Friday, October 20, 2017

Italia 2017 - Getting Caught Up

We have been just going and going and going. Not to mention taking so many pictures. I have fallen way behind chronologically in my posts. I decided to just get everyone up to date as to where we're at and what we have been doing and then catch up with the actual photo posts as I can.

My last full post was of our last day in Bologna. On Tuesday we took the train to Florence or as it is correctly called in in Italian, Firenze. This was our first experience using the rapid rail system in Italy. I had booked on like and with the usual issues associated with figuring out an unfamiliar train station, new train system etc. got to our train, car and seat just fine. We did have an issue with our bags. The only baggage storage is in racks over the seats...not very practical for older folks with two-50 pound suitcases. I ended up having to leave them between the cars and stayed with them. It was only a 30 minute train ride so it was no big deal.

We got to Firenze and the train station there was a madhouse. I wonder what it is like during the real peak tourist season! We took a cab to our next Airbnb apartment. Pretty nice except for the incredibly tiny shower. Boy we got spoiled during our last trip to Asia. Showers there are almost uniformly wonderful. Europe, not so much. Hour hostess was very flexible. We had arrived before the official check in time and she let us drop off our bags early. We explored the neighborhood, got a coffee and then went back and officially checked in. We had enough time to go get some lunch and then head into the center of town for another photo workshop. We had a third person with us. We booked this one through Airbnb which is now offering all kinds of tours and experiences along with lodging. It was very good. The guy was a great teacher. Many things that other workshops had tried to tell me finally clicked here.  We went back, picked up some kebab to take home and then collapsed.

Wednesday was an epic day. We went around in the morning just taking in the sites, views and having fun taking pictures. I seemed to have had a major breakthrough and suddenly my vision of what I'm looking for in the way of pictures has changed. It is putting Wife and I more on the same page as far as HOW we want to enjoy the photographic part of our traveling. We ended up on the other side of the river where we found a piazza that our Airbnb hostess recommended for lunch. Had another great meal - yes there will be another foodie post coming! Then we killed some time until we met up for a tour of the Uffizi Gallery, one of the prime attractions in Firenze. Will have a separate post on that.

Once that was done, we headed back to the apartment. I had a business phone call and it was already late. Plus we weren't really hungry. We bought some gelatto from a place next to our apartment and had some potato chips later on.

Thursday morning, we had a food tour. This meant we had to leave our bags at the apartment where again our hostess was very accommodating. From food tour it was off to the bus station to catch a bus to Siena. We were using an Italy Taxi app for the first time and it worked like a charm. Catching the bus (a first for us - intercity buses) was not too bad. There was storage under the bus for the luggage but the room above the seats for my computer backpack was too small. Fortunately the bus was not full and I could take a pair of seats for myself. The legroom on this bus was very limited and wouldn't want to do this particular type of bus for any long distance. It was a little over an hour to Siena. Then we navigated a 10 minute walk through the old down to get to our B&B. Of course there were a bunch of stairs to get up it but the B&B manager took the heavy bags most of the way. The place is quite nice, very quiet, super centrally located, has excellent sound proofing AND has a shower big enough that we can turnaround and bend down!

We are just off the Campo, the famous central piazza of Siena (where they hold the horse races). We went down to the Campo hoping to catch some nice light for pictures. The light was so, so but we did nicely picture wise with other subjects. We wanted to have a big dinner because the only food we'd eaten was what we had on the food tour. But we had to kill an hour and a half before places would open for dinner. We also had a hard time choosing a place that appealed to both our moods that night. But we succeeded, had a very nice meal AND polished of a bottle of wine between the two of us!!!!

Normally if we ate and drank that much we would have troubles sleeping but both of us slept exceedingly soundly and late the next morning. After a late breakfast we wandered the city, getting some good views but most of all spending time at the Cathedral complex which I will show you via pictures later. It is now almost 5 PM. We're resting in our room before we go out again at 5:30 to take pictures from one of the views in the much better evening light.

Pictures will be coming...Ciao

1 comment:

alexis said...

this is most certainly the most photography-intensive trip you guys have taken so far.