My first flight was out of Detroit. It left right at sundown, and the flight was surprisingly less than seven hours. The food was pretty good… I probably should have spent more time making an effort to sleep, but the movie selection was just too tempting. Here’s some low-quality smartphone pictures from outside my window:
I arrived in Amsterdam just as the sun was coming back up. My layover went pretty quickly; the longest part was waiting in line for customs, but after that I got some Starbucks to wake me up a little. I was surprised/relieved that basically everything was in English. The plane for this flight was fairly small; we had to take a shuttle out to it and climb these rickety stairs to board. No movies on this flight, but luckily it was bright outside so I could just sit back and enjoy the view. We arrived in Florence in under two hours.
The Florence airport (Peretola) was really small, so once I was reunited with my checked bag (yay–no lost luggage), I found two other girls to share a cab to the check-in location. Luckily this was only around €20 and the driver loaded all our luggage for us.
From the quick housing session, I decided I could just walk to the apartment (even though it was on the opposite side of the city). I followed the map pretty easily and avoided getting run over by any buses or cyclists, but I was unbelievably sweaty by the time I reached the apartment with all my luggage. There’s four doors to unlock and one flight of stairs to climb before reaching our door, which wouldn’t have been bad if I knew where any of the light switches were. None of my roommates were home, though two had already moved in. So I took a few hours to unpack and freshen up before deciding to venture out for food (all I had eaten was some complimentary coffee and cake on the plane). I stopped at a little cafe and got an overpriced tomato-mozzarella sandwichy thing, then headed to the supermarket (CONAD) around the corner. That place was deceivingly huge; it had just about anything you could want, grocery-wise, as long as you just kept following the maze to get to the checkout line (though I sadly had to forfit my apples when the cashier told me I was supposed to weigh those back in produce section). By the time I made it back to the apartment, all of my roommates were there (along with the landlord(s) who creepily followed me to my door). So we spent the rest of the night talking and booking some trips together. We were all pretty exhausted and went to bed by 9:00pm, which felt more like 3:00am after being so sleep deprived. But all in all, the journey and first full day in Florence was great! I’ll post more from the rest of the week soon.