Sunday, September 12, 2010

Eurotrip 2010: Florence and Venice

Sorry I have not been updating the blog recently but I just now feel like I have really recovered from the whirlwind pace of the trip. I will try and post about the rest of the trip over the next few days.

After Thor presented his work at CIRP on Monday he hopped a train for Florence in the morning. we spent the train trip seated next to a couple who alternated between yelling at someone on the speaker phone in some foreign language that i did not recognize (i.e. Not Italian) and blasting what sounded like polish folk music on their cell phone. It turns out that loudly playing music in public on your cell phone is a very popular thing to do in Europe. I don't know how many preteen girls I saw blasting Miley Cyrus on the speaker of their cell phones. Anyway when we arrived in Florence we checked into our hotel room which was across from the Duomo.

Thor in front of the Duomo in Florence

The inside of the Duomo.
The church was not open yet but the dome was so we decided to climb it.

Thor climbing through the narrow passages of the dome.
It was a long tough climb but it was well worth it.

Me at the top of the Duomo overlooking Florence.
After we got down from the dome we decided to walk around the city a bit. We stopped by the Ponte Vecchio which is a medieval bridge over the Arno river in Florence which is filled with shops.

Me in front of the Ponte Vecchio.
Then we stopped by the Uffizi museum where he had 1pm reservations. By making reservations in advance we were able to skip two hour line and get directly into the museum. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures in the museum.
The Uffizi.
Me from the porch of the Uffizi looking at the Duomo.
After the Uffizi we headed up to the Galleria dell' Accademia home of the David. The David turned out to be much bigger and more impressive than I thought it would be. Again we were not allowed to take pictures but Thor has seemed to prefect the art of taking sneak shots at museums.
Thor's stealth shot of the David.
After dinner and a few bottles of wine we headed up to the Piazza de Michelangelo which has an amazing view of Florence.  The piazza is also home to the third of the three Davids in Florence (the real one in the Galleria dell' Accademia plus the replicas at the David's original home outside the Uffizi and in the Piazza de Michelangelo).  Thus we were able to complete our David trifecta.
View of Florence from the Piazza de Michelangelo.
After we made it down from the piazza we had desert and a few more bottles of wine. Then we walked past a bar called the red garter and decided to go in. The bar seemed to be playing exclusively American top 40 music but there were a lot of people dancing so we decided to go in. I don't know if there were any actual Italian people there since we spent most of the time chatting up two cute German girls but I had a lot of fun anyway. We did however drink much more than we should of given that we had to get up early and rent a car to drive to Venice early in the morning.

Thanks to our late night out in Florence I was not doing well by the time we got to car rental agency on Wednesday morning. Fortunately everything went smoothly with the car rental and we hit the road over the Tuscan hills to Venice. Climbing the hills outside Florence was really very beautiful.
Thor in the hills of Tuscany.
We arrived in Venice in the early afternoon, parked the car and took a water bus into the city.
View of Venice from the water bus.
Venice is truly a unique and beautiful city with canals for streets and water everywhere.
One of the many canals in Venice.
First we stopped by the Piazza di San Marco and took a look at Saint Mark’s basicalla.
Thor in the Piazza di San Marco.
I tried to convince Thor to climb the clock tower but he was having none of it until we realized that it had an elevator which satisfied my desire to see the city from high up and his desire not to climb stairs.
View from the clock tower of the Piazza di San Marco.
View of Venice from the clock tower.
View of the entrance to the Grand Canal.
We spent most of the rest of the day and night walking around the city getting lost in the narrow alleys and admiring the canals.
Thor from the Ponte di Rialto

Flooding outside Saint Mark's Basicalla as the tide came in.

The canals by night.
In the morning we took another water bus out of the city and hit the road for Austria.
View from the water bus as we left Venice.

1 comment:

  1. I love it! That was a lot of bottles of wine... no wonder you weren't doing well! I can just picture Thor's commentary during the whole trip - I am impressed that you got him to climb so many things.