Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Siena (day 2), Isola de Giglio (day 1 and 2), Siena (day 3 and 4)

Okay, I was waiting to update till i could upload pics, but im back at the same computer (free internet courtesy of the university of sienna, hehe) and so no piccies just yet.. ill edit the posts and add the pics later.
After the bike ride I stayed chilling with the two guys who live in the flat we were staying at in Sienna. I looked around a bit, and made the guys empanadas because the american (Jake) wanted anything that wasnt italian, having eating nothing but pasta since hed been here. Marco (the Sicilian) even asked for the recipe.. mwahaha, spreading the argentinian cuisine! Take that!
The next day Jake and I woke up at the crack of dawn to get all the camping stuff together and head to the Isola de Giglio.. Marco was meeting us later on. After a taxi, a train, a bus, a boat, a bus and some walking, we made it to the island, which is a national park, and thus has only one permissible camp site (more on this in a sec).
Having arrived lugging a tent and other crap, we dropped everything and chilled on the beach, without so much as securing a place to sleep for the night.. we figured we'd find something later (you can so see where this is going). Jake bought a snorkle so I spent an hour looking under the water at the most amazing fish Ive ever seen. All the colours of the rainbow, massive, and all around me.. it was incredible. I havent snorkled since i was a kid, so i dont remember ever seeing anything as awesome as that. There were tons of different kinds of fish, and ameoba, and lord knows what else. The water was crystal clear and tepid, so you could see everything. Just soo incredible, I wish I could have taken pictures. That got me so excited for when I learn to scubadive (wherever that may be, mallorca, africa, thailand or australia!).
Anyways.. it was getting late so we figured we'd hunt for somewhere to sleep, but first, a shower, since the water was so salty that after drying off you could see the salt crystals on our skin. Problem: the shower on the beach was cold, cost 50 cents for 30 seconds, and you werent allowed to use soap!
So i did the rinse off and snuck into the bathroom of a restaurant to wash my hair in the sink.. but.. the blasted thing wouldnt drain, so i was getting nowhere fast, and covered in a lot of soap.

In the meantime, jake had started talking to these two couples on vacation, and asking them where we could camp that the police wouldnt find us (because its a 200 euro fine if you camp anywhere on the island that isnt the camp site, and by that time the campsite was full and had no spaces for us). These people were so amazingly nice that they let us go back to their apartment and use their shower, having seen my soapcovered mess.
So finally, a decent shower.
The sun was starting to set and we were still chatting with the two couples, so Jake and I decided to get a move on. We heard that up in the hills the police rarely look, so we went trailblazing. But there was no clear trail, and we knew we wouldnt be able to do it in the dark after sunset, and we still had to meet marco in the town center... so.. nix on that plan!

It was getting late when we met marco, so we all split up and wandered looking for somewhere to kip for the night. Marco found some flat rocks near a lighthouse, so we ended up sleeping under the stars with the sound of the waves.
Early wakeup, and by 9am we were already on the beach going for a swim. This time we called the campsite in advance and went there early, pitched the tent, and went for a swim. Met some more cool people on the tents next to us, and got bitten by lots and lots and lots of mosquitos.
We stayed on the island a total of two nights, it was beautiful, but the camping experience wasnt so fun, and the tent was like a sauna with the two boys and me in it. ick.
Back to Siena we arrived pretty late at night. The next day (yesterday) I woke up and saw the sights of siena, its a beautiful city, I can understand why Jake chose to live here out of all the italian cities.. its got a lot of charm. Laura and the three boys arrived from their trip into tuscany, so I cooked Pollo a La Hungara for all 7 of us (those of you who have tasted my cooking, thats the hungarian chicken in paprika with the little dumplings I make). ((Mom, youll love this, didnt have a spetzel maker so tried doing it with a spoon, failed miserably, then ended up just putting more milk till it was liquidy and dropping little drops in.. i dont know how you managed before the spetzel maker came into your life.))
Anyway, eventually made it to bed, and woke up today to wander the market, which is on every wednesday in the big piazza. God I hate lots of pushy italian women trying to knock me down! It was like being in a zoo.. I had to get out of there fast, even though i was searching for a white skirt to replace the one that went missing (reference the florence incident)
Tomorrow I leave pretty early, have to bus to florence, transfer to bologna and take the train to ancona from there, then catch the boat to Patras (greece), and be in Athens by around 5pm.. complicated, wish me luck!


At 5:32 am, Anonymous Nat Turner said...

good luck hun :)
keep the stories coming, they're getting me through studying (go vicarious experience)!

At 6:07 am, Anonymous Mom said...

I thought I showed you how to make the Spetzles by hand. anyways it doesn't matter now. I make little stripes on the cutting board then cut little dumpling and toss it to the boiling water

At 10:52 pm, Anonymous Rich Meadows said...

oh the joys of travelling in places you dont know, and arent you the cheekey monkey - washing your hair in the restaurant toilets! :)

You will be happy to know i am entering the DSLR era - getting a 350D tomorrow ... with a sigma 105mm macro of course ;P

At 7:02 am, Anonymous nat turner said...

and hey, why no more updates!!! us in more boring parts of the world need to hear your stories!!


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