Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Drunken Tourism

Subtitle: Liz, the city of Siena, and a single glass of wine.

On Sunday I was supposed to go to Siena but Cinque Terre pretty much wiped me out so I decided to go Monday after class. There was quite an ordeal trying to find the bus station and buy a ticket, but I eventually succeeded and boarded an express bus to Siena. Siena, the old rival of Florence, is a little city in the mountains to the south of Florence. The bus ride there was incredible. You know how in all those pictures of Tuscany, everything is very pretty and picturesque? It looks JUST like that in real life. Whodathunkit?

Things started to look a little less picturesque as we pulled into Siena because it started to POUR. Like, right when I needed to get off the bus. I took shelter under this little shelter thingie that was obviously intented to provide shade and shelter from light rain to people waiting for busses, but its creators had not given a thought to torrential summer storms. Oops.

More and more people were collecting under this overhanging and i was afraid they would push me out into the rain, so I headed for a little bar where i figured I could grab a coke or maybe- hey!- a glass of wine. As luck would have it the wine and the coke cost exactly the same, so I ordered a glass of white Chianti, which even I (the girl who almost never drinks) have found palatable in the past. But in the past I was not alone, in a strange town, with nothing to do but stare at the rain and avoid eye contact with the guys at the table next to mine. As the storm let up and I continued to do nothing but stare into space I wound up drinking my tiny, tiny glass of wine a lot faster than I might have otherwise. You know me- instantly drunk.

Ok, slightly intoxicated but more than I'm used to. You know how alcohol can sometimes make you make bad decisions? Well (ok this was a fine decision) I didn't have a map or a guidebook, but I knew the two things I was supposed to see, and I figured the best way to get there would be to follow the crowd. The bad decision part here was that I didn't bother to look at the street signs or try to remember which way I was going. No breadcrumbs to follow at all.

At the time I was also wearing all white, and my skirt had gotten pretty wet so I was pretty confident that my underwear was very, very visible (it was dark blue and stripey). But, yay chianti, I really didn't care. This was probably a good thing, because really, who wants to do tourism worrying about people seeing your underwear?

I saw the Campo, where they have their famous bareback horseraces every summer. Talked to myself a good bit there. Then as I was making my way toward the duomo I stumbled across a museum I'd seen advertized but had already decided not to go into-- the Torture Museum. Under the influence, going into the Torture Museum seemed like a perfectly good way to wait out the last few sprinkles that kept hitting me right through that holey straw hat. The torture museum was, um, gross, but I was feelin pretty good anyway.

From there i hit the cathedral. As you may have noticed I have a pretty sweet camera here, and it actually takes pretty good lowlight pictures provided that you hold it very, very still. Somehow I was able to take really clear photos, but I am a little worried that when i look at them sober they won't look as clear. (there are none right now because I forgot my cable).

The pastry is yummy but the pasta wasn't that great.

Yesterday I totally skipped class to go to this museum that's only open in the mornings, and it was totally worth it. Afterwards I found out that this other museum full of SWORDS that I have heard a lot about also closes early in the afternoon, so I caught the bus (it's north of town) and saw it. Pretty swords! My favorites were rapiers made in Venice with these gorgeous shiny baskets surrounding the hand. I'd seen some like them before at RenFaire but these looked much more graceful and elegant. Want.

That's about all. I will post probably just once more before I leave. That will be the one with the pictures of my apartment and school.


At 7/26/2006 8:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are quite the tourist Liz, can't wait to see lots of pictures. I got the post cards today very very nice.


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