Tuesday, October 10th, 2006
The plan today was to see the Uffizi museum and the Jardins de Boboli, then take a night train to Geneva Switzerland. We had walked by both places earlier in the week and written them off as too expensive (€9.50 for the Uffizi and €8.00 for Jardins do Boboli [including several minor museums]), but we decided to suck-it-up for the sake of getting cultured.
The line-up for the Uffizi was pretty daunting. As soon as you get in line there is a little electronic sign giving you the approximate waiting time: 1 hour minimum, 2 hour maximum. Luckily we met a fellow Canuck in line, so we were able to pass the time a little easier. A linguistics major from Saskatchewan (whose name we can´t remember). Despite our guide book saying most places are safe for lone female travellers, she was only the second one we had encountered. Inside the Uffizi we found ourselves in what was probably the second best museum of the trip (the Louvre is the obvious first). It had a bunch of sculpture and painting (some restored, some not). A pretty nice temporary exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci that went into some explanations of why his work was interesting (everyone knows he´s talented, but it was cool to find out why he was memorable). Somewhere along the way we lost our Saskatchewan sister.
The Jardins de Boboli are best described as "big and beautiful". Lots of fountains, steps and sculpture. At the highest point you get a 360º panoramic view of Florence. We skipped the Porcelain Museum portion of our ticket, but checked out the Costume Museum and Art Museum. The costumes were pretty traditionally, but nice to look at. The art portion was mostly inlays (finely carved stones pieced together like a puzzle to form pictures -- a much more delicate and time consuming form of mosaic).
At the end of the day we discovered there was no space on the train to Geneva so we had to stay another day in Florence (NOTE: this was super annoying because we had paid €10 to store our bags at the train station for the day).
P.S. We also bought souvenirs for ourselves in Florence: an over the shoulder bag for Tyler that is named "Victoria" and a brown, floppy hat for Jenny (she´s reliving her "Blossom" days)