Looking back on my trip and all my misgivings about it, I’m considering the possibility that I’m paranormally gifted. On the other hand, the fact that all my doomy predictions came true might be simple self-knowledge rather than psychic prescience. Either way, it was quite the experience…
The trip started with me having slept for 2 hours, then taking a bus to Brussels, a plane to Rome, another plane to Florence, and then a bus to the hotel. We did not get the chance to sleep there, as a visit to the Cathedral of Florence was planned right after the arrival. After the cathedral, we went to see the Baptistry, and the museum. It was all really beautiful and impressive… but my feet -in 9 cm heels- were killing me, and I was really tired and disoriented. After the visits we had spare time, and I just wanted to go back to the hotel to sleep, but the disorientation had gotten so bad that I didn’t know where I was anymore, so I got lost, and I was crying because I was so scared and tired. I’ll spare you the details of my breakdown, but it was awful. I don’t think I have felt that bad (and paranoid) since I was admitted, which makes it an absolute low point in my career.
The second day we went to see the Bargello, the Medici Chapel, the San Lorenzo, and the Palazzo Pitti. Everything was really beautiful, but I managed to get lost again. This time I did not break down; I asked the way back to the hotel, I got a map and a day schedule there, and using those I caught up with the group again by myself. I was really proud of myself for that…. Pathetic, no? I am such a grown-up woman… *deep sigh* Either way, I did discover something worth mentioning, namely a dish called Burrata, mozzarella filled with cream. It’s delicious, and it sort of made my day. If you ever have the chance to eat it, don’t hesitate.
The third day we went to see the Uffizi Gallery. It’s smaller than the Louvre (thank God), but it’s still a herculean challenge to do in half a day, on heels… After a while the available benches and seats became more interesting than the paintings, and I felt complete understanding for all toddlers who throw themselves on the floor screaming, “NO! NO! I DON’T WANT TO WALK ANYMORE!” as I had to force myself to not do the same. You don’t know pain until your feet are so swollen that your shoes don’t fit anymore. Looking to console myself after that painful event, I ended up at the Kiko makeup store, which is another discovery worth mentioning. Hundreds of nail polish colors, and they were all really cheap and good quality! I still regret not buying more, as this brand is not available in Belgium…
The fourth day I had to give my presentation about the Santa Croce, the Pazzi Chapel, and the Ospedale Degli Innocenti. I think I did fairly well, at least I wasn’t made fun of… I was having a throat ache and blowing my nose every five minutes, but… well, nothing a good dose of ibuprofen and a tasty cocktail or two couldn’t solve! I ended the night at the Paszkowski Concert Cafe, where there was live music and delicious drinks against the lovely backdrop of the Piazza della Republica. (Another tip, the “Dubai” is a delicious cocktail, and especially good if you have a sore throat, as it has a ton of crushed ice in it)
Fifth day, and my feet hurt so much by now that I didn’t feel them anymore, not to mention my pounding headache and really gross and slimy-sounding cough… but again, there was no time to rest as we had to see the Santo Spirito and the Brancacci Chapel. After that it was time to go to the airport to catch the plane back home… So far Florence.
When I finally got home I went straight to bed, only to wake up in the middle of the night with a 40°C fever. The next day was spent in fevered delusion, as I had apparently managed to catch pneumonia. Now, at the moment of writing, I am still in bed but my fever has dropped. My breathing sounds really rattling and disgusting, I’m restricted to sign language as my voice is completely gone, and I have to take pills the size of two thumb nails, but further I’m all right, I guess…
I would love to go back to Florence on my own once, as it is possibly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and the food was great. Also, I wish a pulmonary infection on the next person who tells me to ignore my Sense of Doom. My Sense of Doom is never wrong.
PS: I’m trying to figure out if the heap of random photos on my computer is the result of me blacking out, or if someone has used my laptop while I was gone. Call me paranoid, but I’m suspecting the latter. I WILL FIND THE CULPRIT AND HE WILL PAY!