first off - having exhaustion plus Italian keyboard issues, so just ignore the spelling, grammar, punctuation!
I have to say that the check-in and boarding experience on the Thomas Cooke flight was utterly painless, other airlines should take notes. The food on the other hand was not so good...why oh why would I want a little jar of marmite to spread on my bran table crackers, to eat with my braised beef in onion gravy?! oh well, the little wrapped chocolate was tasty. ON the flight across the Atlantic, we hit some serious turbulence (I blame Dave...he predicted we would run into tropical storm something or other and apparently he is psychic!) I didn,t really mind though, am not a nervous flyer as far as the flying itself - is more the connections and possibility of missing them that stresses me out. all well so smoothly.
YO! Tell of the Yotel, you asked. Well, it is an excellent way to spend a long layover. The room is teeny, almost feels like a ship cabin or something but super comfy bed, fantastic shower with one of those shower heads that feel like heavy rain. There was supposed to be an alarm option on the tv - I set it but it did not work. Thankfully I had a backup plan. I had a couple hours nap and felt much better, although still tired after all that physical travelling.
The EasyJet flight to Pisa was odd. "You must arrive on time, we will NOT wait for you" says all the Easyjet paperwork. Yeah well, it,s a little hard to arrive the requested hour or so before boarding when there is not even a baording gate assigned until 30 minutes befor departure! Seriously gusty strong winds at Pisa forced the pilot to circle, circle, circle and then approach from the other direction...the wingtip was shuddering, the plane was swaying this way and that, it was wild! Kudos to the pilot though, was the softest touchdown EVER. Didn,t even feel the wheels hit the tarmac, other pilots should take note! While we were circling, the clouds were ominous but as we did the first circle, oh what a glorious sight beheld my eyes to the south. A sheet of heavenly rays streaming down through a break in the dark clouds with such intensity that there was a long line of light on the water (Pisa is near the coast so we were mostly circling over water.) It was absolutely beautiful.
INstead of the train, i hopped on the express bus direct from Pisa airport to Florence train station area. very simple and "only" 16 euro return (so guess how I,ll be getting back to the airport on the way home!) ride was about 70 mins so probably faster than taking the train by the time factor in getting from Pisa airport to Pisa train station to catch the train.
As we drove into Florence, past the outskirts and ugly buildings (yup, even Florence has ugly buildings), I was feeling a bit off but then the clouds in the sky turned pink and then the setting sun glowed orange as we crossed the Arno and I felt uplifted and light-hearted by such beauty. Then felt light-headed as I got off the bus and realized how familiar some of the streets were...oh incredible to feel almost at home in such a far away place. I was able to ditch the horde and walk to my apartment along less crowded side streets, hearing the Italian voices and busyness of food preparation as the trattorias etc readied for the supper crowds.
My apartment is lovely and just as I expected. Teeny, tiny, but with an amazing view of the dome of Santo Spirito, and huge wonderful windows so I can take in this view to my heart,s content...the dome is beautiful at night, and I cannot wait to visit it.
ok...that,s all your getting for now, my tummy is saying FEED ME NOW!!! I swear I have lost a couple pounds over the past couple days because haven,t really eaten much...my jeans certainly feel looser than when I left home! oh well a few cups of gelato will fatten me right up!
ciao for now!