Eurotrip 2012- Florence

My favourite angry-Kayla moment from this entire trip actually happened in Florence.

We arrived a bit later in the afternoon- pretty exhausted as we’d not had much sleep in Siena and of course I think heat in general just makes you sleepy and lethargic.

I’d read my map incorrectly and thought that we had just a brief 3 minute walk to our hotel from the drop-off point but it really turned out to be more along the lines of 15 minutes- which isn’t bad- but Florence decided to be 40 degrees Celsius that day.

40 degrees is hot enough when you’re just wearing shorts and a t shirt standing anywhere but the shade. But 40 degrees with the sun beaming down on you mid afternoon with a backpack weighing about as much as you do on a 15 minute trek- feels more like a death sentence.
And of course, to make matters worse- we couldn’t find the hotel as Italy doesn’t really believe in street signs. Not the way North Americans or the British do. We like to throw them on every bloody street corner. At times the Italians were slightly lax with that whole thing.

We did finally make it to B&B La Citadella to be greeted by an elevator that was not functioning. We tried… oh, how we tried… but it was not budging.

Literally soaked with sweat, exhausted and struggling with our rucksacks we had no choice but to take the stairs up the 4-5 floors to the reception desk.

Now, Roisin although my favourite person in the world, she does have a penchant for feeling like the only person struggling when there is a clear mutual struggle going on. She likes to start making statements- generalizations, about how she is toiling and the ridiculous nature of a task as if I’m not right there with her. Not to mention that in this particular case- my rucksack easily outweighed hers by 15lbs if not more. So she is doing this and I’m reaching the end of my fuse as heat has (and always will) made me irritable. So as she stops on the stairs to keep bitching I suggest that I go forth alone and then call back to her once I’ve got things settled with reception.

I never came back for her.

Which now sounds awful- but trust me, you would have left her in the stairwell too. About 5 minutes later she arrived at reception livid, honestly the grumpiest bear in the forest only to notice what I had already seen- two travelers with literally all the luggage possible without a single drip drop of sweat on them. They had clearly used the lift. And they had clearly left the door open so no one else in the building could use the damn thing. What fuckers.

And then they also proceeded to ask about a million questions about breakfast and what shape the pastries would be before we could finally check in.

Thank. God. That the receptionist at this hotel was the LOVELIEST. Honestly- the loveliest. guy ever. If somehow he is reading this- you sir, are a bloody gem. A gift to the world.

He clearly sussed out what had happened to us. And seeing us both turn up there looking like we’d been soaked with a fire hose to realize it was our own bodies producing all of that moisture due to incompetent door closing fannies- he likely knew he had his work cut out for him.

So he soothed us with his cheerful happy face and genuine love of his city. He pulled out a map and actually circled and suggested routes that we should take and things we should see based on the three days that we had in the city. He told us bus routes and made sure we knew where we were going- and then he told us that he’d upgraded our room and to follow him to the next floor where he opened our room, showed us around AND TURNED ON THE AIR CONDITIONER. I LOVE YOU SIR. YOU WONDERFUL B&B LA CITADELLA MISTER!

No other hotel receptionist came close to this guy. Through all the cities and not a single sucker can hold a candle.

Our room was really nice and had a wee veranda type scenario out the back :D
It did although- have mosquitoes and we soon found out that Roisin is pretty damn allergic to those buggers as each of her bites would swell to the size of golf balls. Sexy.
(For all Canadians, no, we couldn’t find any After Bite.)

The first thing we did was sleep (of course) and shower. Then we went out in search of food and had a wee night time saunter by the water.

The next day we decided to try and see everything we wanted in Florence. The only thing here though- is the heat really does suck all the motivation out of you. Normally I’d literally rake a city to see everything possible. I don’t feel I was as thorough as I could have been here- because it was so hot I somewhat lost my will to live.

These are the things that we did explore: the incredible Florence Cathedral along with the Florence Baptistery, Ponte Vecchio (which I wish we’d have spent more time around, or had gone back to see at night), Piazza della Signoria, the Foutain of Neptune, Palazzo Vecchio, we also of course took a peek at the river Arno and the area all around Uffizi– but we never went in. And yes, I know this is shocking and awful and I can’t fucking believe it either. But that’s how hot it was. I, someone who studied visual art- stood outside of UFFIZI and walked away. This is my biggest regret of the trip. I just didn’t have the power. I knew I’d just be plowing through paintings not really taking anything in- so I opted not to waste my money. Hopefully we’ll head back here one day so I can actually saunter around.

So yes, we did take a pretty good stab at seeing everything. Florence is lovely- it feels like a city, city not a tourist city. If that makes sense…

The next day we just had a few things on our list of to-dos. We’d been told by so many people that award winning Grom had the best gelato that a person could taste (and you would certainly think so due to the never-ending line ups)- so we went to indulge in a couple flavours each. But I have to be honest here- that place in Siena kinda kicked it’s ass. Kopakabana forever!

We also went walking through the markets looking at loads of leather goods and we acquired another bracelet for our travel collection.
Then Roisin had the brilliant idea of selecting a snazzy restaurant for us to have an amazing meal that night. So we went to Tijuana (as we both love Mexican food always) and literally had the most delicious fajitas in life. It was actually brought out with the filling in a bowl made out of volcanic stone from the Popocatépetl volcano. So good. So, so, good.

The next morning it was time to pack yet again- early, early in the morning and go forth to our next destination- Pisa.

K

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