Germany & Italy [2003]

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day 3 [] july 17, 2003 [] Florence, Italy

It is Thursday. We woke up at 7 am. We ate the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, which was good - great croissants. There was also exceptionally good orange juice. Jon wanted some scrambled eggs, so he ordered some, but they brought 2 orders because of Jon's exceptional German talents. Lisa saved the day by helping eat some. On the way to the station we saw gay Barbie man.

We took the train to Firenze (Florence). The scenery from the train was gorgeous. We went through Austria and into Italy. The roads in the Alps are all bridges, miles of roads off the sides of mountains and over spectacularly high bridges.

When we arrived at Firenze, there were many people asking us if we wanted hotel deals. At first impression, Germania seems much safer than Italien. Right off the bat we tried the bus to our hotel. It was scary, but once Jon got things under control we made it to Hotel Orcagna and Hotel Jane. We're staying in Hotel Jane. It's a nice little 3 star place.

Florence isn't as large as we'd thought. We could walk across it in around 40 minutes. We went to go see some sights, knowing that most things were probably closed. It was about 7:30 when we went to go eat. We ate at a pastaccario (or something). We ate pizza. Italian pizza, the true breeds, are flat and thin and delicious. We had mineral water and red wine.

We took a walk then to see the Mercato di Sant' Ambrogio Piazza. It was bland and mostly closed. We went to the Santa Cruce Piazza. That was a blast. The church and museum were closed, but the outside was beautiful and ornately carved, even the door. There was a large open square. We sat on the steps to the chapel listening to this djimbe drum band on the corner until the polizia came and told them to stop. They saluted all the people listening and left.

There are so many motorcycles. The streets are narrow, so it makes a lot of sense. Cars are also tiny. Talk about death-mobiles. They have these cars called "Smart" or that is the brand. They are so small they can park where motorcycles park only they are wider. They are as long as our cars in the U.S. are wide. It was funny when we did see a Land Rover there were Italians walking by, amazed at how large it was. We didn't know exactly what they said but one of the words meant "gigantic," and they did a laugh, shaking their heads from side to side like they were amazed.

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