I went to Italy for 2 and a half days in the fall one year. (when I was supposed to be working diligently in my London Flat for my study abroad program) I flew in to Pisa on Friday night, and on Saturday morning I took a cheap bus ride to Florence. The countryside on the trip was amazingly beautiful, and even more awesome because of the contrast with the weather I'd been having in London. It was cold and drizzly in London all that week. Italy was warm and sunny with a slight breeze - just enough to be able to wear jeans. I got in a fabulous walk through the city of Florence that day, and somewhere in the middle I decided to climb the stairs to the top of the dome.
This was no easy task because I had brought along my monster laptop which was heavy and caused me to stoop and squeeze more than I expected. People couldn't get by me. The going was slow. The stairs wound around and around and around. I thought I would get dizzy on the balcony inside the dome. The people on the floor looked so small. And then eventually I crept up the last bit of that historic stairway, and the sun shone on me for the first time in what seemed like hours.
The view was incredible. breathtaking. awe-inspiring. I sat against the columns and helped other tourists get great pictures of themselves. A very nice couple helped me get a couple super pictures of myself against the architecture and then by the view of the distant hills. I must have taken a hundred pictures from up there. It was the BEST afternoon of the whole study abroad experience.
I stayed up there for at least an hour. I'm not sure how long it was. But nobody complained. When I finally went back down the well-worn stairs I made friends of some other random tourists. It was fun. And then I went to get a glass of wine and a sandwich, and I opened up my laptop and did some homework. haha!
In the evening my bus came very late, and while waiting I had the opportunity to get fairly inebriated with some locals who were really up to no good at the train station. (the buses stop at the train station. whodathunkit?) They were harmless and fun to watch goof off with each other. There were only two other (Spanish) customers on the bus ride, so we got a nice chance to chat despite the language barrier. And luckily for me, all the cab drivers in Pisa knew enough English to get me to my hotel safely in the middle of the night. Good times!
This little detour is for the blog off: Where's Your Slice of Heaven? Thank you, come again.