By the time we arrived in Florence (around lunchtime), we were all very tired and very cranky! We should have gone and done some grocery shopping but I wasn't interested. I decided we had enough food for another day. We all had a big sleep and felt much better for it. We had dinner in the restaurant at the caravan park where I had one of the nicest pastas and pizzas so far.
I think the constant sightseeing, packing up and moving is starting to get the better of me. We are always on the move, doing long days and still have to fit in washing, grocery shopping and packing lunches. While Loche is able to keep up this pace, I am struggling. Which means it is becoming a chore and not a holiday. We are trying to keep moving so we can see as much as possible before it gets too cold and before we need to get out of the EU.
The next day we took it easy again, catching up with family on Skype and then venturing out to find a grocery shop. We couldn't find anything nearby and drove for about half an hour out of the city before we found a big shopping complex. While I did a bit of retail therapy (handbags and purses), Loche watched Cara on the jumping castle. We finally got the much-needed grocery shopping done and headed home. Loche was amazed by the amount of Asian people living in the region - it's very unexpected when you hear them speak in Italian.
Into Florence we went the next day and we decided once again to do the Red Bus tours. They were fairly cheap at 15 Euros per adult (Cara is free) but we are glad we only got a one-day ticket as they weren't the best tours we have been on. We got off near the Ponte Vecchio and wandered through the streets of Florence, checking out the shops, buying some leather gloves and drooling over the shoes and handbags. I don't think Loche appreciates how very restrained I was in not blowing the budget!! J
The next evening we were booked into do a cooking course of pizza and gelato. Thank you Sonya and Jason for recommending it. We stayed at the van park all day to give Cara a rest before heading out for the evening. Before we left, caravans started arriving at the park in earnest. Loche moved our car so a motorhome could get in opposite us and not long after that a caravan came in and pitched at the front of our van. Before we could turn around another caravan had pitched right where we (used to) park the car!!
Instead of taking the bus, we decided to drive into Florence to do our cooking class, which really wasn't the best idea we've ever had! The main parts of Florence are blocked off to cars. I found the address but we couldn't actually drive to it, so I found a parking garage nearby but we never actually found it and meanwhile we are driving down streets we weren't meant to be, with locals and tourists walking all around us, and to me it appeared, glaring at us. We had to drive a bit further away and eventually found a park on the street. We were already running late so we all started running through the streets of Florence to get back to our meeting point. Cara was having a ball running through all the streets; she didn't slow us down at all!! We arrived in time and were then led back through all the streets we'd just run through to where the class was to be held! The class showed us how to make the dough, kneed the dough and also to make gelato. Cara got dressed up in her apron as well and helped throughout the class. She also couldn't wait to get her gelato!!
Arriving back from the cooking class our new neighbour politely told us he had bumped into the back of our van with his. We had a look and a section about half as big as a saucer has been scratched and all the fiberglass has come off (when I say all the fiberglass, there wasn't a lot there to begin with). We were leaving in the morning and were planning on washing the van before we left but with this, we were not able to wet it at all. After sleeping on it, the next morning we sorted out an agreeable amount with them to fix the van, they gave us the cash, we didn't need to get insurance involved and we could also keep moving.
Interesting facts about Florence:
- Was part of the French empire
- Was once the capital of Italy
- Has cheap leather goods
- Was where Michelangelo and Leonardo De Vinci came from.