We’re now on the train from Italy to Germany. It’s a gorgeous ride! We’re traveling through the alps and out the windows all you see is a rushing river cutting through vineyards and steep cliffs topped with beautiful castles.
Italy was wonderful. In Florence we were excited to try out staying at a hostel. It was an old mansion on top of a hill that had been converted into a hostel. We envisioned meeting fellow travelers and sipping wine in the shared courtyard. Ummm…it wasn’t quite like that. Florence in August is pretty hot and humid. To reach said mansion/hostel you must climb the path to the top of the hill in the heat. There is no AC there so you have no choice but to sleep with the windows open and literally be feasted on by mosquitos. Did I also mention we were sleeping in bunk beds?? As for chatting it up with fellow travelers, about 70% of the guests were African refugees (which would have been interesting to talk to but they didn’t speak English and we tried not to hang around the hotel any more than we had to) and the rest were teenagers or people who didn’t speak English. So needless to say, we didn’t make any new friends.
Other than the accommodations, Florence was lovely. We enjoyed how much less crowded it was compared to Rome. We had fun roaming the streets and eating at sidewalk cafes with kids and birds running through the square. We enjoyed a day trip to the tower of Pisa and we even had a wonderful surprise running into school friends in the middle of one of the most crowded streets in Florence. The highlight of our stay there had to be the pizza/gelato making class…at least as far as the kids were concerned.
Off we went to Venice! We all agreed that Venice was our favorite stay in Italy. The bridges and canals are gorgeous. We shopped, we ate, we rode in a gondola, we appreciated our air conditioned hotel! One of our last days in Venice we escaped to the nearby islands of Burano and Murano which were absolutely adorable and one of our favorite parts of our stay.
We’re all still enjoying being on the road. No one misses the responsibility and the have-tos of life at home. I know the kids are missing their friends but they’re still up for the adventure! We’re looking forward to seeing family in Germany and seeing where Oma grew up. Maybe we’ll even squeeze in some time to relax!