Day 8: From Switzerland to Firenze/Florence

So this was our last morning in Switzerland, and after a rather decent breakfast we were off… through the longest tunnel in the world (among other tunnels and on our way to the Italian speaking area of Switzerland. Our last stop en route to Italy was at a great place — you should have seen the cafeteria with its selection of fruit and pastries and juices and… wow! Darlene and Erin ate huge slices of Watermelon with spoons… and my juice and pastry was GREAT!

General Comments on Switzerland:
-It really is Heidi country!
-I want to go back and hike around those mountain trails some more!
-The shopping is fabulous! I want to do more.
-Such a beautiful area of the world!!

And then we were driving toward Firenze or what most people around here would call Florence. En route we learned that at road stops or cafeteria eateries, one has to pay first and then pick up one's orders, rather then pick up the food and then pay in Italy. A different concept to be sure!

Well… after it was determined that our bus couldn't get a pass to enter the city in advance (strange policy but I think it's probably worthwhile, considering the strain tourists must cause to the cities in Italy), we made it to our hotel. Our hotel was in the BEAUTIFUL countryside of Tuscany. I mean it, it was absolutely gorgeous. It reminded me of a movie night Erin and I had a long long time ago now (over a year?) where we watched a couple flicks set in Tuscany. I wanted to jump in the pool after supper (which didn't happen but I'll get to that), and we all wandered the grass to see the scenery.

I also played some cards with an Aussie and an American… reminded me of what I like to call Egyptian war, but Erin had a different name (and some different rules) for it.

Dinner was another story and not nearly so relaxing. Scheduled for 7:30pm, it took well over an hour for our first course (supposedly pasta which we er eventually got) to somehow arrive at our table. Believe me if you EVER thought service was bad at a restaurant before this took the cake: a complete comedy of errors (and not necessarily all that funny when you're really hungry). They even managed to serve our meal to the wrong tour groups! Gah! So instead of going swimming in the pool, I headed to bed after dinner…. it simply took THAT long.