Florence, Italy.

The first destination of my travels this time around was Florence. I packed my life into my 12kg bag (proud) and left for the airport at 3.45am on Tuesday morning. Due to the time I fell asleep on the first plane before take off and woke up in a daze in Brussels. It was only when I turned my phone back on and wandered off the plane that I realised I had in fact missed my connecting flight. Turns out we had been delayed on the runway in Manchester but I didn’t know this because I was passed out. Anyway I pleaded ignorance and went to the gate and said “Have I missed this plane?” and the woman looked at me and said “You’re very late, why didn’t you hurry up?” The plane had of course left on time and was in the sky somewhere so I had to rebook on to another flight. 12 hours of travelling later, after a brief stop in Frankfurt, I arrived in Florence! Safe to say I was bored of planes and rethinking my travel dreams already. Then I happened to meet a lovely girl on the airport shuttle who told me lots of things to do and eat in Florence and I felt happy as Larry again and was over it. Thank you for your company Elise!

To sum up what we did in Florence…drank a lot of wine. We also walked around and met some great people. Back to the wine- the wine is so cheap and so tasty that you can’t really resist drinking a lot of it. You can drink outside so we spent a lovely few hours in the sun on the bridge looking at the picturesque buildings and feeling pretty great about ourselves. We became a photo opportunity for people passing by, and entertainment due to the fact we had no corkscrew and used a whisk to push the cork into the wine bottle. Classy. We found a great restaurant where wine was €2.60 for half a litre. I think I need to take a break from red wine.

Here’s some photos of beautiful Florence:

The other thing we did a lot of was eating and talking about food. Everything tastes amazing in Florence. Pasta with tomato sauce…mind blowing. One evening we ate our food and then decided to order an entire second meal just because.

The rest of the time we walked around. Walking around is my favourite thing to do because it’s free and it’s entertaining. We spent a while at the duomo just watching how tourists interact with famous landmarks which was hilarious. We tried to take photos of people taking photos. We walked down all the alleyways and I waited patiently while Matt waited for an old man on a vesper to appear in a shaft of sunlight at exactly the right time so he could take a photo of it.

On Thursday I was all alone in Florence as Matt went on a day trip to Rome. I decided to use Couch Surfing “Hang outs” to find some friends. I met Kamran, a Pakistani student living in Florence, and we took the bus to Fiesole to admire the view.

It was an excellent view with excellent company. Kamran had such interesting opinions and I’m really glad I met him. He showed me some incredible landscapes in Northern Pakistan and I would love to visit him.

Later that day I met Igor as he promised me a very good bottle of wine and a panoramic view of Florence. He delivered on both accounts. We went to dinner with two Russian girls, Kristina and Katya, and I felt like I was back in Russia unable to understand anything. Igor can speak Russian, Matt returned and can speak Russian, so the conversation was translated to me and I nodded along the rest of the time. We got drunk on Igor’s hotel rooftop and it was all fine until we got kicked out…by a Russian speaking member of staff. Russian is surprisingly prominent in my life these days. It was kinda awkward as unbeknown to me she watched me climb through a locked doorway. Then there she was looking annoyed and saying “You cannot do that” whilst Matt was there saying “I told you I had friends!” as we had left him on the roof alone. Oops.

Friday night Igor, Matt and I went for birthday drinks for me (really milking this birthday) and again got rather drunk and hung out with a kind of bizarre and socially inept couple who just asked all the most personal questions about us and tried to force us to down drinks. When the bar ran out of wine we left.

Saturday morning I awoke with a hangover and we got kicked out of the air bnb because we forgot that the check out time was 10. My packing strategy was ruined and I was upset. Matt assured me it was all fine because I could write about it in this blog post. Silver lining. Everything was cool until 3.30pm when Matt and I were meant to be boarding our separate flights. “Your flight is cancelled.” Matt said. I laughed. Turns out this was no joke. So now I’m writing this from Pisa where I am sat on a stationary plane waiting, and waiting.  An Italian woman shouted at passport control and this was the most passionate I’ve ever seen a person behave. So many arm movements. Apparently it was too windy in Florence (literally no breeze). They’ve clearly never been to Leeds Bradford airport. All I want is to watch Eurovision and maybe get a curry.

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