Today is Lucy’s birthday. She had requested Florence (and gelato – and clothes – and shoes – and coke) for her birthday. I was hoping that it wouldn’t be another Pisa. We make our way into town to take the train. Apparently the schedule here is relatively meaningless, so we didn’t bother to plan ahead. We lucked out and a train came rather quickly.
As soon as we debarked, but what to our wondering eyes should appear? Yep, you guessed it. The Taint. So for the second time, we make our way into MacDonald’s and give our order to the less than enthusiastic attendant. It is after all Lucy’s special day and she quickly pulls rank. At least I get to consume a full sized coffee. Then it’s out to the street and the heat.
We decide that the Duomo Santa Maria Del Fiore is first on the hit list and we make our way there. The climb to the top of Brunelleschi’s work of genius is 463 steps. It’s a good thing we all had grease pucks in our stomachs. The climb was a bit hot and sticky and cramped at times. You need to traverse the domes circumference once on the way up and once on the way down. There is a skinny little balcony wrapping it’s way around the interior of the dome.
I should mention at this point that while I have endowed Lucy with my carsickness gene, I have bestowed upon Cooper my uneasiness with open heights. So this balcony was enough to send him over the edge – figuratively of course. He was clinging to the wall and I was thankful that there was a large plexiglass barrier separating us from the long way down. Then of course there were the oblivious tourists ahead of us on the balcony, stopping to set up an impossible shot, ignoring the many many signs that say PLEASE KEEP GOING, while the rest of us have to wait and tell ourselves that we aren’t going to die, just breathe deeply and we’ll be through this in just another 150 feet….
Then on to the top. After a brief stop on one of the stairwells to calm Cooper down and encourage him to finish the climb. He does. We all do and we are all glad we did. Although to be honest I don’t think I have any photos to prove it. I was too busy clinging to the wall at the top of the dome.
I will openly admit right here that this day is not at all about art. Kids and galleries are not a great combination, so I will try and sneak in on my own to visit the Uffize. The rest of the day was spent wandering around the city in sweltering heat, eating gelato, consuming pop, looking for shoes, and riding the carousel. Then one last trip to The Taint – just the kids this time. The Dude and I cannot abide a second installation. This time we chose an air conditioned coach for our train ride home.
We spent 8 hours walking through Florence. We are all tired and hot. Time to go home and take a load off.