Today we give Florence a little bit more time. We have a 1315 train to catch so we head back out into the town to see if we can absorb a little bit more culture. We head on over to the giant dome thing and stand in line to go inside. We wait for a while and after very little progress we give up. With one more attempt at culture we find a Leonardo de Vinci museum. This place actually wasn’t half bad. They took some of his drawings for different inventions and tried to replicate them in real life. So we walked around for a while and looked at a bunch of his ideas that were pretty revolutionary for the time. This guy really had a thing for gears, wheels, cogs, levers, and pulleys. This is actually good for me because I like that kind of stuff. I have always been one who loves to take things apart and see how they work. This museum actually let you touch the stuff too. That is the kind of museum I like. With enough museums to last us a while, we headed out of that place and on to something a little bit quieter.
We arrive in the city of Castiglion and begin our ritual of wandering around trying to figure out where to go. This is however a very small city with just one platform for the train station. There is no one within sight to help us. We wander into the city and stop in at a gas station. The ever so kind lady at the gas station did not know a lick of english, and we knew no Italian. We were able to show her our reservation to our hotel and received the very unpleasant information that it is about 8 kilometers away and the only way she knows how to get there is to walk. With some extremely heavy packs on we stand outside the station discussing our bleak options. Thankfully she comes back out and asks if we have a number to the hotel. We give it to her, she calls them and arranges for them to come pick us up. Wonderful Italian gas station attendant saves the day! As we wait I feel compelled to buy something from her. I see what looks like a coffee slushy machine. I get us two of them expecting something that you would get at a 7-11 at home. she then gets out two saucers and nice tea cups and fills them up with this stuff. We sit in the gas station and enjoy this little treat. It was actually one of the best drinks I have had all trip. I will try to get a picture of it on our way out.
We make it to the hotel without a heat stroke thanks to the wonderful Italian gas station lady. This place is quite amazing. The view from our room is beautiful.
We enjoy a nice afternoon laying out and swimming at the pool. Then they have a full four course Tuscan meal available to us. We get cleaned up and head downstairs for a nice meal. In Italy it is traditional to eat an appetizer, then a first course, then a second course, then dessert. Quite a bit of food but we made room. The wine we ordered was recommended to us by the owner of the hotel. He recommended it to us because it was his wine. He made it himself, grew the grapes right there on site. The wine was actually really good as well.
First up for the meal was some bruschette for myself and cheese for Steph.
Then came the first course of salmone pasta for myself and wild boar pasta for Steph. I know, the irony of us eating a razorback is noted.
Then comes the second course of roasted duck for myself and veal for Steph. According to Steph my duck was a loner with no family. How she knew that, I am not sure.
We finished up the meal with dessert. A chocolate sponge cake thing for Steph and a berries and cream thing for me.
I ended the meal with a little cafe’. When you order a coffee over here in Europe they actually bring you an espresso. I have done this several times over here and every time I think of Pirtle. Drinking my little espresso (you have to have the pinky up in order to make it legit) I think of how Pirtle would be so proud that I was ordering such a legit coffee drink.
After dinner we retired to bed and I did not feel like blogging so we called it a night. This decision allowed me to fill you in on our interesting night here in the nicest place we have stayed to date. So our room had no air conditioning. It wasn’t too bad during the day, but for some reason our room got really hot at night. Neither Steph or myself got much sleep at all. It is difficult to sleep when you are sweating profusely. Around 4 in the morning I went downstairs to see if anyone was at the front desk and for some reason it was cooler outside. We seriously contemplated going and sleeping next to the pool for the remainder of the night. Instead we just propped our door open and tried to make the best of it. For the nicest place we have stayed so far it was the most miserable night yet. In the morning we came down and the owner asked us how we slept. I told him it was a little hot and he asked us why we didn’t just turn on the a/c. Steph and I just stared at each other and at him for a while, speechless. It turns out that there was an a/c unit that just needed to be turned on with a remote that we could not find. We eventually found it later that morning. Oh well.
Just one more train ride left and that is it. Rome is coming up then back to you beautiful people. Stay tuned.