Sunday, April 06, 2008

Italy, days 1 and 2

For anyone not in the know, my job has taken me to Florence for a week, to attend a fancy CHI conference. I got to bring my wife along, so before and after the conference we get to take in some local flavor together.

Before getting here, we experienced two different classes of air travel. First there was the kind we are accustomed to, sardine-like accommodations and enough discomfort to open for any stand-up comedian. For the trip across the Atlantic, though, we were put on a plane seemingly designed for human beings. I might have even caught an hour or two of sleep, which I'm pretty sure nobody has ever done on a sardine-class plane.

Italy, day 1.

I actually didn't take any pictures. But I'll describe our brief time in Rome:
  • waiting for trains
  • wondering why "Florence" doesn't show up anywhere in the English UI when trying to purchase a train ticket to Florence
  • train interiors
  • train tracks, garbage, grafiti
  • from distant to close: grafiti, garbage, train tracks
Someday we'll come to Italy again and see Rome properly. But it wasn't to be this time 'round. Saturday concluded for us by being driven through very narrow, windy roads and arriving at our hotel, the Residenzia Casanuova, and collapsing for the night. We can whole-heartedly recommend staying here to anyone and everyone; it's easily the nicest place we've ever stayed at in Italy. ;^) Really though, we love it here.

Italy, day 2

First things first. A very nice breakfast is provided here, so we had some food before heading out.

I had to savor the cheese both visually and ... eatingly. As with everything else, it was very tasty.

We didn't go very far on our little self-guided tour; our primary mission was to find an ATM so that we could have some euros with which we could buy, among other things, some actual tours and excursions, including visits to some of the museums we saw but didn't yet enter.

Not the real "David", though it isn't far from here...

Lots of impressive statues of lots of impressive people.

We trekked down to the Arno river and back, crossing a couple of very cool bridges.

There's a learning curve to wandering the streets around here but we're picking up on it. Placed in a car here, I'd give the average Utah driver 15, maybe 20 seconds before killing somebody and/or wrecking something very expensive. Thankfully, the people who do drive here are much smarter. Everything's very close-quarters, though. Our camera's wide-angle lens has been very handy so far.

We passed this gigantic and old church (which is right next to a smaller, even older church) on our way out and on the way back. So we saw it both having little to no bearings and having a pretty good sense of direction.

We've got plenty more pictures and will continue to accumulate them I'm sure, and I think they deserve a dedicated album with proper annotations. I'll have to get on that once we get back. But for now I hope these were enjoyable; it's certainly enjoyable being here. :^)

Update: Italy, day 2 (continued)

Just a couple quick pictures from heading out to dinner. First, the cool stairway we take if laziness doesn't prompt us to use the elevator.

And finally, myself enjoying an Italian beer. :^)


Chris said...

Very cool Owen, have fun. For album wise I highly recommend downloading Picasa, it is free and owned by google. Then you can simply upload to your picasa web album via picasa, all tied into your google account :)

Yodame said...

I think it's funny you found time to trash Utah drivers, even from overseas. Good job! Thanks for the visual journey, especially the comestibles and naked statues :) Can't wait to see more pics!