Meet John and Cait. They have embarked on a travelling adventure, starting in England and ending up (hopefully) in China. Over the course of their journey they will come into contact with people speaking different languages, so to assist them during their travels, Atlas Translations has provided them with a 24/7 telephone interpreting account. We will be following their progress across Europe and Asia by posting a regular blog of updates.
Bologna is referred to as the city ‘Rosso’ because of the burnt terracotta colour of many of its great buildings, and the main streets are lined with arch-covered walkways and grand statues. After walking the city and spending a little time in the park under the loud bowing of what must have been hundreds of crickets, we found a bustling little street to eat some local food. John had a delicious ‘lasagna alla bolognaise’ and Cait had ‘tagliatelle’ with pork bolognaise ragu – so good with a little red wine and an espresso to finish! We wanted to ask our waiter for his opinion on the best things to do during our short stay in Bologna, but he spoke little English – so out came the phone, and we were soon conversing with the help our the telephone interpreting service! We’re just having one more coffee for breakfast as we’re updating this here, before off to Firenze! Ciao Bellas!
We spent 5 days in beautiful Florence. Our apartment was perfectly situated in the centre of Florence just steps from the centrepiece of the city; the Duomo cathedral. This meant we saw the cathedral first thing when we stepped out in the morning and last thing before we went to bed. Different colours, patterns and details seem to stand out depending on the time of day, and it was incredible to have it so close. We also walked up the 414 steps to the top of the bell tower which gave us a stunning panoramic view of the whole city.
One day we wandered down through the narrow streets to the Arno, going through the Signora Piazza which is home to many dramatic marble statues depicting scenes from Greek mythology; gods bashing centaurs, men wrestling and a fair few women struggling to escape. There is also a fantastic copy of the statue ‘David’. Past this piazza the Uffizi gallery is situated, and then you reach the famous Vecchio Bridge. There were swarms of tourists on this bridge but as we joined them we saw the reason why, all of the small jewellery stores are beautifully built with ornate shutters for the nights.
We took our first sleeper train in from Florence to Vienna which was actually quite a pleasant experience! We both slept well, (apart from the passport control at 05:00), and even got a cup of tea and breakfast in the morning. We arrived in Vienna at 08:30 and luckily were allowed into the hostel early so had the full day to explore the city.
We started at the Belvedere Palaces where there is a gallery displaying many works by Gustav Klimt including ‘The Kiss’. Just away from this area we walked through a meticulously maintained rose garden to the Rathaus. At the Rathaus we saw 2 chess champs taking on 15 separate players EACH in a sort of round robin affair – pretty spectacular for chess! There was also a film festival on which meant that the area had been transformed with music, bars and mini events. We had a tasty dinner in this place with its own microbrewery, and enjoyed a few crafty beers before taking the U-Bahn back to the hostel to prepare for an 08:30 departure to Zagreb!
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