Tuesday, October 4, 2011
August 2011 Trip to Italy
I'm back! The trip to Europe was fabulous, tiring, inspiring, eventful, beautiful, stressful, exciting, nerve wracking, awesome, fun and hot, hot, and hot.
Since my friend Barb (from Portland) wanted to go along - at least part of the way - I changed my travel plans and flew from Boise to Portland to Amsterdam to Rome. The weather was brutal - high 90's most of the first week. We spent a day at the Vatican and the Sistene Chapel (awe inspiring), had one of Italy's fabulous gelatos and a wonderful lunch. We joined the locals, strolling the beautiful Campo de' Fiori, stopped at the Spanish Steps and threw coins in the Trevi Fountain - all while enjoying another fabulous gelato.
On Day 2, we did the "Caesar shuffle" thru the Colliseum, Forum, Capitol Hill and other Roman ruins all while dodging tour quide hawkers. We walked miles and miles and more miles, all while (almost) continually eating delicious pasta and gelato.
We learned how the European rail system worked - starting with the Metro - which for 1 Euro (about $1.50) you can go anywhere in Rome. By the third day in 100 degree weather - we started taking the Metro for a four block journey (it's air conditioned after all and only $1.50). Then we took the Eurostar from Rome to Florence.
Florence is the city of fashion and art - and we saw both. Gazed at the faux David in the main square and the real David at the Academia Museum (managed to get in free - saving 42 Euros). Hiked the 465 steps to the top of the Duomo to see an incredible view of all of Florence. I had decided I wanted to do this - probably during an Alzheimer's moment when I forgot I was old and forgot the weather was hot. Thankfully I knew my nurse "Barb' could zap me back to life if I fainted, even if she got to the top before me.