Sunday, 27 March 2011

Hi from Florence (18th Sept)

Hi All,

Well, we sadly left Corniglia (Cinque Terre) on Tuesday morning.  Probably a good thing for Melinda because she seemed to be in the wars.  On the first day there she caught her finger in her elasticised travel clothesline which caused her hand to swell for 3 days.  Then after all our walking in the hot sun her legs broke out in a terrible (& very unattractive) heat rash.  They make them soft in Tasmania!  And to top it off she fell down the internal staircase of our apartment and ended up with a massive bruise on her thigh.  Gave me an absolute heart attack as I heard her fall and thought I was going to find her unconscious in a heap.  Thankfully no, just in her PJ's sprawled on the ground, claiming she had a cramp.  Personally, I think she was trying to slide down the banister and fell off, but she wouldn't come into that!

Then it came time to re-pack the backpack.  Well somehow after only 5 days, the small space I had left for purchases at the top of the pack was gone.  I can't explain how 2 postcards can fill such a gap?  I mean, I put my other purchases in the bottom of the pack but that shouldn't have made a difference???  I made a new discovery though - you can actually simulate that the pack has wheels, simply by just dragging it!!!

Anyway, after an uneventful 2.5 hr train ride we arrived in gorgeous Florence (Firenze).  Our Hotel is a sensational 4 stars, right in the centre of Florence.  And only a 3 minute taxi ride from the Train Station.  Melinda wanted to walk from the train station to the hotel but I didn't want to arrive looking like a misplaced 'leaning tower of Pisa', so I convinced her a taxi was how people who stay in 4 star hotels should arrive!!

I LOVE Florence!!!! Our first afternoon in Florence we searched out the San Lorenzo Markets - stalls of leather handbags, leather jackets, trinkets and persistent salesmen.  So persistent, I was forced to make a number of purchases!!  What choice did I have, really?  Then we found a wonderful little pizzeria - thank God I am back on normal food.

On Wednesday we were greeted with rain, which although that didn't help with my cold, it meant we had to shelter in the clothes shops for fear of me getting wet.  We also had to shelter under the eaves of the gold shops along the Ponte Vecchio bridge (There were many eaves to shelter under).  I'm afraid the temptation of all that jewellery just waiting to be tried on, then convinced us to venture into the shops.  To mark those rare occasions (3 rare occasions), I left with a shiney gift bag that the nice shop lady gave me as gratitude for visiting her store!  So when I come home penniless (yet tastefully decorated in bling), I will know to blame it on the rain.

Today we took a train ride out to Italy's Medieval town of Siena.  It was lovely - just a maze of narrow sreets with marble statues, fountains and ornate doors everywhere.  More photos to sort through!!! 
Tomorrow it will be a day of photographing Florence,  as hopefully the weather forecast is correct (sunny day ahead).  We are also going to try and jump onto a half day tour out to Tuscany for wine tasting (fingers crossed).   

And on that note, it's time to head out into the streets for a quick wander before retiring to bed.  It is such a happening place.

Hope all is well with everyone.

Ciao, Ciao,


p.s.  Will email again in Venice.  Absolutely can't wait to get there. 

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