Sunday, November 9, 2008

Florence and Milan!

Pictures (in order from top to bottom):
1. Florence dinner, Karen and Alex
2. My fish with no face
3. Guinness picture for Daddy
4. Florence Duomo
5. Lighting a candle in the church
6. Big deparment store in Milan
7. Ray-Ban!
8. Ferrari Store
9. Pica, the hotel's dog
10. Milan Duomo
11. Candles inside Milan Duomo
12. Protest in Milan
13. Milan McDonalds
14. Train ride home through Switzerland
To see all of my pictures on PhotoBucket go to:
On the left you will see a list of the different Albums. Just click on the one you want and the pictures will come up. I separated them by city to make them easier to view.
The next stop on our Italian vacation was Florence. At this point it was just myself, Scotty, Alex, and Karen. Evan had an ultimate goal of reaching the southern coast of Italy, which I believe he eventually did. On the train the ticket guy charged us each 50euros for not having our travel date marked in our Eurail Pass! I was, as my Dad says, LIVID. I was at the point of screaming at him but he was being impossible! I finally realized I wouldn’t be able to talk my way out of this one. Talk about frustrating!!! So we just had to suck up the cost and try to not let it ruin the rest of our trip.

Unfortunately, Florence and Milan did not provide the same beautiful weather as Rome. As soon as we got into Florence it was raining and basically didn’t stop the entire time we were there. Once we got settled into our hostel, we went out in search of a cheap restaurant where we could fill our stomachs with even more pasta! Florence doesn’t have near as many tourists as Rome, so it felt like we were immersed in the real Italian culture. I felt like I was in the movie “Goodfellas” cause all these fat Italian men would come in the restaurant and go in the back. Sketchy!

As we sat down to eat, I ordered spaghetti as my first course and fish as my second. Just to be sure, I asked the server if my fish was going to come out with a face. He looked at me quite perplexed and said he did not understand. For the next five minutes I tried to explain what I meant and finally he said, “No, no head. It’s filet.” I was satisfied. Mom offered to pay for a meal for everyone in Italy so I used this as her meal. Everyone really enjoyed it, Karen even ordered rabbit!
That night we found a bar called Fish Bowl and they had a sign on the door for beer pong. We were all surprised because no one in Europe knows what that is. Apparently the owner was from the States so that explains it. It was a fun night even though the place was crowded with a high school group. Oh, immature little teenagers.

The next morning we set out to see the Duomo, a church with a large dome, (apparently both Florence and Milan have a Duomo) and find the fake statue of David. The Duomo was really pretty inside and I lit a candle for Grams and Gramps. We would’ve gone to the top but the day was so foggy it would have been pointless. Next we went to find the fake David but of course when we got there it was under construction and was completely covered! Just our luck! Since it was raining and nasty we just got some food, headed home, and watched Transformers in the hostel that night!

The next morning we set off for Milan, the fashion capital of the world! I was so excited! It took us a while to find our hostel, (conveniently named “America Hotel”) but once we did we settled in and then went exploring. While Karen went to a museum, Scotty and I went to the street with all the expensive stores. There are tons of expensive cars everywhere and we even saw a Bentley parked on a curb! We window shopped and I gazed at all the beautiful clothes and shoes I couldn’t afford.
Next we went to the Milan Duomo which I liked a lot more than they Florence one because it was the epitome of gothic architecture. Since it was raining all day, the gargoyles had water streaming out of their mouths, and the roof was covered in statues and pointed steeples. The inside was just as detailed and creepy, even the candles were tall and eerie looking as oppose to the usual round, flat ones in churches. Once back outside we met yet another protest. I don’t know why the Italians are so angry at life. I mean, I think Italy is pretty cool. Oh well.

The following day we decided to check out the AC Milan soccer stadium. There was a HUGE round thing on our map that was clearly marked “stadium” so we figured that had to be it. However, once we got there it was a tiny field and track with about 10 rows of seating. Something told us that wasn’t it, so we gave up (it’s just soccer anyways) and decided to go shopping!!! Yes, it’s shocking but I didn’t buy any shoes in Milan. I know. I actually didn’t find any that were worthy of the 80-100euros they would be costing me so I just stuck to buying some awesome pieces of clothing. I got a dress, shirt, shirt, and sweater vest! They are all black and/or grey. The French must be having an affect on my wardrobe because their style is completely void of any color. Oh well, apparently the less color you wear, the more chic you are!

I would have loved to spend more time in Milan but unfortunately we only had two rainy days. By this time we had been gone for about a week and I was more than ready to come home. Living out of a backpack for 7 days was a nightmare for me and I was so ready for it to end! Walking in the rain to find the train station after the bus didn’t stop to pick us up was horrible. By the time we were on the train home my shoes and pants were soaked and I was miserable. At lease our train went through Switzerland and we were surrounded by beautiful mountains covered in snow! Once we got home and settled back into our room I was so happy!

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