Sunday, February 11, 2007


I went to a meeting in Florence last week. In principle it is very cheap to get from Glasgow to Florence via the airport at Pisa. The dreaded Ryanair have flights every two days. The flight from Glasgow is from Prestwick airport, that is actually over 30 miles from the centre of Glasgow. I am sure that there is a reason, but the flight left at 7:05. There is one bus to Prestwick airport that gets there early enough, but I hadn't booked a ticket. So I had to get a taxi at 4:30. There is a good site about the best airports to sleep at. I am not really sure I hade the correct reading material for visiting a famous Italian city. On the trip over I read "Firefox hacks tips and tools for next generation browsing." When I got to Pisa airport I bought a ticket to take me to Florence. When I got to the bus I found it was going to some place called Firenze. All the signs pointed to Firenze so it must be the place I thought. As the bus moved along I began to get more nervous that I was going to the wrong city. Of course I could have asked someone, but frankly it would have been embarrassing (and frankly I would have deserved a smack in the head). As I wondered around the city trying to find my hotel, I was also too nervous to ask for directions, just in case I got the helpful advice "you are in the wrong city". While I was walking around, I turned the corner and saw the cathedral. "Wow, ok I am in Florence". Whenever I see a cathedral I just think of the blood and sweat of the workers who built it while the bishops sat on their plush thrones praying to God that they never have to do manual labour. The cathedral at Florence is very impressive. I didn't go inside of course -- I feel queasy on holy ground. Later I met up with some people and we went for food. On the menu, there was chicken and fried potatoes, but I was told when in Rome, do as the Romans do, so I had some tripe instead. Tripe is eaten in Lancashire -- perhaps raw. I am not sure that tripe agrees with me. Anyway I had some Italian ice cream and that made me feel better.