After a well deserved sleep, we were on the coach again at 8am, headed to Fragonard, a French perfumery. Though our perfumery tour guide was barely audible, I still enjoyed learning about how they make perfume and how to distinguish between the different types. I may have even spoiled myself and bought a perfume as it was called Emilie. Definitely saving it for a special occasion!
Next stop the Leaning Tower of Pisa! It was some funny entertainment watching all the tourists take their touristy snaps at the Tower, but of course I had to join in!
We then drove into Florence, where we checked into our cabins, which I would describe as something out of an American summer camp. You definitely could not spend too much time in them without overheating, and I had no clue how I would survive sleeping in them. After a quick dinner and a few drinks, we headed into town to a karaoke bar called “Red Garter”, and thats when things started going downhill. And fast.
Red Garter is an American-style karaoke bar that all Contiki groups go to, probably because they sell cheap drinks, including cocktails by the jug. After buying a 2L jug of “Sex on the Beach” (my all time favourite cocktail) we settled into the chairs to watch everyone have a stab at karaoke.
I won’t go into too much detail about what happened that night, but to put it into perspective there were three ambulances called, two people in hospital and two people missing. It was definitely a very messy night!
And we paid for it the next morning. A 9am departure time, we were back on the coach headed into the city. I am not sure whether it was heat stroke, travel sickness, a good old hangover, or a mixture of all, but cocktails do not taste as good on the way up as they do on the way down. I was very ill and the heat was not helping.
Our first stop was Leonardo’s Leather shop, where, unfortunately, I didn’t have the energy to pay attention. We were also meant to do a walking tour of Florence that day, but a group of us decided to head back to the cabins instead as we couldn’t deal with walking around in the heat. Back at the cabins myself and a couple of others decided to have a nap. But due to it being so stinking hot in the cabins (seriously, where are the fans?!), we moved our pillows outside on the balconies.
After a good sleep, shower and a couple of drinks, we were back on the coach headed into the city. This night, the boys decided it was “G-string night”, so every boy in the group had bought a g-string from a vending machine from the accommodation (why, I must ask, is there a g-string vending machine to begin with), and were all wearing them for the night. First stop, the Piazzale Michelangelo for a group photo. The view was absolutely amazing, and I think our boys definitely entertained the crowd with their g-strings on show.
For dinner that night we had a three course meal, which included pasta and other Italian food, all washed down with wine and a shot of Limoncello. After dinner we headed over to Space Electronic Disco, a very well-known club in Florence. I am not sure if it was just because it was a Sunday night or because it was early on in the night but it was empty. So after a drink and a few dances we decided to go back to Red Garter. This proved more difficult then planned as there seemed to be no taxis at all in Florence.
Finally, we somehow managed to make our way to Red Garter, where we had more drinks and drunk and sang the night away. Getting back to the accommodation though, proved yet another problem. Though we were at a taxi rank there seemed to be no taxis at all, and those that did pass by didn’t seem to want a stop for drunk young adults.
So, though we had good times getting drunk and made lots of memories, I, unfortunately, didn’t really see a lot of Florence. But I guess that’s what happen on a Contiki tour when you’re around lots of other young adults just wanting to have fun. And as Contiki motto says, “NO REGRETS!”.
“No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep”.