- Italy (Florence, Rome and Venice)
- Germany (Munich and Berlin)
- C'zech Republic (Prague)
- Netherlands (Amsterdam)
- European Flag
Monday, July 1, 2013
Firenze: Florence - Italy
Night one in Florence was spent at a karaoke bar called Red Garter. What a night!!!!
My favorite part was when Jonghoon (the strapping young Asian dude with me in that last photograph) otherwise known as Steve, Lorenzo, Jean-Pierre etc etc (we gave him a different name for every country we entered)... got up onto stage BY HIMSELF and sang Gangnam Style - WORD FOR WORD!!!! The whole club was in hysterics and dancing around him!!!
That is probably one of my favorite moments of travelling Italy actually.Maybe even the whole trip.
I also jumped in and sang a few songs too once the first few jugs of cocktails were down. I THINK I may have sang Barbie Girl... maybe... my memory is foggy for obvious reasons. I know I also sang Bon Jovi - It's My Life, with the other two South African's on tour with me at that stage.
Can I just say here how liberating travelling is. The high it gives me doesn't quite measure up to anything else that I have ever experienced in my short life so far.
No one knows you.
You don't know anyone.
You don't know where you're going or what you're doing but that's all the fun of it!!
Anyway.. getting back on track:
The next day, suffering major hangovers all round... we ventured into the tourist areas and had a guided walking tour of Firenze where we saw so much breathtaking architecture and statues, one being the replica of The Statue of David.
I nearly got left at the campsite before the drive into town as Contiki is extremely strict on their bus-drivers time.
Admittedly, I was still drunk from the karaoke mission by the time I launched myself onto the bus and we headed into town. I was so drunk that I had forgotten to put my shoes on. And we were about to do over an hour long walking tour........ Hence the photo of me getting a piggy-back through the streets of Italy!!!
After our walking tour we all went into this leather factory and were taught how they make leather. They needed a volunteer so obviously I jumped to the front and got involved as one should (hehe).
I got to stamp my own little scrap of leather with their logo on it which was pretty awesome but then I was kicked out of the store for not wearing shoes.
In this same place there is a jewelry section and a lot of us decided to buy this stainless steel Nomination Bracelet which basically has little links with pictures of every countries flag on them. We got all of the flags of the countries we were visiting:
It is such a special bracelet and I was able to get one eventually when some very nice middle-aged man offered me his shoes so that I could re-enter the store.
I looked like a bit (ok, a lot) of a prat waddling around in shoes ten times to big for me but hey ho.... mucho's appreciationo's random stranger with big feet!
That cool map we're standing by is actually a brail map!! For blind people! It was so cool to study and look at in the center of the town.
Some of us separated at this map as some wanted to go up the stairs to the church and some, like me, were starving and were keen to try out our first ever Tuscan Steak.
Along the way to finding the perfect restaurant for a ginormous Tuscan steak, we were caught in the middle of an absolutely stunning parade and march through the streets.
Flags were flying around and up in the air, drums were making the ground shake, trumpets were going off... it was stunning.
The street art is also literally jaw-dropping. Guys bend down onto their hands and knees and do proper works of art onto the street floors with chalks! I need to point out here again just how much I LOVE Italy...... thanks. Just had to let that out!
Alrighty.... SO... Tuscan steak:
My goodness gracious me.
Unfortunately the service in the tiny cafe we chose to eat in was in no exaggeration, the WORST service that I have ever actually received. It was actually appaulling and it takes a lot to make me angry... but this had me fuming!!
This one waitress must have had a serious case of PMS (sorry ladies, I know we all hate blaming mood swings on that but if you had seen this woman you would think so too!).
She didn't smile. She rolled her eyes at us when we asked for anything. Our food took about two hours and she got the order wrong... then she got the order wrong again.... when we sent the food back (again) she threw plates around and sighed as if it was all our fault.
I don't want to vent but my GOD!!!!! If you're going to be in the hospitality industry PLEASE try have some form of people skills!!!
Anywho... apologies for ending this on a bad note!
Besides that, Florence was AMAZING.
It was around this point of our travels through Europe that everyone started to develop what we have named: The Contiki Cough.
Dom dom dom......... (imagine Phantom of the Opera, freaky shit music playing as you read The Contiki Cough.... trust me.... it just adds to the effect).
Seriously though... you would have thought our coach was filled with terminally ill patients not globe trotters!
Entering Rome, my dream destination for years and years....
I started to feel a little tickle in my throat.
...To Be Continued...