Brian woke me yesterday at 530. I hurriedly packed, struggling to keep my eyes open I stuffed the essentials I’d need for the next 2 days in my backpack. The rest of my gear got stuffed in my main pack, which I’ve left in Chrissy’s room which I’ll pick up tonight. I have a feeling that I’ve left my trench coat in Brians room though, I hope not but as he’s not there and if I have I have to leave some money for him and get him to mail somewhere for me to pick up at a later date.
We walked outside and just missed a tram. So we had to wait 20minutes for the next, I had heaps of time, it was brian who was struggling. After a short tram ride and a metro stint, most of which I slept in we were at Milano Centrale.
We parted ways and I grabbed a ticket for Pisa, some food and a coffee. The trip to Pisa was freezing. I was so cold and so tired. The trip itself was almost 5 hours. I slept most the time in my sleeping bag under a series of chairs.
I was only woken twice, the first time it was to two police officers, who were checking and recording everyone’s ID’s. I’ve no idea why. The startled me awake with a laugh. Obviously finding my position quite amusing.
The next time I was awoken it was by a ticket inspector when we were more then 4 hours into the trip.
Pisa was nice, I’d budgeted 1.5 hours for it. And that was well and truly enough time for me to walk down through the medieval town, over the bridge and upto the square where the leaning tower of Pisa stands. The tower itself really is quite amazing. It’s one of those things that when you see it in real life its so much different, so much, then on tv.
I sat looking at that for 5 minutes and headed back to the train station. I had a train to catch.
The train to Florence left less then 5 minutes after I got to the station. This ride was only an hour. So I got out my laptop and began typing. This was cut short when we arrived at the Florence station catching me totally unawares I stuffed my laptop into my bag and made a run for it.
Florence is a really nice city. After setting off to see david. I doubled back. I’d forgotton to check times for the train. Wasting half an hour of sunlight, I headed back towards David. The map I had led me to a massive building. And I went in, there were statues everywhere so I presumed I was going in the right direction. I kept walking through and pretty soon realized I was in a university or art school. I was getting some strange looks from people as I walked through rooms of kids practicing they’re sculpture skills.
I went to the entrance where there was a lady behind the desk. I asked if she spoke English. No luck. I said “David…?”. she just shook her head. Luckily a lady behind her knew what was going on and gave me directions to where I could find the big piece of Marble. It was only two doors down.
Inside the foyer I had to go through a metal detector and put my bag through an xray machine. For some reason I forgot my phone and set the thing off. After a second attempt I was through and at the line for tickets. It was only one person deep so I could deal with that.
I was expecting to pay 3-5 euros to get inside the gallery. Not likely. 10Euros it cost me, I figured I had to so I handed over my last couple of 5Euro notes in exchange for a piece of paper. The gallery was actually pretty big and full of lots of rooms and paintings. I wish I could really appreciate them, the problem is to me that, yeah, they’re all beautiful paintings but so is the one next to it, and the one beside that etc. so I just made a bee line for David.
I got there eventually and spent the next two minutes trying to work out what the hell he’s holding, I still have no idea what it is. I spent another 2 minutes looking at the sculpture, and then then nixt 10 minutes thinking about how I’d paid 10 Euros to look at a rock for 4 minutes, A nice shape, but a rock never the less.
I spent the next two hours walking around Florence, through the back streets looking at the various churches. There’s an awesome gothic church in the centre of town. It cost like 3 euros to get in but I just walked in the front door. Took some photo’s and then high tailed it out of there.
Next I went to the former resting place of Michaelangelo’s David (Which has been replaced with a replica). Its in a square with a myriad of other statues. Some of these statues are really brutal. Including one with a woman holding a mans head, about to cut it off with a massive knife. Another of a man straddling a horse (With a mans head), looking as though he’s about to club it with the massive weapon he has in his hand. Another Statue had one gladiator looking man half kneeling over another, holding his head up about to smash it with another huge club.
However the most brutal of all was a copper statue of a naked man (All the statues were naked too which made them kinda more twisted) standing on the headless corpse of a naked woman, he’s holding a massive sword in his left hand and is holding the females head up, as if presenting it to someone. The head looks brutal, it’s not a clean cut at all with long entrails hanging from the neck halfway down to the ground. I guess she must have talked back to him.
Next I walked over the river over an old bridge, the only one that wasn’t destroyed during the bombings of WW2. It was lined with at least 20 different gold smiths. All selling the same beautiful gold jewellery. And from there up to the old Florentine parliament.
I’d covered every thing I wanted to so I sat up here relaxing and typing in my diary before heading to a reastaurant that LP had recommended. Again the flaw of having a guide that’s 2 years old came back to bite me on the ass. The restaurant wasn’t there.
Near there however was a hamburger place. The interesting thing being that you made the hammburger up, picking the meat, the sauces and the salads. Plus the place had free WIFI so that settled it.
I chilled out there for an hour or so and then set off towards the train station. I’d found on the internet a pub crawl and I wanted to store my valuables in the luggage storage area. Once there however I found out that the station closes at 12, my train was leaving at 430 am so this was no good for me.
I rearranged my gear in my pack and headed down to where you needed to meet for the crawl. I found a café where I could watch to see if anyone showed up and ordered a coffee and sat with my book.
This coffee set a new record for most expensive brew. 6.3 Euros, about 10 Aussie dollars. Admittedly it was a double shot. But still that was ridiculous when some places do a single shot for 70 cents!!
Regardless I sat there drinking my coffee untill about 845. The meet was supposed to be between 830 and 9. I hadn’t seen anyone so I moved a little closer and sat under the replica of David. By 10 past 9 no one had showed, maybe I had the meeting place wrong, or maybe it’s only a summer thing, I dunno. From the previous night out in Milan and the night before in Athens combined with the total of 6 hours sleep I was knackered anyway.
I started to head back towards the train station, I went past one place that looked like a propper pub. I dropped in there ordered a pint and satt with my book. The best thing about this place was the bar snacks, I ate 2 whole foccachia things both of which would have cost me 3 Euros each had I bought them at a shop.
From here I left for the train station intent on finding somewhere to sleep. I wove my way through the various bums and found a spot underneath a security camera in an underground tunnel, that doubles as a shopping mall during the day.
I unrolled my sleeping bag and sat there reading for a little, not wanting to go to sleep straight away, pretty soon after though a big security guy came down and started speaking in Italian and waving his finger around in the air. I tried to play dumb but it was pretty obvious I had to leave.
I went outside and found another spot against the train station, in a highly visable area, away from the main thoroughfares in the light. I rolled out my sleeping bag, got in and began reading. During this time another bum decided he like my spot and came and lay his cardboard out a few meters to my left, lit up a cigarette and muttered to him self for 5 minutes or so. I figured he was harmless so I didn’t let it bother me.
The only thing I was worried about was my bag. I was using it as a pillow but my computer is pretty much the last thing on earth I want to lose. I’d prefer to lose my passport then my computer