This is not a travelogue per se, but the unedited emails I sent home using a Blackberry to friends and family while I was away.
Friday, November 3, 2006
Well the fire alarm woke me up at 5 AM. It was on for about 10 minutes before a nun turned it off. I found out later that it goes off if someone smokes in their room. I don’t know if that’s what happened, but it was annoying. I must be the only one who travels with pajamas because the hall was filled with men in their underwear.
I fell asleep for about 30 more minutes then woke up. I decided last night to find another place to stay. So I needed to pack and plan my day. I had intended to start exploring florence around 7.30, but since I decided to leave I knew I would have to start later. I needed to meet with the person I’ve been speaking with at the convent, but she was not getting in until after 8. So I went for breakfast. The Alimandi this place is not. Breakfast was bread, just one type of roll, not a bread selection, and apples. They had honey and butter for the bread and of course coffee and Tang.
I met with the convent lady and she was very helpful. I made she the place would have heat in Dec. She said they turn it on Nov 20. I made sure my room would have a full bath, not one down the hall. She helped me find restaurants. They are no longer serving lunch or dinner but have an agreement with a few places nearby. A 3-4 course meal for 10 euro. Not bad. I also got them to include towels. They had said we would need to bring our own.
Then I left.
It was about 9 AM when I left the convent for my new hotel. I tried to walk but it was difficult with the suitcase. So after about 15 minutes, I found a cab.
I went to a hotel near the Accademia. I didn’t know if they’d have a room or if it would be too expensive but I wanted to try. It’s Rick Steves’ favorite splurge.
Well they did have a room. But only a double. The lady let me have it anyway at a reduced price. It ended up being only a little less than the convent. And I get heat, TV, and a king sized bed. Oh, and my own bathroom.
I took a shower since I didn’t at the convent. And headed out. I was only a day behind.
My first stop was santa croce. I tried to reserve Mass but the sacristan was not there and would not return until 4. -it was only 11.30. I looked around the church a bit then left.
I went to make a reservation at for lunch. Then for two dinners.
I practiced walking. Stopped in the Duomo then went back to Santa Croce. I reserved Mass then went to Vivolis for gelato. I realized I had not been there in over 6 years. It was yummy.
Coffee and chocolate. My favorite.
More walking. Then back to the hotel. I passed the Accademia and saw that there was no wait so I went in. I said hello to David and looked the paintings. 8 hours after leaving the hotel, I was back. I went over my maps. Marked the routes. Even which side ot the street to walk on to make crossings easier.
Then, I went for my first meal. Since I’ve been here, I’ve only had two sandwiches. Well now I’ve had a pizza too. And a glass of wine. Then back to the hotel in 39 degree weather and into my king sized bed.
Oh, dad. The locks are all gone. Now a cop sits there all night.
Please forgive the misspelled words and lack of capitalization and mistakes in typing. It’s more difficult than it’s worth to go back and fix errors on this thing.