Published: October 23rd 2011October 21st 2011
Well since the local trains were on strike and I couldnt get out to Siena I decided to do the taste of Tuscany tour with my friends.
The tour was through Plus Hostel ( Def the best Hostel in Florence I think) and we left about 10 am in a small bus with about 10 people. We first stopped at a authentic Tuscan farm in the Chianti Classico region where we had a huge brunch with platters of different meats, cheeses, olive oils, wine (red and white) and of course you cant forget the bread. I think four of split a pitcher of amazing amber color wine. What more could you ask for? The olive oil was extra virgin and so thick and tasty. They had three types of flavor; garlic, truffle, and regular. MMMMMMMM.
2nd stop we went to a family run winery which did both olive oil and wines. I learned the difference between, extra virgin (first pressed) virgin, (second press) and regular (third press, which is usually used for just cooking). That information alone made the trip worth it cause I have always wondered what the difference was.
For the wine side of the tour we were shown how they grow the vines in a L shape for a better quality grape, where they put them after they pick'em so they are skinned. Where they store them and where they bottled them. I have never done a wine tasting tour so all of this was new information to me. After the tour we did the wine tasting part where we got to try a two different types, One of the expensive bottles and one cheap on. Now since were at the actual winery an expense bottle was still cheap for only 25 euros. Back home this Chianti bottle would go for about 40 euros and so of course I could not pass up a chance to buy some good wine.
The third spot was Monteriggioni, a 13th century medieval town. This was lame. Yeah it was cool for 10 minutes since it was old but other then that there just wasn't much to it. I rather have gone to Montepulciano where New Moon (Twilight series) was partly shot. Some of the downsides of taking tours but the overall tour was fun and educational. I liked wine before this tour but I now have a more appreciation on how wine is made. I once asked a wise man what his favorite wine was and he told me, " Not chicken again."
When I got back to the Hostel I had to say goodbye to my Canadian friends and get to another Hostel in Florence since The Plus Hostel was booked and could only get one night there.
This other Hostel. FLORENCE YOUTH HOSTEL had a low rating and I was scared to see where and how it was. The hostel was actually in a great location, right next to the Uffizi musuem, plaza with the replica of David, and the Florence Domo. Nice rooms and I got the bottom bunk. Huge DOWNSIDE... lock out between 10 am to 2 pm. Some people maybe thinking what and why is there a lock out. Well its stupid... you are not allowed to be in the Hostel between these times so that they clean. I have been in quite a few hostels and they clean with out a lock out. The staff were pretty cold when you talked to them also. Now I cant complain because check out time for me was ten anyways so I had to be up and out but they told me that they would only hold my bags till 2 pm which I have never hear of a time limit in all the hostels I have stayed at. What if I was catching a night train... Oh sorry that's the rules and have to leave with your bags. This happened to one of the guys the day i checked in. But again those rules didn't really effect me to much since I was going be up at 10 am and spending a half day in Florence tomorrow so I would pick up my bags by 2 anyways. Just had to bitch in my head because its a shame that it could be such a great hostel. (And Im writing this after some shit happen the next day which Ill get too)
So moving on... I check in and Im not feeling to good. I think Im tired and my throat felt like it had a knot so I wasnt in the mood to go out at all except to get some food. As soon as I walk out the door BOOM Chinese food. I knew some Chinese tea and soup would be perfect. And IT WAS. I actually felt a million times better so I just went for a small walk around the Piazza and try to get some night shots. Been trying to play with my camera some more to see what all I can manually control to make cooler shots.
Finally found a place to get socks since my feet were still cold but it was close till the morning so that was on my to do list.
Got back to the hostel and just crashed since I had a lot to do in the morning before I get kicked out.