So in spite of my well-planned trip between farms in Tuscany, I have to say that things couldn’t have gone more haywire. After confirming a week prior, that I would be arriving on July 1st, one would think that the rest would be smooth sailing. Hahahaha…that’s hilarious! On the day of, I made a point of sending an email to the farm with my arrival time at Siena station being 7pm. What response did I get to that email? NONE.
Upon arriving at the train station, I thought it would be a good idea to fire off a second email and ask how I could reach the farm. What was my response to this second email, you ask? Let’s see…NONE!! Understandably, this was more than a little frustrating. Who knew the best-laid plans could fall apart like this? What the hell am I supposed to do now?
One more email, I thought to myself…that’ll do the trick! Sure enough, it didn’t do the trick. Luckily for me, I met a server from England who let me use the restaurant’s phone to make a call. It wasn’t easy to understand the lady who picked up the phone, considering I’ve still only learned some Italian and she didn’t speak a word of English. I did manage to tell her that I needed a ride and had no idea how to get to the farm, and her response to that was suggesting I call back tomorrow morning after finding a place to sleep tonight.
Ummm…did we not confirm that I would be arriving today? Did you not say that would be fine? And now you want me to blow 40 or more Euros on a hotel? Are you kidding me?! By this time it was 11pm and it looked like I really didn’t have a choice, so I headed downtown, which wasn’t far, in search of accommodations.
There was one small problem with this venture. EVERY hotel in Siena closes their doors at 11pm. Oh, Happy Day!! But there has to be one that’s still open right? With every closed hotel entrance, my frustration and volume of cursing grew.
After trekking the streets of Siena, and my body aching, I settled on taking shelter beneath a fruit tree in an orchard. This was definitely a first for me, but my body needed rest. I wish I could say the next day of travel went a little better, but it didn’t. Long story short, the only bus that was going where I needed to get to never arrived.
Enter a guardian angel from Montreal. Jean Francois was doing the wine thing throughout Italy and took pity on me and my plight. He offered me to stay the night at an apartment that he and his girlfriend were renting in Florence. I don’t exaggerate when I say that he was truly a godsend. Not only did I get to see Florence for the first time, but we shared some wine, food & the best truffle salami I’ve ever had in my life. Add to that, meeting a lovely girl from Washington who had lost her friends earlier, and you’ve got the recipe for a magical evening among new friends.
Who knew that a disaster of a day could turn into a really beautiful evening