Arrival in Florence!

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Saturday, October 12, 2013

After 2 long weeks of traveling throughout France and Germany, we finally made it to my new home: Florence, Italy!  I woke up from napping on the bus to many unfamiliar sights and realized there was no way we were in the beautifully green town of Garmisch anymore.  I obviously had never been to Italy so I did not know quite what to expect but I have to admit, it was definitely not the things I saw on that drive in.  Florence has much more graffiti than I ever would have expected. Call it homesickness, fatigue, or hunger, I was not overly stoked on my first view of what would become my home for the next 3 months.  
Luckily, however, my first week in Florence was one of pure comfort.  After arriving on Wednesday, September 19, I spent only two days in Florence before 2 of my closest friends from home came to visit!  Isabella and Alex, who are studying abroad in Rome this semester, arrived to Florence Saturday morning and it was so nice to spend the weekend with friendly faces from home.  We spent the first day eating gelato and walking around, and we ended the night at a bar crawl in the center of Florence. The following day we went exploring in areas of Florence I didn't even know existed.  We hiked up all of these back roads and ended up at the entrance to the Boboli Gardens, where we were prompted to pay 10 euros to get in.  Being cheap and tired, we decided to pass and just hike back down, cross the Ponte Vecchio, buy some wine and drink it on the balcony of my pensione (classic night here in Florence).  However, now after hearing about how beautiful the Boboli Gardens supposedly are, I am determined to make it there one of these days. 
When one piece of home left, it was only a couple days before another arrived.  On just my fifth day in Florence, my boyfriend Adam came to visit and words cannot even express how great it was to see him. He had already been in Israel for a month and the transition from seeing him all the time to not at all was definitely a shock for me.  A long distance relationship takes work, but the moment I saw him standing at the Duomo after a long month of no face to face contact just reassured that the difficulties we will encounter are worth it.  We spent 3 days in Florence and I was over the moon. My favorite moments were the simplest ones; sitting on the bridge next to the Ponte Vecchio, sleeping in and skipping class (sorry mom), and walking hand in hand in the streets of Florence.  He helped me feel comfortable in a completely unfamiliar city and though I definitely leaned on both his and my other friends' visits, it felt nice to be able to show MY new city to them.  Although of course by the end of the week Adam knew his way around Florence 10x better than I did... My horrible sense of direction fails yet again! 
Thursday night we packed our bags and headed to the train station for our next great adventure... Oktoberfest!
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