Florence, Pisa & Rome … who knew I had so much energy?

Yesterday I spent the day in Florence. Florence is a very pretty city that, in my experience, can be catagorized by three things: art, long lines, and expensive admission.  Unfortunately the long lines were very influential in my skipping one of the best art galleries. I had no interest in waiting in a queue for more than two hours to see art that I would only be semi interested in.  Another deterent was the price; Florence has the most expensive admissions of any city I have been to as even the churches have admission.  Needless to say I spent more of my time wandering around the city than in art galleries, museums or churches.

The city is beautiful and the weather was hot.  I think that I might have got more out of my visit if I had not been so tired.  I sat down on the steps of one of the churches and I fell asleep with my head on my lap.  Not just for ten minutes or so.  More like over an hour.  I called it a day shortly after that.  Luckily I had seen pretty much everything I had wanted to see at that point.

Today I headed to Pisa as a side trip on my way to Rome.  Turns out 2 hours in Pisa was more than enough time to see what I wanted to see. While the leaning tower was cool (I am too much of an engineer for it not to be considered neat), it was smaller than I expected.  It was really funny to see every single tourist doing the exact same camera shot: either holding up or pushing over the tower.  So much for originality! Luckily, being on my own, I did not fall into that particular tourist cliché. 

On the train from Pisa to Rome, I sat across from a really nice Italian guy. We bonded over the strange guy sitting across the aisle that kept snapping his fingers and talking to himself.  We tried to have a converstation but my lack of Italian and his lack of English really got in the way.  Even a Italian/English dictionary could not help and eventually we gave up.  I did learn he had an uncle in Winnipeg and that his job is jumping out of airplanes (which is super cool by the way).

I got to Rome thinking it would be a struggle to sightsee as I was falling asleep on the train for the last half hour.  I managed to get my second wind though and was able to power through a couple hours of wandering Rome, mainly  visiting churches.  Coincidentally, I ran into the couple from the train to Florence at the first sight I visited.  Pretty crazy to think in a city of millions of people with tons of tourist sites i would run into people I had met the previous night on the train, not once but twice. First at the Spanish steps and again at the Trevi Fountain. 

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April 28, 2008. Italy.

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