3 September, 2017
2017 – And The Journey Begins!
Losing a day getting from Portland to Florence is the hardest part of the trip to me. I’m all amped up, ready to see and do everything, and I’m stuck in Seat 8A for what seems like 24 hours, but in reality is about 18 hours flight time. On the bright side, Dick and I were able to catch up on our reading. I was able to make it about half way into “A Thousand Days in Venice” by Marlena di Blasi on the flight over. Fun, easy read. Thanks for the loan Paola!
The Frankfort airport still baffles me. We land and then drive 25 minutes to a parking spot where they have buses shuttle us to the terminal. Once inside the terminal, we had to go through customs and then security again. After all that red tape I had to find the bathroom (our plane was leaving shortly so didn’t have much time). I finally found signs that led me through the duty-free shop and up an escalator. Luckily I needed “miles” on my Fitbit and welcomed the chance to walk a bit, but really, it was a maze that seemed never-ending. You would think the Germans would have figured out a better way to organize their airport.
We decided to get a hotel close to the Florence airport instead of going into the City Center because of logistics and timing. My heart ached to go into the city but have to be practical and know we will be back in the city in October. Besides after the flight, I felt more like the walking dead than tourist fresh off the plane.
Haggled with the cab driver over a 20 euro fare (standard prices set by the city of Florence) to drive us less than 5 miles from the airport to our hotel. He was shrewd – said he would take us regular taxi fare plus luggage. By the time the meter clicked and he added in our luggage at 1 euro each, the fare was 19.50 euro. Humm. However, I have to say he didn’t waste time, even drove through a parking lot to bypass a traffic signal – not that he paid much attention to them anyway.
Eeek gads, I do look I’ve been traveling for over 24 hours.
We checked into our hotel and hit the bar for a glass of wine. Is this picture crooked or is it the effects of a glass of wine? It HAS been a long day. Dinner in the hotel restaurant (which we normally never do).
Dinner in the hotel restaurant (which we normally never do). We were too travel weary to hail another cab to take us into town. We are staying out by the airport on purpose so we can rent a car in the morning and head to our first destination – Volterra.
We unpacked a little, and I opened the electronic safety window to discover this beautiful complex of old buildings right across the parking lot from our hotel. It looks like someone is in the process of restoring them. I was thinking if Cheri and family lived in Florence (well, her distant relatives do – I found their expensive shop off the Ponto Vecchio last time we visited), it could be the Papini/Call compound equal to their Beavercreek property. Well, I know your houses were modern Cheri, but wouldn’t this make a cool BNB complex? I also liked the diversity of these ancient buildings nestled in with the modern structures. There’s just something magical about Florence even if we’re out of city center and not staring up at David’s …… statue.
Dinner was a pleasant surprise. I ordered the gnocchi with meat and Dick ordered chicken “something” with shallots and a wonderful sauce.
After a leisurely dinner and more wine (Chianti because this is the region), it was time for a real bed and some much-needed sleep.