17 April 2005
Look out world
Don flies from Tampere, Finland to Frankfurt, Germany. Seems the hostel Charis found for him is in the red light district of Frankfurt. Thanks alot, Charis! Made for some interesting stories, though. I boarded the bus from Prague to Frankfurt and rode overnight.
Don met me at the train/bus station in the morning. Spent the day walking around dowtown Frankfurt - there's only so much to see. A british architect named Norman Foster designed a building there, and that was about all there was to note. Took the 2 hour bus ride from downtown Frankfurt to the small airport that we flew out of, in Hahn. Because we flew on Ryanair, a cheap airline, we had to fly out of the small airport. It was quite the experience, because our Irish pilot gets on the PA and tells us a 5 minute story about why the plane was delayed. So that was funny, but then, instead of a normal airplane, the seats for Ryanair planes are fake leather, and have bright yellow plastic on the back of the seats. The whole flight, you stare at the emergency instructions that are pasted to the seat in front of you. We sat right in front of the wing, so we could hear the engine humming. And it's like a circus, because people just get up and walk around during the flight. Very amusing, but for 0.66 euros each way, who can complain! Arrived in Forli, Italy around 11:30 pm. Took taxi from airport to Hotel Lory [this was my first taxi ride!]. Was pleasantly surprised by our hotel. Don made the booking online, without seeing any pictures. It was listed as a 2 star hotel, but was very nice! When we got there, they didn't have a reservation written down for us, but we got a room anyway. Had to point to phrases in my Italian phrasebook. Although we couldn't speak any Italian yet, it was still easier to communicate than in the Czech Republic. And the people were very friendly and helpful.
This picture is the view out the hotel window. Forli was such a cute town. Walked through several markets to find the train station. Saw a church filled with people watching the Pope's funeral. Ate at a little sandwich and coffee cafe while waiting for train. Saw Alfa Romeo's all over the place! Wished I had mine to drive. Rode a train for the first time ever [sorry Uncle Dale, I'm not counting the Decatur County fair train as a real one]. Caught the train from Bologna to Florence to meet Don's mother, Cynthia, stepfather, Dean, and stepsister, Melanie. The countryside between Bologna and Florence was beautiful_full of mountains and hills. When we arrived in Florence, Don's family wasn't there yet. So, we left our bags at the hotel and set out to explore Florence. Was really fun. Saw the Duomo, Ufizzi courtyard, Michelangelo's David statue, the Ponte Vecchio [bridge full of houses], and lots of other famous beautiful stuff. Ate at a mediocre restaurant. I'm sure it's hard to find the good ones in Florence, since it's such a big city. Anyway, the city was beautiful at night.