Tag Archives: night life

Scots in Italy??

The reason I had been traveling through Europe so fast was so I could make it back to Italy by mid-October… I got news while in Berlin that Anna (my neighbor in Costa Rica who I visited in Glasgow) and her friend, and now my new friend Morna were coming to town for the week!!  Yay!! But, that meant to push the gas on the pedal for my other travels.  Hence, after visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle I booked it via train through the Alps back to Florence to prepare for their visit:)

Preparing for their visit is really just code for stocking up with lots of wine, lol!!  I believe during their visit, my dad got 20 liters of wine and between the two of them, they probably went through 12-13 liters… LOL!  But hey, I can’t blame them, they were in Italy for crying out loud!  If you aren’t going to enjoy yourself while here, why bother at all?

I met them in Pisa and we stayed the first night and the next day doing all the tourist stuff, i.e. getting a picture taken holding up the tower.  Morna didn’t want to get in on that action, but we got her later when we were in the top  cupola of the Duomo in Florence cupping another dome of Florence… I Should now mention that all the pictures in this post were taken by Anna and her camera.  Gotta give credit where credit is due:)

In any event, our time after Pisa was spent hanging out at my dad’s place eating delicious home cooked Italian food; getting tipsy on wine and beer and chatting about good times both past and present; taking hikes in the National Forrest to Vallombrosa and Secchieta; going into Florence about 3 separate times trying each time to get into the Duomo but failing until our last try (which we then ended up walking to the very top for a panoramic view);

Going to see Michelangelo’s David, of course!  (the picture below is of my favorite part of David… (no, not THAT part;)))

My favorite part of David
My favorite part of David

Making a wish at the porcellino;

Wishing on the Porcellino
Wishing on the Porcellino

And staying after dark in Florence to watch night life a bit.

Night Artists
Night Artists

Probably the most humorous time for me was the hikes… The first day we went, not more than 3 minutes after we left the house it started to pour down rain.  Did we turn back?  Naw, it was just a bit of rain and we were SURE it would stop soon.  Thankfully I had brought an umbrella and poncho “just in case” since it was a bit cloudy, and while I caved and took out the umbrella for shelter after about 10 minutes of walking in the rain, Morna and Anna were still braving it with the light jacket/sweater they brought for the walk.  About 20 minutes later they were drenched!!  They took the poncho, which was large enough to share and onward we went.  Along the way we spotted several deer!!  And that was probably only because the deer figured “no human in their right mind would hike in this downpour!”  They were wrong, lol!!

We eventually made it to Vallombrosa all cold and quite wet.  Thankfully there was a teeny bar on the side of the road:)  We had cappuccino’s, a sandwich, some wine, beer, some more wine and beer… Then shots to warm up a bit more (we were still chilly) then another shot or two until it was starting to get too late and dark to walk back down, so we called my dad to pick us up, lol!!

The second day of hiking was much less wet, but still cold and windy!  We did make it all the way to the top to Secchieta (where we had planned to go the first day) and once again at the end of the trail, what was there to meet us??  You guessed it, a bar!  We brought our own lunch that day so we just purchased some cappuccino’s, two wines and a beer:)  We behaved that day knowing we had to walk down but not entirely… You see, along with sandwiches for lunch, we also packed about a liter and a half of wine to sip along the way:)  We did behave on drinking it however because we barely cracked into it until we were heading down:)  Ah, good times!

More Florence pictures- notice the very artistic pictures on the Ponte Vecchio done by Anna:)

The three of us posing as stereotypical Italians (Mamma Mia!)

Acting Italian
Acting Italian

On to Venice

Back to Europe

Medellin: The Arrival

I arrived after a day of traveling non-stop to the main bus terminal of Medellin (pronounced Med-eh-jean with a slight softness to the J) exhausted and ready for sleep.  Due to the poor road conditions, try as I may, there was just no way to get any sleep on that bus.  When we arrived it was already quite dark.  First thing to do… Find a hostel for the night!!!

I know, I know… one of my odd quirks about traveling is that I’m quite the procrastinator when it comes to actually booking anything ahead of time, including places to sleep!  While for the most part, it’s never actually a problem, on this particular night I was really kicking myself that I didn’t have a place already picked out!  But to give myself a teeny bit of credit, I really wasn’t expecting or planning for the trip there to be quite as long as it was to begin with.

In any event, luckily there was still an information booth open at the bus terminal, which by the way was quite large and modern.  It took up several stories in fact, and after stopping to get some cash at the ATM (since I’d spent more than I planned to on the way down, paying twice for a bus ticket and all) I went to the info center and looked through their book for hostels nearby.  I quickly found a couple and since the person at the info station said they weren’t far, I opted to walk…

It’s really quite a good thing that the reputation of Colombia isn’t at all what the reality is, since in my pursuit to find the hostels I was literally wandering around random neighborhoods in the dark by myself with very few others around except random people passing by and a few drunks…  Basically what I came to find out after wandering around was that the first hostel that I was trying to find was actually no longer where it was advertised to be.  Imagine that…. And funny quick story, at one point because I was so tired of walking in circles, trying to find the hostel that no longer existed, I went to a street that was pretty busy, hailed a cab, and when I showed him the address he said “no, no that’s just down the street, you can walk!” and refused to take me as a passenger!!  This was of course before I realized that the address was incorrect to begin with…

So there I was, randomly wandering the streets in some random area of Medellin, when I finally came across a guy that was dressed in some sort of security outfit.  He looked as if he was just getting off work so I flagged him down and asked if he knew of any hostels in the area.  Thank goodness he did!!!  And he was so happy to inform me that it was in walking distance… YAY… MORE walking!!!  I was overjoyed!  😉  But Thank Goodness he at least knew which direction to point me in.  Angels come in so many different forms:)  With his guidance I was able to finally find a hostel.  However… my night apparently wasn’t over yet as the hostel did not have ANY availability for the night!!  YAY!!!  (hopefully the sarcasm is coming through as I was SERIOUSLY done with this night!!!)

Thankfully again however, the hostel reception guy was able to contact a sister facility and they did have space available.  The only clincher was that once again, I had to walk there… At least during the time that he was calling the other hostel I was able to take off my pack for a few seconds and just chill.  Several minutes later though I was back “on the road” and walked about 20 minutes to the other hostel, which was conveniently located just a couple blocks back from the main street of Medellin!

After settling in the hostel, I joined the street for some food then passed out for some much needed rest!

On to Medellin Activities & Pictures

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