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Au Revoir Paris, Buon Giorno Florence!



France provides a very strange sort of triage for taking pictures.  Sure, that building is beautiful, anywhere else it'd be worth taking a picture, but in Paris?  Is it even top 20%?  If no, I'm saving my phone's hard drive for something else. 

On my last day in Paris I saw the Cathedral Notre Dame on the island where Paris was founded by the Parisii celts years before the Roman Empire came in and took over.  The Romans changed the name to something suitably Roman (Lutetia) and then to Paris in because people never really stopped calling it that.  I guess it was just supposed to be Paris.

Notre Dame was big and impressive but not beautiful, not spectacular.  For that I went to the Church of the Madeleine right near the Place De La Concorde.  Absolutely gorgeous Napoleonic-era Church in the Neo-Classical style (so much so it looks like a Roman Temple from the outside).  I had some Steak-frite at a local brasserie and then went to bed for an early flight to Florence.

I took a Euro discount airline called Vueling (apparently pronounced 'welling').  And discount it was.  I actually expected to have a checked bag fee but that never actually happened.  The interior of the plane was pretty ratty to be honest though it did look like the replaced those weird headrest mats planes have.  Anyways, it got us there, and the price was acceptable if not exactly bargain basement.  It was better than 10 hours on a train anyway.

My hotel in Florence is a shoe box about 15 minutes walk from everywhere.  It's air-conditioned, clean, and the plumbing works so I'm happy with it.  I'm going to need that air-conditioning too, especially with massive heat out there right now.  I learned the hard way to bring water with me while I was standing outside in the heat waiting to take a look at Michelangelo's David.  They said the line for non-reserved tickets was 90 minutes, but I was inside by the 45 minute mark.  I could've jumped the queue by joining a tour for 30 Euro but instead I waited and paid 8.

What is there to say about David that hasn't already been said?  The work of a true master, a monumental creation that's a monument to human artistry.  It is better viewed in person, if only to really gauge its immense size.

I'm now huddled in my hotel room to escape the heat/plan for later on.  I'm not sure where I'm going yet but the plan is to use Florence as a jumping off point for Tuscany/Northern Italy.  I better figure it out.

Oh and I needn't have worried about my bad Italian.  Nearly everybody around here at least speaks some English.



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