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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Trip To Tuscany IV

A view of the office this morning. 

 

Donning my Ed Reardon cap: "Tuesday. The freelance writer is often at the mercy of deadlines which show scant regard to things such as holidays. Thus, one must be prepared to go to extra lengths when booking one's sojourn in the sun to ensure a wifi connection is in place." Ed's right. When we were booking this holiday, one of the deal breakers for me was that it had to have wifi. Debbie, Alo and Gordon are late risers, and given that I'm an early bird, I manage to do a couple of hours work each morning and stay on top of my deadlines. 

Today we took a leisurely down to the railway station in Poggibonsi and enjoyed a very pleasant train journey to Florence. 

 

Debra mentioned to us that she'd been to Florence some thirty years ago but could remember little or nothing about it. As the train trundled into the town, certain aspects of the Florence cityscape stood out loud and proud...



I rather liked the Art Deco echoes inside the main station


We had no agenda other than to wander, though we were quickly pulled in the direction of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore by the seemingly omnipresent gravity of the duomo...



 

From time to time, Alo would consult her guide book and lead us onto another spot of interest...










We paused on our perambulations as Alo informed us that this apartment on the Via Maggio was once under consideration for base camp. If you look carefully you can see some sprouting green privet on either side of the triangular structure - this was the apartment's terraced area that boasted "fine views of Florence." It said.


We stood, we looked and all agreed, we were much happier in Poggibonsi. Then across the bridge looking up to the Ponte Vecchio and the marauding hordes we'd recently survived...


At one point sitting with a cool drink, a huge gust of wind blew in from nowhere sending the street seller's posters erupting into flight, knocking over glasses on nearby tables and threatening to rip the industrial-sized cafe parasols from their moorings. It was unexpected and odd, given the balmy temperatures, and in some ways, the most exciting part of the day. 


Back to the main station...


I slept solidly on the train back to Poggibonsi and had to be shook awake by Debra when it was our stop. A rather splendid cake shop had been visited upon our arrival...



After all that walking around in Florence, a reward was due...



What's Italian for "nom nom nom"?








Monday, May 30, 2011

A Trip To Tuscany III

Another beautiful morning in the hills above Poggibonsi...


On the agenda today is a trip to San Gimignano, the medieval town we scouted on our travels yesterday. As you can see, the team leap into action upon leaving base camp...


Even the car park offered us some amazing views when we pulled up on the outskirts of the town... 


Into the town itself for a bit of a wandering...




After a bit of wandering, inevitably there's the delightful bit of sitting down having a drink and a bite and a laugh...


Then it was a bit more aimless wandering and drifting up and down numerous alleys and intriguing corners as the fancy took us, not caring about the time or where we had to be or what we had to do.












Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Trip To Tuscany II

 The Tuscany team about to blast into action...
 Driving around some dirt roads...










Then into Poggibonsi where the action was...




After a bit of walking around, a bit of sitting around...



Then some more walking around Poggibonsi, where things by now were really kicking off...



Ice cream pit stop...



Then back to base camp...


After all that partying in and around Poggibonsi, the team got down to the real business of the day: sitting round, drinking wine and beer, eating fabulous food (cooked on this occasion by Alo) and talking about friends, family, life and love (though not necessarily in that order)... 





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