Monday, November 12, 2018

Mediterranean Cruise - Day 5

Day five of our holiday saw us docked in Livorno, which is the port for Florence. My mum and Lee and I had decided to go on one of the day trips to Florence, so we had to get up early to get on a coach. Due to traffic we didn't get to Florence until 10.30, and then we had to wait ages for a tourist bus to come. A couple came but they were full; we were quite disappointed with this aspect of the trip and if we'd known we would have got the coach to Florence and then gone by taxis to the city centre itself. But I'll write more about that in my cruise tips post!

Once we did manage to get on a bus it was past 11.30, but we did get to see some sights, and then we got off near to the Ponte Vecchio. We walked over a bridge next to it so we could take photos of it, then walked along the river bank to the bridge itself.

I've been to Florence before, I went on a school trip when I was 15, so almost twenty years ago! Neither my mum or Lee had ever been and my mum was really excited to see it. Being in Italy itself was just really lovely, it's a gorgeous country and Florence is a beautiful city. I have to say too that even though it's a major city it isn't huge, and it doesn't feel unsafe. There were tons of tourists around but plenty of friendly locals too.

We found a little restaurant at one end of the Ponte Vecchio, it was lovely and we were the only English speakers in it. We would have had dessert but we were running out of time which was a shame. My mum wanted to buy us both some jewellery from the Ponte Vecchio so we walked along the length of it looking at all the shops and the bridge itself. It's gorgeous, I'm glad we got to go. My mum bought me two bits of jewellery and I bought myself one. Apparently when I went before I brought her back a silver filigree ring from a shop on the bridge, but I don't remember that.

After the bridge my mum walked to see the Duomo, but I wasn't feeling very well (it was around 32 degrees which is too much for me) so Lee and I got a taxi back to the coach stopping point as we had to be back on the coach for 3.30pm. We had time to have a cool drink and an ice cream and go to the loo, so that was good.

I did enjoy Florence and I wish we'd got to see more of it. Maybe Lee and I will have to take a trip!

The jewellery I got - my mum bought me the top two and I bought myself the tree of life pendant. The shop assistants were really friendly and helpful, and spoke excellent English (and German, and French...)

A panorama across Florence from piazza Michaelangelo

Ponte Vecchio from the next bridge along

My mum

Me - I look hot and sticky here!

One end of the bridge

Where we had lunch

Lee and I on the bridge

I was wearing a skirt my mum made me - when she'd made the flamingo dress into a skirt, she had seen this material and made me a skirt too. Isn't it lovely?

My mum and I shared a bottle of wine with lunch

If you look closely you can see the Ponte Vecchio sign

I have a fan like this that my parents bought me in Venice in 2004, so I asked my mum if she'd buy me a Florence one and she did :) With the heatwave this summer I ended up carrying a fan around most of the time!

These four statues represent the four seasons apparently. Lee got all four 

I love padlocks on bridges even though I know they can cause problems to the structure. I think they're sweet though

The taxi driver slowed down for Lee to take a picture of the Ponte Vecchio (he was lovely) but as Lee did this biker got in the way! But we liked the photo because it's very typically Italian

Florence is so beautiful, I will have to go back!

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