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:

  • UK
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Monaco
  • Italy (Florence, Rome and Venice)
  • Germany (Munich and Berlin)
  • C'zech Republic (Prague)
  • Netherlands (Amsterdam)
  • European Flag 

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. 

Ridiculously delicious. 

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...

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  1. Wow sounds amazing i cant believe you got kicked out for having no shoes! Haha thats happened to me a few times.

    Florance sounds amazing i cant wait to go in 2015s

    You are going to love Rome!! Its awesome i managed to go on the only day the Pope was on holiday haha. Make sure you check out Trevi fountain its beautiful i took 100's of pics cos they just didnt do it justice same with everything in italy really!

    How awesome is the ice cream!!!


    1. Ha-ha yip I have been kicked out of temples in Thailand for not covering my shoulders and knees too!!

      Wow - are you just travelling or have any special plans?

      Keep in touch to hear all about Rome soon xxx

  2. Looks like you really had fun. i hope to visit that place someday. :)
    followed you in bloglovin and gfc.

    A Hint of Sunlight

    1. Thank you, I really did! It was beyond special.
      I recommend traveling (esp. in Europe, to anyone!) Go! :) xxxx

  3. Hey! Thank you for your comment on my blog :) To answer your question about my tattoo.. yep it did hurt quite a bit ;)

    Awesome blog btw xx

  4. Seems to have been such an amazing and fun trip..
    It was really funny how you forgot your shoes xD
    And that street art...Oh my god!!:)

    Would you like to follow each other?

    1. I know! The street art is just jaw dropping!
      Walking barefoot in Florence.. I wouldn't recommend it!! I got glass stuck in my feet when not being piggy backed!! :(

  5. Sorry, I just remembered you said you were following me :)
    I'm already following you back on Bloglovin :p

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks Isabel!! Love your new Dermalogica post xx

  7. I LOVE Florence, I went to the same leather store! I bet you're having the time of your life! You'll love Rome, it was my favorite.

    1. Ahh awesome!! I cannot remember the name of the leather shop????

  8. Italy <3
    Would you like to follow each other with GFC, Bloglovin' and Facebook?


  9. Looks like you are having an absolute blast , next time video's of this Karaoke fun , maybe? haha enjoy every second of it .

  10. amazing post darling :)
    would you like to follow each other with bloglovin'?

    1. Thank you! Sure! Just checked out your blog - LOVE your hair xxxx

  11. Ha this sounds awesome! You know you've had an epic night when your mind is 'foggy' on the details hehehe! And I've never heard of perfect or even close to good service in Italy, always hear horrendous tales from others who traveled there. Anyhoo your adventure sounds awesome, really striking the wanderlust pangs from within me!


    1. I know I really thought Italian service would be tops but its really not! Thank you for your lovely comment! <3

  12. Lovely photos! Looks like you had a fun time there! It's a beautiful city, I'd love to go there again some day (last time was 9 years ago, I'm so old haha...)

    1. WOW!!! 9 years ago?? I wonder if much has changed since then! You must go back! It is stunning :)

  13. ahh looks like you had so much fun!:) i was in italy about 2 weeks ago, it was awesome, the weather was perfect <3 love those kind of city trips:)

    lots of love xx

  14. Great post! You look like you had a wonderful time!

  15. she is beautiful


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