an adventurous drive up from the Amalfi coast. They are Canadians, she
(Eva)originally from Denmark, he (Harry) a surgeon with the Canadian army.
During a dinner of pizza bought in the local village of Troghi, on their
terrace, Eva was most alarmed by the appearance both of lizards and snake.
She was worried that they might try to get into their apartment and checked
the door, only to find it was closed and the key was inside.
Our landlord has a standing dinner date with friends on Sunday evenings and
doesn't normally return until very late, so we invited Harry and Eva in for
drinks as the night was getting chilly. We exchange some 'hairy stories' of
touring in Italy. Harry and I agreed that the best thing about the country
is the magnificent terrain and one of the worst things is Italian drivers.
Half a bottle of Jameson and some hours later, Harry was desperate for
sleep. He's doing all the driving as Eva can't drive a manual vehicle. After
much persuasion, Eva bunked down in the spare bed in my room and Harry
crashed on the sofa in the sitting room. It was just before 1am when we
heard the sound of Alberto's car pull in. A much relieved Eva and almost
comatosed Harry were able to sleep in their own apartment.
There was no sign of either of them when we rose at about 10 this morning. I
know if that had been us, we would have slept late and not bothered going
much further than the local shops to recover from the day's trauma. The
Canadians, like the Australians and Americans in the Castle are gluttons for
punishment. They have friends arriving on 1st June who will stay until the
14th, then more arriving towards the end of their month's stay. Even though
they agree with us that the best place to view Florence is from the outside,
they are arranging visits for their guests, to the Uffizzi (with its 3 hour
wait to get in, 1 hour if you pre-book) and the Duomo (an hour and a half's
queue if you're lucky) for starters. They've invited us to dinner tomorrow night as thanks for our hospitality yesterday.
We're spending today packing and cleaning the apartment in preparation for
our departure on Wednesday morning. I finally managed to get MWNN to have an
old fashioned steam inhalation, boiling water in a bowl with tea tree oil,
head underneath a towel and much deep breathing, followed by a hot bath and
a nap. He's getting first hand experience of what I must do every day if I
am to keep my lungs healthy. My convalescence has proved successful and I am
now fully recovered from the chest infection I had just before we left
Apologies for not replying to any comments made on my May LJ entries. I
don't keep my hesadevil address on the laptop as comments take far too long
to download at 9kbps via the bluetooth mobile phone, exceptions are made in
emergencies, such as 'the tick incident' and news of Irishnoodles'
hospitalised husband. The nearest Internet point and cheap international
phone centre is a round trip of 20 miles so we haven't used it very often on
this trip. I'll try to get to comments made on the 'Italian adventure'
entries when I have access to a wi-fi connection, which may not be until
August depending on the state of the boat and our ability to cruise any
I'm really looking forward to our 'home on the water' and will
have few regrets at leaving Italy. It's been an experience I'm glad not to
have missed even though it wasn't all I'd hoped it would be. I'll treasure
forever looking down on Florence from the heights of Fiesole and sitting in
the little church in Cascia in front of Masaccio's triptych stroking the
little brown dog's beautiful head. That exceeded my expectations and I'm sad
not to have the opportunity to return and see it all again in better
weather. We're off to Figline to do some last minute shopping to see us through the next couple of days and make some phone calls to book an additional hotel stop on our way home to the boat.