lundi 19 mai 2008

Pisa and Florence: Day 11

Day 11

Woke up early. No time for breakfast. Andrea dropped us off at Termini station and hugged and said, "Ciao, bella" to each of us. We were a bit late, and we rushed to our train platform. It felt really Darjeeling. Next time I shouldn't pack so much.The train was pretty empty. The girls slept mostly while I wrote and drew and stared out our train window. Saw a lot of countryside and for almost an hour, we traveled along the beach. Arrived in Pisa around 11H.
We left our baggage at the station and walked around town, looking for a place to eat. We settled at an outdoor cafe that was alright. Then we got gelato. The tower is across town, but the town isn't so big. We took photos and I took some of people posing ridiculously in front of the tower. It was just too funny not to. Went souvenir shopping, and I got some really nice Florentine stationery because I could not help myself.

Went back to the train station and got tickets (5 euros to Firenze!). We mostly slept during the 3 hours. Arrived at the train station and walked to our hostel which took maybe 20 minutes, not that bad. The hostel girl was super nice, and so was our place. I was expecting to rough it a bit, but ours was like a hotel! We had our own bathroom and a spiral staircase to a loft that had 2 beds and another bed downstairs. Pretty sweet. Our view overlooked all the red rooftop buildings and here and there we saw a church dome.
We chilled for a bit and consulted my Let's Go Europe 2007 for a place to eat. I named some places and prices. Keisha was interested in Acqua Al 2 for their blueberry steak. It was finally decided, and we headed out for dinner.

The restaurant was dimly lit, and they let us in even though we didn't have a reservation. A lot of the diners were American. It felt like being in Pasadena. We then found out that they have another restaurant in San Diego. I got the balsamic steak, Keisha the blueberry steak, and Lucia the fish.

My food arrived, a big mass covered in a thick, dark substance that resembled oil. It was scary. Keisha and Lucia stared at it too. I cut of a chunk and dipped it in the sauce. Everyone said my face practically melted at first bite of my steak. It was heaven. We all ate slowly savoring our good food and pausing to sip the house wine. This older American couple sat by us and kept wanting to talk to us. At times, they were totally silent, listening to our conversations about guys. They were a bit uppity, well-to-do types from San Diego. We could sometimes hear the wife getting mad at the husband. It was weird. When they overheard us ordering limoncellos after our meals, they were all impressed saying, "So! You've been here awhile now!"We walked around the city at night. Got gelato and stood along the River Arno and then went to Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Firenze. Listened to a musician do "Mad World" by Tears for Fears on guitar. It was quite moving. Walked back to the hostel, passing by Piazza della Republica. An amazing, but long day.