Well we didn’t plan on coming to Florence to start with. I had been last time I was in Europe and I really didn’t remember much of it.... Mind you, my one day in Florence was spent lying on the lawn of a museum with the biggest hang over of my life! But we are very glad that we came.
Florence was an awesome city to walk around and explore. All the little cobblestone streets, museums and monuments would keep you busy for more than a week. Unfortunately this time we only had 3 days.
On the first day we just wondered around. The main square of Florence is home to the Duomo (the cathedral), as it is in most of the towns! But this cathedral is huge and very different. It is made of white, green and red marble with a massive dome on top and a tall bell tower beside it. The dome dominates the skyline of Florence in very picture of the city. Unfortunately inside it is quite bare.
As it is in most places here, it is quite hard to take pictures of these things as they are so big and are packed into such small squares with other buildings, you cannot get it all in the one shot.
We strolled down to the river and over the Ponte Vecchio, a famous bridge here in Florence. Here (many years ago) the king ordered all of the butcher shops that lined this bridge and threw their scraps into the river, to clear out and ordered all the gold smiths to move in and this is how it remains now. The bridge though is packed with tourists and I’m sure there are no good bargains to be had!
We went past the massive line to get into the Uffizi museum. Yes it is one of the biggest and best museums in the world, but not being art buffs and hardly any of the work named or in English we decided to give this one a miss (and not stand in a line all day) and dedicate our line standing time to the museum that houses the statue of David, on Friday.
The next day we had to pop down to the supermarket in a town about 15kms from our campsite when tragedy struck. After doing our shopping we got back into Moby and he wouldn’t start. We tried jumping him with a friendly Scotsman who stopped to help us but he still wouldn’t start. A truck driver helped us out by giving us a tow and trying to roll start us but still nothing, so we had to go to a mechanic.
Now I know we are in a different country and all things are different and that’s what makes a place special but I cannot wait to go back to a country that does not stop somewhere between 12 and 4 (depending on the town, or what you feel like maybe!) everyday for siesta. Like who else needs a two and a half hour lunch break?? Now I tried to explain to Willy when we got here that like in Spain they siesta so they can fiesta..... but we have not seen any fiesta-ing. It seems every time we need something, want to check into a camping ground, go to a town etc it is siesta and we have to wait two and a half hours for everything to open again! So of course when we needed a mechanic it was siesta, so we went for a ride.
Anyways, after everyone had finished their nap we found a mechanic and he drove us back to our car and got us jump started. We were thinking it was going to cost us an absolute fortune and of course he could have asked us for anything he wanted! Willy asked him how much and he replied in Italian something with a five in it.... I still haven’t got all the numbers down pat. So we presumed he wanted 50 Euros and gave him that and he just looked at it and gave it back made it clearer he only wanted 5 Euros! Which is like AU$8.00, so we were very impressed
So with all things good with Moby again we decided to rise at 6.00am on Friday morning to be the first in the queue to see David. After a coffee we arrived at the museum and there was no one there and we are like ‘Yes!’ it paid off getting up at a stupid time, to read the sign that there was a staff meeting today and it opened at 10.30. Of course always on the days we want to do something! But it was actually really nice to wonder around Florence with no tourists, like no one! We got photos of the Duomo with no one in it, pictures on the Ponte Vecchio with it all closed up and no one on it. We drank some coffees with the locals and it was all good.
We went back to join the line at about 9.00am, we were about 50th in line, so thats ok. But the problem was that there was no ‘staff meeting’ the museum staff were on strike, so by the time they opened at 10.30am there may well of been only about 250 people in the line but there were about 1000 people on tours that had time allotted spots that were waiting also. To cut a long story short, after many hours of waiting to get in we gave up as they had only allowed like 10 people out of the main queue in. So no David
So we decided to go check out a church we had also put on our to do list for today, that has the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and some others in it, to find it was closed for some religious holiday! It was just one of those days.
Tomorrow we are off to Modena to see ‘Rage Against the Machine’ before spending our last couple of days at Lake Como where we first started.
Sorry I cant add pics at the moment because we have a dodgy internet connection.... will update