6th June 2012
I had no idea we were so close to Florence – again my lack of knowledge is embarrassing, sorry. After a little stroll to the train station we tootled off to Florence with the commuters this morning, about 45 minutes later we were there with thousands of others.We met our Florentine guide near the Duomo and were treated to an enormously knowledgable guys take on Renaissance art and the stories behind it. The problem I had with it was it seemed more like an art history lecture than a gentle introduction for a group of tourists. We also visited the Uffizi Gallery and the Academia which was mind-blowing but again we were ushered to special pieces of art and given a lecture then moved on to the next one on his list. At least I know now that I would like to go back but maybe with an audio guide and take my time because I did enjoy the place just not how we had to see it this time. Our walk outside with him was much nicer and the little streets captivated me as they do everywhere I see them.
When we were left to our own devices I was heading towards the river and ran into Jenny & Dorian and spent the rest of the afternoon with them. We had a lovely lunch, did some leather shopping and explored the Ponte Vecchio. I found a Pandora shop there and bought myself and the girls a Fleur de Lis charm for our bracelets. We pretty much just wandered aimlessly taking it all in and generally had a great afternoon. It’s funny how you gravitate to people and I find it quite curious how similar Jenny and I are in our likes, dislikes and sense of humour. She said to me one day how you don’t expect to get to your 50’s and find some-one you immediately connect with like we have. We can keep each other amused talking and laughing non-stop on those long driving days with Dorian adding his two bobs worth to our discussion and telling us now and then that we are mad – but then all the nicest people are aren’t they!
It was another “Oh no, where are they?” experience at our meeting point before heading back to the train station. This time is was Gloria and Frank who were no-shows. We waited about 5 minutes with us all craning our necks looking for them to no avail before we started back. I was a bit concerned for them because they are such a sweet quiet older couple but at least they can catch another train even if it is a later one, it’s not like being late for our bus, now that would be really awful. We had about a 15 minute walk back to the station and were almost there when they caught up to us, they had almost run the entire way in between stopping to ask for directions. The poor loves were waiting in the wrong place and were so relieved to see us and most of us were the same – big hugs all round with our tour guide standing by tapping his foot saying “andiamo, andiamo” – we had a train to catch!! Gloria and I had a great laugh later about karma being a b*#%c – she had teased me the most and sung “why are we waiting” for days after I was late on Isola Bella.
Well it’s been another of those wonderful days. I’m having an absolute ball seeing all these things for myself that I’ve read about for so long and finding so many lovely people to share them with is quite awesome. Ciao until tomorrow.