1745 (local time)
Written on a very comfy train from Rome to Venice, and the most relaxed I’ve felt in a while.
Ok, so it seems like I’m going to all the places every ‘tourist’ wants to go… at exactly the same time. Welcome to prime time on-period.
I think there are 2 types of people that travel the world. First you have your Tourists.
The tourist goes to a city/country and will just follow exactly what their local planet says. If lonely planet says to stay at a particular hostel, they will book it. If lonely planet tells them this is where they should go that day, they go there.
The tourist, will only go to see the locations just to take a photo and move on, they will do absolutely nothing to get involved in the ‘culture’ of a place. They won’t try and speak the language, they will only hit tourist bars, I suppose they just won’t try to get ‘really’ involved in a city, which somewhat annoys me – go to a city and take in as much information as you can! Smell, Vision, Listen, Touch! GET IN THERE!
Anyway, I’m getting distracted!
The second type of person that does this kind of trip is called a ‘traveller’ a traveller will try to get off the beaten track, and traveller wants to find sketchy little coffee shops down little ally’s where only the locals eat, and where the people that work there don’t speak a word of English! A traveller wants to discover new and exciting things, and meet people that aren’t from America or England.
Travelling through Italy at the moment, I feel like I’m turning into a tourist, and it’s so frustrating! I want to get off the beaten track, but it’s so hard! Every-thing, Every-place has got tourists in it! On the Brightside, it’s such a relief to find a local place!
Ok, the best times I’ve had in Italy has been when I have been hanging out with the local guys. Silvia, Irene, Francesca, Sandra; you guys have introduced me to the real Italy and its beautiful! The food is beautiful, the people are amazing, and the wine – its fantastic! So thankyou!
I arrived in Florence via a very hot and uncomfortable bus ride from Milan! But funny story occurred after a dozen bottles of wine got destroyed because the bus driver closed the door on it… (mental note)
I was greeted at the bus station by Sandra, Sandra is a good friend of Silvia and Irene – and she is filled with positive energy and craziness!
She told me at the bus station – ‘here are my keys, I’m going away for the next day, so you got the flat to yourself, here’s how to get to my place, bye, kisses’ and then she was off!
I eventually found her place after losing a litre of sweat! I had a shower in the smallest bathroom ever, squeezed down the tiniest corridor ever, got changed and wandered into town, where I met a friend I met in Dahab. Shani was doing a trip around Egypt when I met her on New Years, and we hung out for a bit! It was only by coincidence that we planned a meeting place in Florence!
Shani, showed me around the hot spots and then took me up (way too many) steps to get a lookout over Florence! It’s called Michelangelo’s Lookout. We consumed beers and wine whilst we talked and talked and watched the sun set over such a beautiful city! What an awesome way to spend my first night! Unfortunately the next day Shani had to head off, so I caught a train to an hour away Piza – to see the leaning tower.
I made a Chinese friend on the train, a 32 year old guy called Felix that’s on an extended business trip! He was cool. We took our photos, I laughed at the ridiculousness of this building then I quickly caught the train back to Florence.
From here, I then caught a number 15 bus, to (I have no idea what the place is called) to go for a bit of a hike up to the top of this mountain which overlooks the city. Again, another beautiful view, where you can relax a take everything in.
That night, it was Sandra’s birthday. So we went out for birthday drinks and Sandra introduced to some proper Italian food, cooked by locals! And guess what! It was some of the greatest food I’ve ever had! It was perfect! Because it was a day celebrating St. John the Baptist – there were fireworks that went for about 30 minutes! It topped off a awesome night!
The next day was spent me just wandering around town, trying to get lost… Fortunately I managed to, and found some great food to snack on!
It was my time to leave the next day, so booked a very cheap ticket to Rome and off I went.
Thanks Florence for a great time.
PS: As I write this, we just pulled into one of the many Florence train stations – it makes me slightly concerned why we are here… I think we have a LONG way to go to Venice now…
|Ok, so this is the start of many sunsets - you have been warned...|
|This is at the place, where you catch the Number 15 bus!|
|Now, we are back in Florance city centre - this is up the top of Giotto's Bell Tower|
|the Chapel is just next to us!|
|Getting my art on!|
|Duomo - The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore!|
|Duomo - note all the people!|
|nice looking bridge!|
|"its all about the angels"|
BUT WAIT! WE HAVE PISA!
|The Learning Tower!|
|People like this everywhere!|
|I amused myself.|
|in many ways!|
|me and my mate, felix!|