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Week 3

Greetings again from Florence!

This week I headed off to Salzburg, Austria for a 3-day weekend (well, attempted to.) My boyfriend had studied there for a whole semester and hasn’t stop raving about it since he came home a year ago. I was so excited to see the home of The Sound of Music and roam the city all by myself!

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. A few days before my trip, I got an email from the bus company telling me that the bus pick-up location had changed from a 10-minute walk from my apartment, to a twenty-minute drive. I arrived at the location at 10:30p.m., forty-five minute before I was supposed to leave. The train station was completely shut down and there wasn’t a soul in sight. I did a lap around the building and couldn’t find a bus anywhere. Soon enough, I started panicking and tried to get my phone to work so I could call the AIFS emergency line. Of course, my phone wasn’t working and I had no Wi-Fi. I eventually ran into some locals that spoke a little bit of English and they graciously helped me get a taxi home.

It was a scary experience. I had no idea where I was and had no way of contacting anyone. But the lesson here is A) if you are going anywhere alone, makes sure you have a backup plan ALWAYs and B) don’t be afraid to ask locals for help. They will almost always be more than willing to help you out. Overall, slightly terrifying but still a good learning experience!

So because I didn’t get to go on my trip, I had the whole weekend and apartment to myself. Sure, I was disappointed but hey, I was still in Florence so it could have been worse! Being alone for 3 days may sound lonely, but honestly it was great to have a little bit of Holly-time, especially since I live with 9 other eighteen to twenty-one year old women. I finished 2 of my twelve-page papers that I had been pushing off, and still had time to explore the city. On Sunday, I walked out of my apartment and simply wandered. I didn’t have a specific destination in mind, but just naturally followed various paths through the city, learning the streets and letting myself get lost in Florence’s history and beauty. I found a ton of cute little shops along my journey that I never would have found if I had followed the beaten path. I even picked-up a few gifts for family and friends back home.

I can’t believe that I am already half way done with the program. I would love to be able to spend more time here to not only explore more of Florence and Italy, but all of Europe. I guess that’ll have to wait till next time, but in the meantime I’m taking in every second that I have in this beautiful city!