What Do you Mean we Can't Turn Around?

Trip Start Oct 29, 2010
Trip End Nov 17, 2010

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The next leg of our journey was onto Florence. Very glad we made reservations cause the train was full – in our coach/car anyway. We checked out the locale of our hotel the last part of the journey and realized we didn't quite know where it was so would check out information upon arrival. The train trip itself was uneventful, but did include a free beverage and snacks along the way.

We got the location and thought we’d walk it. Well pulling heavy bags made the 15 minutes seem like 30. Asked for directions 15 min’s in only to discover we were a mere 50 meters away. Woohoo! Wow, our room is awesome and the man working the desk was soooooo Italiano! He was super sweet and helpful and chatted our ears off. A total Luigi!

Dropped all our stuff off and decided to grab the map and hike it again (we’re probably averaging about 10-12 km’s a day) to some of the neat squares and old buildings. We noticed a day market, so we pretty happy we only had to walk 5 minutes to get to it – bonus! Luigi suggested several things to see, so we checked it all out.

One of our first stops (indoors) was a HUGE cathedral. We noticed a small line-up so thought right on, let’s check it out before the line grows. Well we waited about 10 minutes and the line started to move – woohoo, can’t wait to see the paintings, carvings and beautiful artwork! Paid our 8 Euro’s and proceeded to follow those in front of us.

Well little did we know we were in the WRONG line AND there was no turning around!! We ended up hiking to the very friggin top of this effin cathedral – let me tell you the stairmaster was not a part of ANY of our training. We proceeded to walk up and up and up – all 463 stairs. Gwen couldn’t even go out to the very top (last 40 stairs or so cause we were tooo high up and there was the whole heiight thing). By the time I made it out into the open air it was touch and go making it towards the edge of this cathedral, so I felt Gwen's pain. Sherry was the superstar, not even flinching. BUT the view was spectacular. It was starting to rain a bit, so it was an easy call for me to head back down.

When we got to the bottom we thought we’d check out the rest of the cathedral, but noooo, the line took you right outside. Oh well, we got some great pic’s and had our exercise again for the day. Proceeded to the first restaurant to grab a beer. Still a bit dizzy from coming down the spiral stairs and the legs were a bit shaky from exertion. After a brew, decided it was time to do some therapy shopping. Hit the market on the way home, then went to a restaurant that Luigi suggested before hitting up the Opera.

Oh my gawd, dinner was amazing and our cab wasn’t far behind, so he brought us to the opera in short order – what speed limit? Grabbed our tickets and sat through the 1st and 2nd act (completely in Italian) of the opera. Well the wine and food and (Italian) had taken their toll, so we bailed at intermission (90 minutes later). It really was awesome, but not understanding the language was making it tough to stay awake. A whole bunch of school girls (from Japan) were sound asleep in their chairs behind us – funny!!

We walked for a bit after the Opera and grabbed a cab from a cafe to the hotel. We chatted for a bit, then crashed knowing full well we had to get up at 05:00 for our train trip to Cinque Terra the next day. Twas also another reason we bailed on the opera at intermission, otherwise we’d be there until midnight, then getting a cab would likely prove difficult.
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