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Welcome to Florence!

This was my last day in the glorious piece of Heaven in Suffolk.  It was so hard to leave.

There is a line in one of my favourite movies, “Under the Tuscan Sun” (hmmm, appropriate now that I am in Tuscany!) where Marcello says, “when you smash into something good, hold on until it’s time to let go.”

I feel I left part of my heart behind, but although I wish it could have lasted forever, it was time to let go and continue on my way.

This trip was out of London City Airport (that I didn’t even know existed – when I have flown into London, it has always been into Heathrow).  The airport was fabulous (well, as fabulous as an airport can be).

The staff were all happy and smiling – even security – and speaking of security, they have new sensors so one can leave everything, even liquids, in one’s bag as it goes merrily through…

I book wheelchair assistance when I travel, and on this flight it felt like one of my private flights, only a bigger aircraft!  Chauffeur (in this case, the fellow pushing the wheelchair) takes me on the tarmac, right up to the plane, and when I board, I am the only one on the aircraft (well, for a moment or two until the other passengers arrive).

Yes, I even ate the scone – something I rarely do – but it started me wondering (not the scone, the knife).  We cannot bring all manner of things onto a plane for fear of nefarious goings on, yet they arm all of business class with metal knives and forks…  Hmmmm…..  I guess bad guys only fly economy.

I know one shouldn’t eavesdrop, but this conversation was all about esoteric ideas – and interesting given that at the time on the plane (before I started listening to their conversation), I was reading “Mesmerism”, written by Dr Anton Mesmer in 1779.

Oh, and I also shared the flight with Miss Mirriam – a very nice lady.

Flying over the Alps…

This lovely lady and I kept bumping into each other right from the moment we were checking our bags in London.  Such a happy soul.

I had several comments from admirers (of my luggage, not of me) of my matching luggage – although the satchel is letting down the side…  My ‘bella figura’ needs some attention in that department (will write a post on bella figura at another time).

Welcome to Florence!

When I told my taxi driver that I had been to Italy many times (but not yet to Florence), he chided me for not already speaking Italian – and so my entire journey was like swatting for an exam in Italian – I loved it!

My hotel is in a lovely 19th century building in a fabulous location, right near the edge of the historic district.

Do you remember “Are You Being Served?”  The man who checked me in could have doubled for Mr Humphries – although I don’t think ‘service’ is his natural domain.

I am re-reading “Think And Grow Rich” (the original 1937 edition – I have ever so many challenges with the rest and what has been modified and edited out).  For those who have read it, do you recall the little slave girl who stood her ground in order to get her mother’s fifty cents?

Well, I think I channelled that little girl in order to get my bags up to my room.

It is obvious to all that I have a challenge walking (and after a week of packing up the cabin, manhandling suitcases, the flight etc, I was even using two walking sticks, so very obvious).

The fellow on the desk checked me in, and then proceeded to ignore me.  “Excuse me, if someone could take my bags up to my room, that would be wonderful, grazie.”  To which he replied, “There is an elevator,” and continued to ignore me.  I stood my ground, kept smiling, figured the rest of my day, although painful and long (I arose at 4:30am) had been quite lovely so this would also go swimmingly…  He continued to ignore me – I continued to stand there, smiling at him…

…and then success! (although he wasn’t smiling, and to every question I asked about where things were – I received either no response or a version of something unhelpful – but I didn’t care as it was otherwise such an enjoyable journey.

The weather was glorious!

Once I rested for a bit, I decided to check out the immediate area, have a glass of wine, etc – although didn’t expect to bump into Marilyn in Florence…

Good luck finding an address – note this used to be number 47, is now 49, and is next door to 127.

There was a problem with the wifi that evening, and I found it fun to watch the different wifi connections that would come up from people passing on the street below, or cars that had pulled up – these ones are quite normal, but….

The best two were rickroadrage and the all time winner – Suora007.  What is suora?   I had to look it up – it’s Italian for nun!

…if you look at the windows, you will see the beautiful full height shutters and high ceilings…

…and so, to end a very, very, very long and full day, Montesquieu (my travel bear) and I curled up and watch Stephen Fry on “QI”.

The next morning the weather was equally glorious… so I went to explore the local area, buy some supplies, etc…


The balls are the sign of the Medici family…  More on them at another time…


I love the old torch-holders in the walls…

Sneaking a cigarette…

That’s enough exploring for today…

~ Bella

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