Sonntag, 25. Mai 2014

Interrail - Day 18,19: Pisa + Firenze

On the 1st of April we arrived in the evening in Pisa. We dumped our stuff at our hostel (The hostel was above the store "Zara" on the second floor, I can't really remember its name, but it was pretty alright and the staff was nice. You couldn't lock the room doors and the showers were a little dirty, but other than that: pretty okay.). And we went out to look for the worldwide known Leaning Tower of Pisa.

And of course, we took tacky tourist pictures () and made our way back to our hostel to get some sleep.
On our way, we walked all over town. And to be honest... I was pretty bored of Pisa. Except for the tower the city has nothing for me to offer, but Johanna was so amazed by the "real" Italian town atmosphere so that we walked around longer than necessary.

I sometimes wonder if I'm already numb to the beauty in the world or if my expectations are just absolutely  different from hers.

At a local book flea market Johanna bought herself a cook book. And maybe I should remind her that she really needs to cook sometime real Italian food for me (haha, Johanna, if you read this, start cooking! ).

Back at our hostel we ate together with an Italian guy. He couldn't speak English and Johanna didn't speak Italian as well as he had hoped, but that didn't stop him from falling madly in love with her. He asked us out to a drink. We politely refused, but he didn't want to let it go. We tried to escape his love vibes a second time, but he stayed persistent and wanted to know what we were up to tomorrow. We made an excuse why we had other plans tomorrow as well and snuck out the next day (2nd of April) early in the morning to make it seem like the truth. We ran some last errands for our travel journey (filling up food supplies etc.) and took the train to Firenze (better known as Florence) around noon.

In Firenze we first looked up our hostel and dumped our stuff our room as usual and then took a stroll around town. We had been texting with Nita and Sunshine to find out what they have been up to and agreed on a meeting point. We meet up again with Sunshine and Nita and strolled together trough the town. The city is really beautiful. We walked by the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore and to the Piazza della Signoria and the Palazzo Vecchio (Florence's town hall). On the Ponte Vecchio, which crosses the river Arno, butchers initially occupied the bridge with their shops, but when the Medici family came to power and ruled in Florence for a long time, a duke of the Medici family ordered to build the Vasari Corridor, an elevated enclosed passageway connecting the Palazzo Vecchio with the Uffizi Gallery.The duke moved the meat market away to avoid that the meat smell reached this corridor. He only allowed jewellers and goldsmiths to sell their goods there and the jewellery merchants still occupy the bridge today.

We went through the leather market (best place to buy really nice leather goods like bags and purses) and looked around. We ate in the market place where all the other Italian people ate and cute real Italian "Mama" talked fast with every customer and served the food and bustled here and there to make sure every customer had a seat, food and did pay afterwards. It was fun to watch. The real Italian food tasted lovely, unfortunately it came in really tiny portions... If you're super hungry, better go somewhere else and find some kind of menu-type of restaurant, they offer you starter, maincourse and desert with drinks for about 10€. We had to catch up a little bit on all that's happened and I was glad to hear that Sunshine seemed a little bored of Pisa as well. (I mean it wasn't an ugly city, just not really that exciting). We then went shopping for souvenirs (the classy ones: a bag or leather bracelet in the leathermarket or some "Mafia" ones like cigars).
After this very successful shopping tour, we rewarded ourselves with icecream. And what could be better than lying down, enjoying the sun and eating icecream all frickin' sunny day long? Correct: There's nothing better than ice in the sunshine with friends in a beautiful city like Firenze.
In the evening we bought a little food at a local super market and to dine together with Sunshine and Nita. Their hostel was a little bit more fancy than ours because the building had a roof terrace and seemed to me almost like a nice hotel but it wasn't really allowed to bring visitors to the rooms... Oh well we snuck in anyway. (hihi evilknievel!) We ate together like a happy little family and pretty much just went to bed afterwards.  Pretty unspectacular day, I guess. But if you have to get up early in the morning to catch the next train, you better get some sleep.

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