The Bus Tour of Florence: Italy #4

I’m writing this rather late. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve had no time, but in actuality I found that I’d rather use the Netflix membership I accidentally purchased this morning instead and watch 7 episodes of iZombie. Woe me and my first world issues.

This morning started nicely, I woke up and snook into the bathroom at about 10:15. I really really needed a Pete but I didn’t want to get up because I knew Natalie would in turn wake Lizzy up. Being the good friend I am, I wanted her to sleep as much as she could, my plan didn’t work. With the help of the floof ball and some gentle prodding of Lizzy, she woke up and we ate porridge. It was the packaged stuff with apples and cinnamon; I swear the packaged stuff is so much nicer then the real thing. I once tried to reproduce it by mixing oats with ready-break, it was similar but not as good. This was also followed by some of the poppyseed cake I had on my first day because “She looked hungry.” Okay Natalie. okay.

Afterwards we got dressed and, with camera in hand, headed to the train station to by some bus tour tickets. It was about half 11 and we had an hour to spare before the bus arrived so we wandered into some side streets towards a market. Narrow pathways between sweaty bodies, towered by stalls weighed down by leather bags and bright, colourful masks. Calls from vendors selling goods in broken English acting your attention from all sides, more then once they shouted out complements to my vibrant blue hair. It’s a good talking point. I was tempted to by a carnival mask as a souvenir, but worried about I getting crushed before we got home, we had a long time till we ended our journey. Instead I brought some postcards to send to my family members, I brought three for 60cents each and only got €2 change. I thought it was odd but I couldn’t work out 3×6 so I left the shop and walked away, too awkward to say anything. It would be so easy to cheat me, legit. It wasn’t until later that I realised I had accidentally picked up and extra two cards instead of one. Oppps.

At half 12 we caught the double decker bus, and raced towards the upper deck hoping for front row seats. We were a little too late to sit at the front, but we managed to sit a couple of rows back. Awkward shaped earphones were plugged into the speakers by the side of my seat, they kept falling out of my ears and I almost regret not taking my own.DSC_4455.jpg
At €23 a ticket you would have thought the earphones might fit inside my ear. Pretentious words echoed through a well spoken American accent, highlighting the shadows and textures of Florence’s finest features. Overall the tour was quite interesting, but a lot of the spoken elements sounded like the exaggerated description of my brothers flower scented, gold tasting, glimmering whiskey my sister got him for Christmas. There weren’t any outstanding points to be noted from the tour, except the exceptional views it gave you. The most exciting part was probably the short stop at Fiesole. Given only half an hour we did not have enough time to visit the ruins I had previously heard about, however we did trek up a short, but steep, hill to see the view over Florence. Panting and puffing we reached the end and looked out. Blue mountains stood proud in the distance, layers of houses rolled within the valley between. Square houses interrupted the artistic curves and points the natural beauty of the mountains beyond possessed,  but still enamoured the sightseer in awe. Or at least that is how the tour guide would have described it. My words ran more along the lines of “Damn that’s pretty.” and then proceeded to take photos. Ladylike.DSC_4546.JPG
Whilst in Fiesole we had a quick snack, some sort of sweet bread with custard inside, and some water before heading back to the bus. No one had stolen our seats so we once again sat down and we, or at least I, basked in he warm breeze around us. It was about 17°C, yet it was apparently still cold. Russians. What will you do with them?

We arrived home at about 4ish, heading straight back after the tour ended, and were greeted by lunch on the table. Creamy lasagne followed by a custard pastry topped with jam. Do Russians have a thing for jam? They put it on pastries and they put it in tea. Pastries and cakes I get, but I’m still figuring out the tea one. Apparently I’m a good child, according to Natalie, because I eat what’s put in front of me AND I know how to say thank you in Russian – spasibo. I also learnt how to say food (eeda) just so that I can give vague answers in Russian to the question “What do you want to eat?”. Apparently this kind of Russian is bad, in addition to “Niet.”, because they stop me eating too much food.DSC_4609.jpg
We had a vague plan to go out in the evening to explore Florence at night after Lizzy finished her homework for tomorrow, however this was soon lost and forgotten. Pringles and tea was offered up whilst waiting. I finished off My Annoying Brother, I cried at the end. When he was trying to run down the corridor to his brother, that was when everything went badly and I couldn’t stop the tears. Sad movie man. Sad movie. Lizzy still wasn’t done and Natalie had gone out so I started watching iZombie because it looked pretty interesting. At about episode 4 Lizzy finished her work and joined me with ice cream. As the teenagers we are we sprawled across my bed in a lazy fashion and watched Netflix and YouTube separately. Pizza was made in parallel to our lazy manner, and Natalie arrived home an hour after that. By now it was past 8 so there was little to do except tease Lada and carry on with our video session. Natalie reintroduced Pringles to our nest, along with fruit and dog. Apparently it’s hard to eat food whilst upside down with a dog licking your nose. Only half an hour later we sat down for tea and cake (plus a Russian candy bar because apparently I still looked hungry) once again confirming my hypothesis that I will be able to roll home at the end of the week.

I’m slowly coming to realise that this is more of a list of the things my hostess has fed me, rather then a travel log… but in retrospect, eating does seem to be a high priority on this trip. I don’t mind. Food is good. What’s the best thing you’ve eaten abroad?


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