Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Flirting with Florence

The year I finished university, 2 friends and I bought an interrail pass and headed off travelling around Europe. The was my first backpacking trip, probably where my love-affair with trains started, and definitely taught me some valuable lessons about travel. On that trip, I managed to visit three cities in Italy. Starting in Venice, and ending with Florence and a flight back to England from Rome. Venice was lovely, Rome wasn't as nice but Florence was fantastic. This Easter, Daliah and Sam, the two girls I met in January while working at NYU London, and I decided we wanted to head off someone nice together. After exhausting most cities in Europe (and North Africa) we couldn't find a place where none of us had been before, that was easy enough for us all to get to (Sam lives in Abu Dhabi) and where flights were affordable. So I compromised. Florence was so nice, I was willing to go back. This time I didn't need to wake up early two days in a row to queue for the Uffizi or La Galleria dell'Accademia (although apparently it's possible to book online now anyway). I'd seen the beautiful art work and the David statue. I was there to relax with two great girls, drink lots of wine and eat lots of simple and delicious food.

In the end Daliah and Sam didn't make it to the Uffizi or La Galleria dell'Accademia either. We just had a terrific time wandering the streets, sitting in cafes and perusing the markets together. I can't say that we took in a lot of history, but we soaked up the atmosphere and the ambiance and left feeling relaxed and contented. Re-visiting a place you've enjoyed can really open your eyes to a slower and more easy going way of travelling, where you're unconcerned about what you 'have to' see and do with your time, and for me, I ended up leaving with as much enjoyment as if I'd ticked off all the 'must dos' in Florence.

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