Beautiful Firenze - Florence

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
Trip End Sep 01, 2007

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Tuesday, December 5, 2006

What a beautiful city Florence is - certainly lives up to its reputation. And doesn't feel as hectic as Rome, which is good! I arrived Sunday on an Inter City train from Rome, as the Regional train I was booked on was on strike in honour of 'manifestations' ie demonstrations held on Sat. by people from all over Italy who came by the busloads to show their displeasure at the latest election results which was closely won by 40,000 votes, a virtual tie according to the locals. Anyway, that, coupled with the metro/bus strikes all over Italy, apparently represents an average month's transportation hassle in Italy. Yes apparently there are strikes by bus and metro every month!! I met an ESL teacher from Aust. who spent the night in the hostel for 20 euros rather than pay 40 euros to take a taxi home. The ESL school paid the taxi for him to get to work... but wouldn't to get him home. I suggested he may want to reserve every month. .Anyway I had a bit of a scare prior to leaving. I had left my bags in the hostel as I had to run to the station to see if my train was running as on Sat. it was rumoured the regional ones wouldn't be and then I had to keep getting info from different Info places in the train station. I also had to go back to my first hostel for something. All this running around took time and then I got lost trying to get back to my 2nd hostel to pick up my bag and then i panicked as i was 20 minutes from departure time and still hadn't found it, so asked these 2 tour bus drivers who were standing around where I s hould go and t hey walked me to the right place! They were so helpful and kind! I grabbed my bag and ran to the Termini train station and got on the train with 3 minutes to spare! I have never been that close to missing my transportation! Then I got to Florence and had to take a local bus to the other train station, near by was my Archi Rossi hostel, recommended by Alessandro hostel in Rome. This place actually provides a cooked breakfast with choices from a small menu but including bacon and eggs! Good value for 21 euro, considering the breakfast is probably worth 7 euro.I am sharing with 3 women, a young 18 year old South African girl and 2 Korean mothers on a trip away from their kids. Next year they want to bring their kids to Canada! wouln
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