I'm gonna start this post off right. Check out the sweet shades that lovely boyfrien of mine, Brock, presented me as an early birthday gift. Who's lucky? This girl. I also wanted to show you how much I'm missing a blow dryer. Not that I even blow dry my hair properly. But hot damn, does shaking your head over warm air make a difference.
Yesterday started out terribly. I'm not easily phased by travel issues but the shit show that ensued when we tried to buy train tickets made me want to cancel the day and head back to bed. Lucky for us, we're currently sleeping in one of the worlds least comfortable bed so I decided to preserver and almost four hours after we set out, we arrived in Siena (a 1hr train ride away).
And I'm so glad we worked that shit out. Because Siena did not disappoint. I've travelled here twice before but can't remember ever going into the Duomo. Not sure if I'm just being a space cadet but I'm pretty sure when I went with school with stuck to the Museo and two other churches.
The Duomo in Siena is a pretty extravagant showing of Catholic opulence. The detailing is unreal and so overboard. It's not like it's the fresco's or the statues or the alter or the floor. Every single element of this church is decorated. From the stain glass, to the carved floors to the striped marble. I don't even know what to tell you about. It's overwhelming and packed to the rafters with people but it is a true sight to behold. I was so taken with the floor carvings. As well as one of the security guards chatting on her cell phone while screaming at tourists to stop using their flash.
Which brings me to a side note. Tourists, stop using your flash. Preservation of the art work, blah blah but mostly, you will get much better photos if you turn the flash off, and instead learn to hold the camera steady/ rest it on something. Much truer colours. Much kinder security guards. All around good time. No more auto-flash!
(I will mention here that they provide you with mirrors to see the fresco's so there is no neck strain. So sweet)
We had pizza in the square afterwards and I decided I will not have another slice for the rest of this trip because holy eff, too much pizza makes ashley a chubbo. I'll stick to pasta thank you very much.
So after too much walking yesterday I dragged Brock back up the massive hill to San Miniato al Monte. I have no words for this spot. It is truly one of my favourite places in Florence and I tell everyone I know visiting Florence to go. And you know how many of them do it? SO FEW.
WHY WON'T ANYONE LISTEN TO ME?!
I don't remember the walk being so tough... I did it quite frequently while living here but today was no bueno. I believe Brock and I may be a little out-of-shape-o.
C'est la vie. The view is worth it. The church is quiet and beautiful. And the graveyard is spectacular.
Although we noticed on our way out a no photo sign. Opps. Sorry guys.
Oh look. I suck at taking selfies. I got none of the background in and I look terrible. Another tourist took one for us but his is worse.
After we finished with San Miniato we headed down the mountain and remembered we had intended to check out the Boboli Gardens so headed over that way. The line was super quick and we were in in no time.
The downside is that as soon as we got in I realised that the whole stupid gardens is yet another hill and our legs were not having any of it. We stalled and checked out the Costume Gallery in the Pitti Palace (because it came with our ticket for free) and a really bizarre exhibit on Native North Americans (which was clearly a bust for us Canadians) and then eventually, we forced ourselves back up the hill.
Brock was visibly (and audibly) disappointed by the gardens. He may do a stint working for the Pitti Palace sharing with them his grass growing skills. I however quite like the gardens. They have cats. Pretty trees. But way too many hills.
So that's my update. More has happened (we saw a terrribly fat Italian woman scream, call the police and spit on people after she was short changed at the Foccaria) but this is all I have the patience for tonight.
We're off to Rome tomorrow and then home on Saturday. Try not to miss me too much more.