I got up at eight, packed my bags, showered and headed to the lobby, a newly formed ritual when we depart a city. We hoped on the coach for a three hour drive until our first stop at an Italian break stop. Determined to get some sleep as we were going to the Electro Disco that night, I took one of my controlled prescription pain killers I was prescribed when getting my nose surgery. This put me into a half awake dream state for most of the trip which was quite relaxing. I probably slept for thirty minutes to an hour.
We stopped at the petrol station and I ordered a delicious mouth watering panini. I also got a frozen mocha which was decadently delicious. They had margarita mentos, pistachio chocolate and much more interesting snacks. We were introduced to a new game mafia, that we would be playing in addition to the ‘mine’ game, giving us more opportunity to give push ups to others and possibly winning a bottle of wine.
The drive wasn’t near as pretty as the one to Lucerne, but we did drive through a massive field of sunflowers which was nice. We arrived at Pisa to take some pictures of the iconic tower. We didn’t have long so I was unable to take the perfect picture. We tried to take a meta interpretation where the tower was straight and we were at a lean, but due to the crowds of people, we weren’t able to get the distance needed to make it look good. The was a competition to take the weirdest photo so SP and I tried a provocative/distributing photo. I guess this is what happens when two private school boys travel together.
Back on the bus again to head to Florence for a quick shower and change then back out for a group photo. The coach took us to a very good vantage point of the city, with life-size replica of the statue of David. After the photo,we had dinner which was a 3.5 course meal with a traditional Italian setting. We had live music with a guy with a pretty good voice, giant bottles of wine, champagne and nice food. Our table played “never have I ever” in order to drink the copious amount of alcohol which eventually resulted in a broken glass that was slammed down with too much force.
After dinner it was straight to the Electronic Space Disco. It reminded me a lot of the Ministry of Sound club in Singapore, but I guess it was a cross between the Family and Cloudland back home. It had a kind of karaoke level with songs that are fun to sing along to, and a large dance floor level. It also had a really cool drink card system, so the drinks are post-paid and what you order is marked off your card (kind of like Yum Cha) and you pay when you leave. If you loose your card it’s $50 to get out.
In Italy, there is a thing called the Italian pour, where when you order say a rum & coke, it is about 80% rum and 20% coke. I’m not sure if it was this phenomena or the fact I took a pain killer on the bus and that was still in my system but I got a little more drunk than I was aiming for. The rest of my night I don’t remember but I was told I did a lot of dancing, especially on podiums but I don’t think I shuffled. The next thing I remember was finding myself in this old city surrounded by statues and fountains. I wandered aimlessly through the streets trying to find a bit of civilisation so I could hail a cap and return, which I eventually did, returning home at 4:30am.
The next day we got up early to depart the hotel and head into the heart of Florence for a walking tour. The first thing I realised was that many of the statues looked strangely familiar. I checked my phone for the pictures I took while walking around trying to find my way home (still sightseeing while drunk – efficiency) and it was the same! I asked our Tour Manager how far the Disco was and he reckoned it was a solid 20 minute walk so that was a pretty good effort.
The tour was pretty interesting, learning about the history of Florence, like most of Europe, there is a rich and interesting story behind everything. There is a boar statute that the locals call “Piggy”, and if you put a coin it’s mouth it means you will return one day to Florence. We didn’t end up doing that, so if the legends are true, this will be my last visit to this interesting city.