fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

The Vacation Summary

- Thanks to miles, I flew United Global First to Geneva, Lufthansa business class to Munich, then Air Dolomiti (coach) to Pisa. That's not the most direct routing, but it was available. Air Dolomiti was annoying as I could not get their boarding pass until Munich, which was a short layover, making it stressful. But it worked fine.

- Staying right by the Leaning Tower of Pisa was convenient in some ways, but, in practice, I might have done well to stay in the area nearer the Arno, which is livelier with locals at night. It's not like Pisa is all that big a city so it would have still been a reasonable walk to Piazza Miracoli. Anyway, as I have said before, the famous things are famous for a reason. I was also impressed by the acoustics of The Baptistery and the frescos in the Camposanto.

- Only real issue in Firenze was that the hotel I was at turned out to be very noisy. I went to the Accademia and the Uffizi (on separate days) and the Duomo. So, in short, I gawked at art. I also ate a lot of gelato (and some real food). I bought yarn and writing paper, too.

- Bologna is not as well-touristed, but has a lot to recommend it. The architecture is superb, for one thing. And the gelato is just as good as in Firenze. Also, I really liked the hotel (Albergo Atlantic) that I stayed in. I can't say there were essential sites (well, maybe Santo Stefano, aka the Seven Churches), but it was a good place to soak up atmosphere.

- I did a day trip to San Marino from Bologna (via Rimini). This is the world's oldest republic, as they tell you at every opportunity. I walked a lot, gawking at views, and went to the horribly tacky but interesting vampire museum. I have now collected the complete set of European microcountries.

- The bus from Bologna to Ljubljana was not too bad. While there are no border controls, you can tell when you have crossed the border because of all the SLO-moving traffic. (I promise that will be my only bad pun about Slovenia. Today.) Anyway, I really liked Ljubljana, which is a lovely mix of Central Europe and Italy and filled with Art Nouveau architecture. I did not buy any Slovenian yarn, however, since the one store in the central area selling it was open only 5 hours a week (10-3 on Saturday). And I spent Saturday on a day trip to Lake Bled, which is fabulously beautiful.

- Then I flew to Amsterdam (on Adria). I didn't car emuch for that city when I was there in 1980 and it has not improved. I think part of it is that there are so many sleaze-seeking tourists. Part of it is that it is absurdly expensive. And part of it is that everything is brick, which feels gloomy. I revisited the Van Gogh Museum, which is two-thirds closed for renovations (but they still hit you up for 15 euros). And I went to the zoo, which was disappointing. I did a day trip to The Hague, which is better and has some appealing modern architecture.

- And then I flew home, this time in business class. Which was pretty painless. And now I am jet-lagged.

(Detailed gelato report is still to follow.)
Tags: travel

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