alcohol free days. It appeared to have worked when I woke up the next morning as I didn’t have a sore throat anymore. Still have this freaking annoying tickle in my throat which causes coughing fits at any given time – mostly in public places though! So the morning of our departure from Rome we were up fairly early and on the road again.
It was meant to be an 08:00 – 15:00 bus trip into Florence but I didn’t realise that much of this time would not actually be spent on the bus. After an hour and a half of travelling our guide John informed us that we would be stopping to see the village of Orviello. It is built on an old volcanic site and there is this cool little Gondola thing that goes up the side of it. I can’t remember the name of it but will google and get back to you. Anyway the ruler back in the day had built this to ensure his town wasn’t wiped out. Apparently other tribes would enter villages and hold them hostage so no people could enter or leave. It was only a matter of time before people died of starvation/dehydration. So he weld all the way to the bottom of this mountain, all the way to the water source and built this method of transport – one to take people up and another to take them back down. I imagine it was slightly different back then but cool all the same.
So we got tickets and went up slowly. When we got to the top we all squished on the mini bus (I think we got all 75 on!) and road to the town. It is only a 15 minute walk but apparently not so fun walking up the hill in the heat. So we got dropped off and told a little about the town and then we had an hour and a half before we had to meet back. We all found the nearest coffee shop, as recommended by the other guide Reni. Sarah and I got cappacinos which were to die for. Probably best coffee I have had! It was so good that we decided to get another. We had met some canadian girls who were really nice and they had caffe lattes which looked amazing so we decided to give them a go. By the way, don’t order a latte when it Italy as you will only get a glass of milk – has to be a ‘caffe’ latte! Lesson 2 – It is frowned upon to order a cappacino after midday, only before 12 maqy you order one of these, after 12 you must get an expresso! Strange I know, I didn’t really care if I got strange looks anyway as everyone seemed to be laughing at Sarah and I no matter what we did. Anyway so we ordered the caffe lattes which were quite the opposite of the cappacinos. Sarah’s was half froth and half coffee and mine was stone cold. Like not even warm.
So we had a little explore. Walked along this cool brick wall at the top of the hill and took photos of amazing Tuscany. People were sitting on the edge of the wall to take photos and I thought I was going to faint – how can there be people that aren’t scared of heights? That’s one fear I have retained over here!
So we got back on the bus at 11:30, had to wait a little bit for 2 missing people but they came running up to the bus after a little bit. The next stop was in just over an hour at Siena. Some people would be getting off the bus and we would be picking up others. Sarah and I were travelling straight through to Florence. We did get off the bus at Florence to use the facilities and were delighted to find that Chloe and Sam would be getting on our bus from Siena and travelling with us for the next 3 days or so. So after a ‘splash and dash’ as they refer to it in Bus About land – it was straight through to Florence. We arrived at the Plus Florence which was a pretty sweet little Hostel. The best thing was that we could park directly in front of the hostel and check in was very quick. It is horrible after sitting on a bus for so long and then having to walk for 10 – 15 minutes with 2 backpacks before waiting in line at reception for approx. 30 minutes with you backpacks still on as you fear you may not have the energy to get it on again if you were to take it off.
We were on the 2nd floor which wasn’t too bad. We squished into the elavator with another 2 girls and their baggage – not before I accidently closed the door on Sarah as she attempted to get in. Wooops!
Our room was pretty damn cool. A shame as we would only have from like 3.30pm – 07:00am there. We had bunk beds and the bottom was a queen!! It looked so ridicously massive to us, I considered it being kng size but that’s probably because we have seen nothing other than single beds for the past 5 weeks. How I miss my lovely bed..
We had a balcony which was probably bigger than the room itself also. There was a bathroom with, wait for it...a HOT shower. OMG, the luxury of hot water. Although we did find out that to get hot water in Rome that all you have to do is flick a switch. Information which would have been particuarly useful 5 days earlier. Oh well.
We went for a walk straight away to find a supermarket as Sarah had met a friend Liv on the bus and they were planning a quiet dinner in. I was considering spending the night at the bar if I had the energy – the idea of a terrace bar did sound tempting. SO we walked for a bit – I found pineapple juice to mix with the leftover vodka that I had couried from Rome. We didn’t walk for too long as my new ‘black market’ sandals were crippling my feet (so surprising, I know).
We got back to the room – so hot and tired that Sarah actually ripped straight into the Vokda and Pineapple. Naturally I joined. SO we sat in the room on our laptops and sipped our yummo beverages. We put up photos as I thought I hadn’t provided you all with a photo update in a little while. It was so nice to be able to use wi-fi in our room and it didn’t even drop out every 10 minutes. The ‘Plus Hostels’ have all been pretty cool that we have stayed in. So we had quite a few drinks while uploading our many photos and decided it may be a good idea to shower and visit the terrace bar. No persuasion required. Actually think Sarah may have suggested it in the end J So that is what we did. When we got there it was fairly quiet as it was just after 6pm but we did run into Frank the Bus Driver at the bar. On the bus they had talked about some giant party they had in Florence with all thr guides. It was like a walk around the city, a leather making demonstration, 4 course dinner, great cocktails at the bar next door and then karoke. It did sound kind of cool but only for the dinner and cocktails so we decided against it, plus it was 20 euros and it has gotten to the stage where we have to be a little tight with the funds. Anyway after chatting with Frank for 15 minutes or so he said he was running late to make it to the dinner. He invited us to tag along for dinner and cocktails so naturally we agreed! When we got to the restaurant there were no tables left so they said for us to have a drink at the cocktail bar next door while waiting for a table. What an absolutely horrible suggestion. So we had an ‘Orgasmo’ first and then a ‘Pink Lady’ which were both pretty good and only 5 euro. 3 guys came into the bar shortly after and we asked them to take a photo but then couldn’t shake them! They were from Perth so I went through all the night spots that I had been in WA with them. They were convinced I lived there! So the Bus About crew came through and I made the guide, John, save us from them. We could get in for dinner then as Frank had kindly made them save a table for us. We demolished a bowl of nachos between us. Then the alcohol, fatigue, emotion and everything started to hit me finally and I had to leave. So I power walked home in front of Sarah, Chloe and Sam and reached the Hostel somehow. I didn’t have the key so I went straight to the Sauna and had a brief Sauna at like 10:30. I think I fell asleep on my top bunk (I kindly offered the queen to Sarah) without any linen on. Just me and the mattress. But nothing really mattered to me at that point. For some reason I woke at 1am and started attempting to pack. I do this often, something wakes me and I assume it was Sarah’s alarm! When I realised it was still dark I got on my lappie for an hour or so hoping someone would have wagged work and be up for a Skype. No such luck. I explored Facebook instead. I sent an e-mail to the work girls finally as well, hopefully it was legible. Although 3 of them already wrote lovely e-mails back anyway so it must have been okay?
That is the story of Florence – tomorrow we would be onto Cinque Terre which is possibly the town I am most excited about!