Topdeck Days Five and Six
After our stop in Pisa we headed to Florence. This day of the tour fell on a Saturday and a lot of us were pumped for a night out. We arrived in Florence at night, dinner at the hostel then a mad rush getting ready. We had pres in one of the boys' room, at one point during the night we were joined by some American tourists- surprising us by coming in through the window. We were then headed to the club- Space Electric. It was walking distance from where we were staying which was good (in Paris we had not really been in, or even near, the social hub).
We all had a really good night, a lot of us agreed it was definitely one of the best party nights of the tour. The club itself was good; I enjoyed the music that they played- fairly mainstream English stuff. They did, however, have a very confusing card system. On entrance you are given a card and instead of paying cash for anything (e.g. coat check or drinks) your card is stamped. We all kind of thought this was dodgy because you really didn't know how much you were being charged for drinks and it made it harder to track your spendings. But the biggest shock of the night was the forwadness of the Italian men! I had heard that they can be forward but I didn't realise it was to this extreme. It was like they had never seen girls before and were very touchy/grope-y. We were all very grateful to the guys on tour who ended up having to act as bodyguards. As a girl I probably would not go clubbing in Italy with just girls. Maybe this was why the majority of the club consisted of males (and the majority of females there seemed to be tourists like us). But despite that it was a really fun night.
The next morning we all forced us ourselves out of bed (still tired from the late night before) and had a quick breakfast before joining the group for a walking tour of Florence. The tour was lead by a local Italian lady and she took us through the town, explaining the history of the various landmarks. The tour was a little on the boring side, and I'm sure the fact that a lot of us were sleep deprived did not help. At the end of the tour we were dropped off at a leather store. This was actually interesting as a different Italian lady (this one younger and with a sense of humour, insisting she just call people John instead of remembering their names) showed how leather products were made and how to spot fake leather (setting a flame to it is the one I remember clearly, a fake should light up easily- not sure how store owners would like that one though).
We then split into smaller groups and explored Florence on our own. Our first point was the Accademia, which houses Michelangelo's David (we had seen the copy of David located in the Piazza della Signoria earlier that morning during the tour). However, when we got to the door we discovered it was closed. The banner above the door was all in Italian but we assumed it was closed for a time period. A little disappointed we then climbed up Campanile (bell tower), the hundreds of steps being another reminder of how unfit we were. But, once again, the pain was worth it as we were rewarded with a bird's eye view of Florence. Entrance into the Campanile costs us 6Euro. As we were taking in the few/ preparing ourselves for the climb down we ran into the other half of our group who been separated from in the morning, coming from visiting the real David- turned out we had gone to the wrong entrance!
So we went went back to the Accademia, correct entrance this time. Entrance into the Accademia costs us 6.50Euro each. You are not allowed to take photos of David, this rule was taken as a challenge by us and we did manage to get a few sneaky pics (naughty I know, and we did get told off by several different people but honestly the strategy and planning made seeing David all the more fun).
The other big attraction of Florence is the Duomo (church), however we were all a little exhausted, tired and cold that we didn't actually go in. We did, however, sit outside it and enjoyed some gelato. We then browsed the markets but like I mentioned were tired and cold so seeked refuge in a cafe and drank hot drinks (and amused the waiters by how loud we were and how hysterical we found ourselves) and then later in H&M. We then met up with the rest of the tour group and went to a local restaurant for dinner.
|Trying to keep warm as we waited for the rest our tour group in the Piazza della Signoria|