A traveler’s series of unfortunate events would serve as a perfect title for a story of my travels to Italy. Traveling to Florence was eventful and memorable to say the least. Three friends and I took a direct flight from Minneapolis airport to Amsterdam, then from Amsterdam straight to Florence – or so we thought.
Arriving to the Amsterdam airport was a breeze; the eight-hour flight went by quickly while the generous selection of movies kept me occupied. Once on the ground, we were able to explore the airport and do some people watching during our lay over. There seemed to be someone from every nationality, so it was interesting to walk by groups and overhear conversations in all different languages. Our layover went by in no time, and we were shuttled out to the airport grounds to board our plane.
A two-hour flight quickly turned into a three and a half hour inconvenience. We spent one hour flying in circles above Florence while waiting out the foggy weather below. Finally, we were given the okay to make our way to the Florence airport. It was incredibly foggy, but the houses, valleys, and river showed through. It was really neat to watch, we could even see the street my apartment is located on, we got so close!
But then, the engine kicked up and back up we flew. They told us conditions were still unsafe to land on the runway, and we didn’t have enough gas to continue flying above Florence to wait out the weather. So off to Pisa, Italy the plane took us (a city about an hour from Florence) and an arranged bus ride to Florence was on its way.
At this point, everyone just wanted to be on the ground. We got our bags and walked around aimlessly trying to figure out where the bus would come. Our whole flight stood outside the small airport pick up/drop off door looking around at each other, frustrated and confused. Somehow, my friend and I managed to run into two of our roommates while waiting. About twenty minutes later, a man came walking through shouting the name of our airline, and the mob of people followed him. Only half of the flight could fit their bags into the large coach bus. So we waited for the second bus, in the light rain I might add. Twenty minutes later a second bus arrived. Another large, but half-empty, coach bus took us to our destination.
Although I would have much rather flown straight into Florence, the bus ride was actually very pretty, and a neat introduction to Italy. Houses of all different shades of tan, yellow, rusty red, brown, and white could be seen the whole way there. Beautiful green hills formed from all different directions, and giant mountains stood as a spectacular backdrop. I’m certainly not in the Midwest anymore.