Sunday June 26, 2011
Monday June 27, 2011
Driving into Turin we were directed through a pretty ugly area but thankfully it wasn't where we were staying. Mark did not like the hotel we were in and I agreed with him. We did change rooms. They were just very different and at least the one we got was a lot bigger then the first one. The first one felt like a prison cell. When Phil arrived on Monday he said the same thing. Strange thing we found out about the air in the hotel. They can't run the air conditioning all day. It turns off around 4am and then back on at 4pm in the hotel. They said the city couldn't handle that. Hotel was just plain and was a recommendation from a secretary at the office they had an appointment with on Tuesday.
We walked around a little bit and stopped to have a nice glass of cold beer. It was very hot and humid in Italy, kinda felt like Florida to me. We had a great dinner Sunday night and actually went to the same place again Monday night with Phil when he got into town. Pizza!!!!!! You know we like our pizza. When Phil arrived Mark and I were sitting next door at an outside cafe having some Italian beer. They put some nice treats on the table for us. After Phil checked in he joined us. While we were sitting there a group of protesters went by.
So anyway, back to Monday morning, I did some research on the internet and we went to a place called The Palazzo ? The royal palace is there and a few other museums along with some shopping. Well the museums were not open. We did have a lovely lunch. I did some shopping although many stores were closed. (they close for lunch in Italy, it's a big deal) I ended up getting a cute wallet for myself and I bought a scarf! Here is a funny side note, I bought two scarfs to take with me on vacation, not even knowing that they wear them everywhere, but I never brought them with thinking it was silly. Turin is the headquarters for the Fiat and the buildings were beautiful. The Shroud of Turin is there and I would have loved to have gone to see it but it is not available for viewing. While we were there they were setting up for the 150th Anniversary of the Unification of Italy.
Loved the brickwork on this building.
So Mark and Phil went to their appointment and then picked me up at the hotel afterwards. Mark had Phil drive, he had enough of the driving. So we headed to the airport. They dropped me off with the luggage and then went to return the rental car. The airport was set up different then the airports in the US. Nothing wrong with them they just seem to take you through in a different way. Often after you get your boarding pass you go to a general area and can't go to the gate until boarding time. We finally got our boarding passes, had something to eat and then waited for our flight. I did a little bit of shopping. Just bought some Italian chocolates for the kids. My children are 1/4 Italian and I had gotten them a few things from Italy.
The weirdest thing was that I was not able to find any t-shirt there. Not even at the airport. Even though I wasn't able to get my stamp of Italy driving into the country they did stamp my passport when I left. (very faint stamp) So we were on the plane and it was delayed.
In order to keep their spot we had to go out and wait on the runway for over an hour. That is never fun. We were flying back to London, this time Gatwick so I got another stamp! I was going through one of the magazines where they sell stuff and Mark didn't realize that you could actually shop on the plane. OH YES YOU CAN AND I DID. I found two things I wanted. I want one of those charm bracelets by Pandora and they had one with two really cute charms. Paris & an airplane. The other was a really cute pink watch and I decided on the watch. I told Mark he can buy me the charm bracelet the next time he flies out that way!
Italy was very different. I would love to see other cities in Italy. We thought it was difficult in some areas to communicate in Paris but Italy was definitely harder. We were a bit upset with all the graffiti we saw, especially on places that are landmarks. We didn't see any of that in London or Paris. I think the drive was definitely worth it, seeing the countryside was really awesome. I forgot to tell you that one thing we were impressed with on our drive is that there are rest areas very often. I guess that's because they don't want people peeing on the side of the road like our taxi driver in Paris! We have so few here in California and at our age we like to pee often. There were a few that we stopped at that were just places you pee standing up. I didn't dare do that! Also there were over 300 channels on the TV and not one of them was in English. We never found CNN either.
Forgot to tell you about the woman who came up to us while we were at the cafe for lunch. This is not her but she looks pretty close to her. Apparently it is common to see little old grandma types begging for money. She was holding her rosary and blessing people. Mark gave her 1 euro and she blessed us.