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Travel day with train/bus strikes...an oxymoron!!!

We managed to get to La Spezia before the train strike started at 9am and were just going to wait out the day until they started at 5pm. We were sitting at Maccas and heard that only 2/3 of the trains were on strike so kept checking when a train may be going to Florence ( Firenze). Buses were also on strike.

We had to laugh as we kept being told it was not possible…we asked about leaving our luggage there so we could go for an explore.....but it was not possible because of the strike. We asked about the wifi at Maccas but were told it was not possible Mum went to use the bathroom but was told it was not possible.

It was a day of being not possible!!!

We managed to fill in 6 hours at the trains station and had a couple of false alarms where we were told a train may or may not leave from a certain platform. Off we would go with our luggage, up all those stairs and wait on a platform and then SOP would go up on the departure board which meant it was cancelled. Then we would hear it may go from another platform and same again. We returned to Maccas at one stage and then heard another train may leave and it did!!! Yay….the 2 hours to Florence passed quickly and I think we all slept most of the way.

I had booked the hostel online yesterday and had directions from the train station.( Santa Maria Novella – said in strong Italian accent…love it!!!) It was about a 15 minute walk but with a couple of wrong turns took us probably 30 minutes!!!

The hostel was in a great location right near the massive Duomo ( cathedral) that we had walked past to get there…beautiful city…I think I will like Florence. Cost of hostel is 26.50euro a night

Mum and I are on the 3rd floor in a 6 bed girls dorm with it's own bathroom and Nath is on the 1st floor in a mixed dorm, as we couldn’t all get together. His room is much better than ours as it has no bunks and is much bigger. Mum and I are both on the top bunk – we had to find a chair for Mum to get up and down out of her bed!!! She is pretty good for a 72 year old!!!

We ditched our bags and went exploring. There are SOOOOO many tourists in Florence – lots of big groups on walking tours following the leader who has a little flag .

Most people when they come to Florence visit the galleries, of which there are many. It is the city where Michelangelo lived and the famous statue of David is.

I am not much of a gallery person and neither was Nath, and Mum over her life says she is galleried out as my Dad loved them and they went to so many!!!

We were happy to wander as it was now 6pm. Italy has beautiful fashion and I was admiring an outfit in a window and looked down at the pricing and it was approx a 6000 euro outfit!!!!!! Discovered it was a Chanel shop. There are beautiful clothes in al the shop windows.

It is one beautiful street after another opening on to large piazzas. We ended up having dinner at Piazza Della Signoria and I had a nice seafood spaghetti. The piazza is dominated by a beautiful building with a high tower called the Palazzo Vecchio. There is copy of the Michelangelo David statue which used to stand here but in 1878 was moved into a gallery.

We couldn’t get a 2nd night at our hostel so they called another one just a 5 minute walk away and we will go there tomorrow for the next 2 nights. Originally we were thinking we would spend a night or 2 at Siena or San Gimignano but decided we would make Florence our base and do day trips.

Love that it isn't dark until 8- 9pm as you get so much more travel time in when you arrive into town at 5pm - still plenty of time to look around.

Our 6 hours in Maccas!!!

Our 6 hours in Maccas!!!


Will it go or not...just waiting to see!!

Will it go or not...just waiting to see!!


Train waiting

Train waiting


Nath waiting at station

Nath waiting at station


Florence

Florence


Duomo in Florence

Duomo in Florence


Florence

Florence


Tower

Tower


The ribbed dome in Florence

The ribbed dome in Florence


Amazing architecture

Amazing architecture


Another huge piazza

Another huge piazza


Street painting

Street painting


Chanel outfit...very expensive

Chanel outfit...very expensive


Chanel

Chanel


in another piazza

in another piazza


Ponte Vecchia Bridge

Ponte Vecchia Bridge


Replia of Michelangelos David

Replia of Michelangelos David

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Italy

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