Monday, June 27, 2005

Florence, Switzerland

¡¡¡Hola from Barcelona!!!!!

Florence was honestly one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. We were meant to go to Venice, but unfortunately the night train was full, so we decided on Florence, which through quite a bit of a spanner in the works.

We got onto our night train in the afternoon, to find that a) The lighting and airconditioning appeared to be broken, and b) there was already a polish family of four in our six-person compartment (interestingly seemingly living out of one suitcase, i kid you not). The former was obviously a problem given the EXTREMELY hot temperature´s we´re heaving lately (particularly in comparison to London), but the latter was not an issue until a gentleman turned up who also had a ticket for our compartment. So, stuck with 7 people in an already cramped 6 person compartment (with a 1' by 6' space not taken up by couchettes), no airconditioning, no lighting, and some of the filthiest toilets that I have EVER seen (anyone who has been on an Italian train will know what i mean - the long drop seems almost like a blessing!), we could tell that we were in for a fun trip. Fortunately, we worked out how to get the airconditioning and lighting going before long (turns out the family must have enjoyed sitting in a dark oven, the switch was above the father´s head). The evening didn't go too badly, but i'm reluctant to hop on an italian train again!

Any doubts about the italians, though, dissapated when we arrived in florence. It was one of the most beautiful cities i've ever seen, and the sunrise over the river as we came in was amazing. We had a bit of an issue trying to find accommodation, but it sorted itself out in the end, and we got a few of the last beds available in a hostel.

I'll write more abotu the different destinations when i eventually get back to england and get set up with my computer and everyting like that - which will probably not be until september. Florence was beautiful, we then headed up to Interlaaken in Switzerland, via milan. wHEN We were in Interlaaken, we caught the train up one of hte highest mountains in the area, the Jungfrau, all the way to the summit, where we were really fortunate to have a crystal clear day and so brilliant views over the swiss alps.

We then caught a train to Geneva and on to Barcelona overnight. Geneva was fairly uneventful, we just went down to the shores of the lake and read books while we were waiting for our train. You can get an idea of how action packed our time was there when i say that there were 2 significant events - one was when 2 guys in front of me in the street tried to blame me for them farting, and the other was when we were basically out of money and trying to sweettalk the mcdonalds manager into giving us as much food as possible. But the city itself was really pretty - if incredibly expensive (14 francs for a pack of cards).

After leaving Geneva, we got a fairly nice Spanish/French train to Barcelona, arriving in the morning.

But that's the subject for the next post.

Now in Lisbon, Portugal, having a fantastic time (and having been offered hash 16 times in 24 hours).



At July 19, 2005 10:06 am, Blogger Dave Taylor said...

Good times! Hope your rocking your way through Ireland and the rest of euroland! Catch ya in NYC!
- Davo


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