Sunday, 13 October 2019

A Little Respite

It's been a couple of weeks since we went away. The journey there wasn't easy to say the least. In theory, we would stay in a London hotel for the night, before catching an early flight with British Airways, dropping us in Florence at around 11am, where a hire car was waiting, and then a comfortable arrival at our castle for lunch.

Stuff rarely goes as planned, and we adjust our thoughts accordingly. However, while sipping a coffee mid flight on our way, the captain informed us that we must turn around and land back at London City Airport. It was supposed to be a quick fix, we re-board, and then head back on our way a couple of hours late. That didn't happen, as a flight attendant refused to work over his shift time, and so the flight was cancelled, and the entire group of passengers had to somehow re-schedule.

To cut a long story short, we moaned, we complained, and eventually the airline put us in a private car to Heathrow, a one and a half hour drive away at that point, and just in time for a connecting flight to Pisa. We arrived, only to find that one piece of luggage had been mislaid, along with other passengers luggage it appeared. We thought 'ok', inconvenient, but went to re-arrange our hire car, only to find that they had no more cars available, except for a huge people carrier at a price that made even me, lets just say 'exclaim'.

We discovered at this point, early evening by now, that the missing baggage was arriving on the next flight in. Texts to apologise and help had never told us this, and we found out by badgering and talking to another passenger from our flight, but they arrived and we were intact at least. The other car hire company, now 9pm, hire us a car at five times the price of the original, but fuel was included, and insurance covered everything, and I mean everything, and so we were sorted. I must add that we were at Pisa airport for about six hours, and due to Amanda's current health problem, had spent a lot of it in the car park feeling pretty desperate and hopeless, and almost gave up and returned home, if indeed we could.

It was a very tired me who drove to our destination that night. Events meant that it was much further than planned, and all we had to go on was to look for a pair of rusty gates on the road in the middle of nowhere. Tricky in the day, more tricky when it's dark and we are over tired. It was a fractious drive. Italian motorists not giving any leeway as usual, me over-compensating in unlit mountain roads, and Amanda shouting at me when her life was quite frankly in danger........but we got there.

The owners had left a light on in our place, a bottle of their own wine on the table, and two glasses with a note telling us to drink the wine with indulgence. It was 11.30pm now, and we just hugged each other....really, and nearly cried.....really. It has been a tough year in all sorts of ways. We stood outside with our glasses of wine and looked at this view of Florence as we drank with indulgence. It felt like home. Then we slept for a long time.

We had planned to do a few things on our first whole day, but because of the travelling stuff and health things the day before, we enforced a day of rest.

The village was at the end of the drive, and we introduced ourselves to the locals, bought all manner of things to see us through for the day, had a coffee and chatted with a German couple about Harley Davidson and Triumph motorcycles, politics, Brexit, luxury hotels, work and you do. Strangely one of those special moments in life. We returned and spent the entire day in garden chairs, eating good food, drinking good wine, reading, sleeping, and looking out on the view.

The 'castle and it's history are extraordinary. It has been the the same family for generations, and now the current member of the family Majla, along with her husband Marco, let out a couple of areas within it. 

We made friends with four cats, and 'Emma', a very old Jack Russel. She was on a special diet for her heart, and I only found out after sharing a couple of lunches with her......sorry Majla! Emma was beautiful.

We have been to Florence before, but had to return, and will do again next year. It's an extraordinary city. I could post so many things that are experienced there, but let's just say that on this occasion we slowed down, walked the streets endlessly, enjoyed the smells, people, food, graffiti, history, flowers.

And daily cocktails at our 'local' at the Piazza della Signoria, as we people watched and giggled at the various 'selfies' being taken.

Can't wait to go back yet again


  1. Shame about the journey, but Florence is great. I would like to go back as well.

    1. It's quite a place eh? Thanks for the restaurant recommendation by the way......very nice!

  2. 'But we got there.' So glad that you both did. Florence looks an amazing, beautiful place. Despite the hiccups along the way - lots of happy memories to look back on.

    1. We love the place Molly, and haven't ruled out moving there.

  3. Hubby and I were in Florence in the spring of 1973. A beautiful place.

    Sorry you got off to a rough start on your trip. Pray that Amanda is doing much better.

    Love you both ~ FlowerLady

  4. All went well in the end Lorraine, and thanks for the prayer, she is going to need it.

  5. HeHe! Now! If you'd have gone to Sicily..
    ALL that would'nt have happened..As you
    know..the Italians are the 'worst' drivers
    on the planet..Fact! :(.

    Anyways..pleased you had a good time, photos
    are nice..Emma looks lovely, don't have a dog, if l did it would be a Jack Russell..! :).

    Best get on..just starting to get daylight...
    Few things to see to to~day..Monday..!
    Oh! By the way, if you go to Florence next
    year, stay away from those bi~planes..their
    nothing but trouble..! Bless!

    Love the bottom photo..Nice! :o).

    1. A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two main wings stacked one above the other. The first powered, controlled aeroplane to fly, the Wright Flyer, used a biplane wing arrangement, as did many aircraft in the early years of aviation. While a biplane wing structure has a structural advantage over a monoplane, it produces more drag than a similar unbraced or cantilever monoplane wing. Improved structural techniques, better materials and the quest for greater speed made the biplane configuration obsolete for most purposes by the late 1930s...
      ( did ask)..HeHe! :)

    2. Willie, I know what a biplane is, I was just baffled about the reference on my post. I don't recall seeing biplanes in Florence.

  6. HeHe! Sorry! As English is my second language,
    you must allow for errors perhaps! It took me
    four attempts to pass it at 'O' Level..! :).

    I suppose l was referring to flying out from
    B'mth say..or even S'ton..Yes! I know you would'nt fly to Florence from there..But! Many years back, l flew quite a lot out of B'mth and remember seeing biplanes..!

    I'll try and keep my comments simple in future, that should'nt be to difficult for me..after all, don't want you getting to 'baffled' :o).
    Anyways! Love reading yer posts..great fun, and, l think you have one of the best side bars on any Blog..!
    Il mio caro amico Valentino che รจ d'accordo con me...Saluti..! :o).

  7., bi-planes at Bournemouth eh? It;s kind of ironic that we ended up flying into Pisa at the end of it all....could have done THAT from Bournemouth! Thanks for explaining Willie.

  8. Oh what a horrible journey, I hope the rest of your holiday is wonderful x

    1. Hello there! It was a wonderful holiday thanks. Thankfully the travel problems only messed up the first day.