qatsi (qatsi) wrote,


It seems some time ago now since we returned from holiday, so I'd best do the write-up.

We were supposed to fly to Florence airport itself, via Zurich. But, on arrival at Zurich, we found that the second leg had been diverted to Bologna, due to high winds. It became apparent that no-one had informed the baggage handlers at Bologna that we were coming; it took well over an hour for our luggage to turn up. This was followed by a mystery bus tour to Florence airport. By this time I wasn't convinced that the airport shuttle bus would be running more than once an hour, so uncharacteristically we decided to take a taxi to the hotel. Somehow no-one got killed during that trip; it's a mystery how.

Anyway, we arrived and unwound. At breakfast we discovered an intriguing self-service orange juicer, a triumph of Italian creativity ... and Italian engineering and efficiency. At least the coffee was straightforward. Due to intermittent planning, we hadn't pre-booked anything, but the Firenze card turned out to solve that. Maybe we were lucky, but in all honesty I think the only place there would have been difficulty otherwise was the Uffizi - many places were busy, but less so than you would get at a popular exhibition in London. We took in day trips to Pisa (by train) and Siena (by bus). Of the many places we saw, the labyrinthine former hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena stands out as one of the more interesting: it was virtually deserted, and we did feel that a prize should be awarded to anyone completing a tour of the building.

The food was good, but probably not exceptional, and certainly not cheap (though that was to be expected). For variety, we tried an Indian restaurant that had been recommended by an Indian co-worker - the food was good and the Indian wine too, it certainly added a bit of variety.

The people were friendly and helpful. The local midges and mosquitoes too showed a great deal of interest in me.

On the last day, storms broke again. The flight back was also delayed, but at least it left from the correct airport, and our connection in Frankfurt was delayed further, so there were no problems beyond lateness in getting home.
Tags: europe, places, travel
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