Tuesday it must be Tuscany: 22nd April 2014
Leaving Bologna we ventured onto the smaller roads that wound through a narrow valley and in and out of villages. We stopped to shop in a small supermarket before winding our way up into the north Tuscan hills. Our destination was a campsite situated with views over a nature park.
We arrived before lunch and our first priority was to do our washing. We bought 2 tokens for the machines and proceeded to load them up, believing them to be doing their thing we went back to the camper for lunch. Waiting the appropriate time for the washing to have be finished we returned to find one machine had filled with water but not gone through a proper cycle and the other with the water not spun out. Telling the camp manager we waited for the maintenance man who indicated nothing was wrong. I decided to walk back to the laundry with him and explain, he still didn’t get it and after a bit of sign language we managed to explain the problem. He then put another token in one of the machines and we had to wait another hour to have the laundry washed. We finally managed to get out washing done late in the day but as it was cool and cloudy it wouldn’t dry properly, with our bed linen wet we decided to try the dryer. No luck with that either, the heat blew in but the tumble action didn’t work, with our beds to be made I ended up sitting in the laundry manually turning the clothes over while the hot air warmed the cylinder. Eventually we got them dry enough to make our beds, but we still had a lot of damp clothing that had to sit outside overnight to dry. What should have been an easy wash day ended up being a frustrating exercise. The up side of all this is we ended up being not charged for our washing and drying so we shouldn’t complain. But this is one the unforeseen dramas that can make a simple task end up being complicated.
On to Florence the next morning it looked overcast on the hill tops but as we descended into the valley the sun appeared and we were able to see the city in all its glory. We made it through the narrow streets to the car park we had designated as our destination. Three kilometers from the city centre in the suburbs of Florence we found it was a convenient place to park and we were able to catch the bus into town.
Over two days we had a great time visiting the city, wandering up and down the backstreets, visiting the Ponte Vecchio, seeing the Statue of David, the covered market, the Duomo, eating a lovely lunch in a small Trattoria, drinking coffee and walking the steep steps up to see the panoramic view over the city.
The city highlights were very busy with tourists and we were jostled by the crowds as it was the spring break in many countries. There were lots of young people from all over who were enjoying the sights as well as the tour groups with their leader holding up the “follow me” flags, flowers and assorted paraphernalia for their charges to keep track of them.