Friday, April 4, 2014

Italy: Day 4

Where do I begin... day 4. It was a day of ups and downs. When we woke up at 830 it was pouring, we didn't see the weather report so this was a surprise to us. We fell back asleep until 10 and Al brought me breakfast in bed again. We took our time getting ready and I fell asleep again. We finally got out of the hotel at 12:30 and by that time the rain had stopped.

We took the back roads and headed south towards Siena. Around 2:00 we stopped at a small town parked. This wasn't a planned stop but we saw a fortified city on a hill and thought it would be fun to explore. The walk up was steep and there was just an over-grown stone path. We joked that it was as close to hiking as we will ever get.

The hike up paid off, the views were incredible. We took a lot of photos and walked around this tiny city on a hill. It was 2:30 by then and we were hungry for lunch. A few restaurants just started siesta, but we found one that was still open. I don't think we could have picked a better restaurant if we tried. The view was perfect overlooking the town below and the surrounding countryside. Lunch was the best food we had so far. I even got to try wild boar and grappa. I do not recommend the latter. Grappa is grapes that were dead when they were picked and put into a barrel for 5-10 years. It is basically wine that is 45% alcohol... it tastes like whiskey. But the wild boar carpaccio was good!

The rain started again as soon as we got to our car. We finished our drive to Siena, found a parking space outside the city walls and walked in. We should have bought a map before walking into the city... But we didn't think that far in advance.  After some wine and gelato in the main square we tried to find our car. Key word here is tried. We over estimated our navigation skills and ended up walking for 2 hours... bought a map.  Then were lost for another 30 minutes before giving up and sitting down for a drink.

We were much more successful after the break... which was a good thing because it was rainy dark and all the stores were closed.

After a few wrong turns and dinner at a rest stop McDonald's (mcdrive) and some more wrong turns. (This country doesnt have good road signs) we made it back to the hotel around midnight. .. 11.5 hours after we left.

I can't give Al enough credit for driving today! It was rainy, we got lost and Italian drivers are crazy... like batshit crazy. He has done an amazing job getting us from place to place unscathed.

By the numbers:
Km drove: 1100
Km walked: about 6... maybe?
Photos: 583 (estimate)
Wine: 5.5 bottles, 4 glasses
Pasta: 7
Pizza: 3
Cannoli: 1
Brushetta: 2
Fried Calimari: 1
Gelato: 2
New foods eaten: limoncello cuttlefish, wild boar, grappa