Monday, September 14, 2009

Transportation Fail Day

The best bad day ever
We had high hopes of soaking up the sun at the beach in Viareggio on Sunday, September 6th...but, fate had a different idea: Transportation Fail Day. We arrived at Santa Maria Novella train station by 9:30am to catch the 9:57am train out of Florence. Shortly after purchasing our tickets, we learn that our train has been canceled. No big deal, we'll just catch the 11am, right? WRONG. After waiting for that one, it too is canceled. Touche Trenitalia. We put our minds together, determined to enjoy the good weather, and decided to go to the swimming pool. Thankfully, Kelley, in her giant bag, had the guide to Florence that LdM had given us during Orientation Sucks Day.

After looking up the available swimming pools, Ryan volunteered to ask which one to go to and how to get there. While we were waiting, Zack waited 10 minutes to get McDonald's - and then dropped his Big Mac on the train station floor. We should've taken this as an omen and walked away while we still had a chance. Regardless, we pressed on with hopes of going swimming. We were instructed to catch the #10 bus to the swimming pool. Needless to say, it took us a bit of wandering to find the bus stop. When we did, we had just missed the bus. So we waited.

Once on board, we got tickets (but not everyone - the bus ran out of tickets to sell. Thankfully, no transportation officers came to check tickets). We asked which stop we needed to take; of course, we were told the wrong one. But we persevered. Our spirits still high, we arrived at our find that it was closed for the season. FAIL.

We went back to the bus stop and caught the bus - but it was going the wrong direction - so we had to ride it all the way out of town and back. However, this turned out to be good as we got to see a lot of Florence. Once back in town, we went with the fail-proof option: swim at our friends' hostel.
The pool was a neat, indoor pool with neon lights and a Turkish bath. It would've been nice to be outside, but at least we got to go swimming. Since we had the pool to ourselves, we created a giant whirlpool (awesome) by running around in circles. We also played Marco Polo; the highlight was when Crampton was Marco Polo and everyone got out of the pool, leaving him to swim around with his eyes closed! After enjoying ourselves in the pool, we headed to the sundeck on the roof to dry off. Little did we know, we weren't in the clear yet.

The infamous elevator fail. 12 wet adults get into a tiny hostel elevator. They did NOT make it to the top. Instead, they were trapped inside the elevator because it got stuck just two feet from its destination. We were stuck inside the elevator, wet and unable to move around, for approximately 25 minutes. This was the low point of the day for most. Needless to say, we should've taken the stairs. However, word spread around school about the elevator story and our failure was able to amuse many. You can read more about it on Tom's blog. I'll turn back to the upsides of the day.
After leaving the hostel, we grabbed some wine and headed home to unwind. We decided to keep trying, despite the challenges of the day. We would walk across the city and climb up to Piazza Michelangelo, which offers one of the best views of the city, to enjoy the sunset. What could go wrong? Thankfully, nothing did! 
We had a great walk, were able to watch the sun go down and the moon come up (you could tell it was moving - very cool), mimicked the statue of David and enjoyed the views (pictures below).

When we arrived home, we received one more drop of icing on the cake. One of our neighbors, an old Italian woman, was walking out the door as we were coming home. She proceeded to yell at us for 10 minutes in Italian, even though it was apparent we had no idea what was going on. I believe she was upset that we were playing guitar and having a late night sing-a-long...sorry...I haven't been getting my fill of playing on Welch Ave at the bars in Ames with Plastic Apartment...

Despite the failures of the day, it was a fun bonding experience that definitely ended up well and goes down as one of the best, bad days you could ask for.

See the rest of my pictures from the first week in Florence here.

No comments:

Post a Comment