Departure & My Arrival in Florence

I know I’m really late on posting to the blog about my trip so far. I apologize. I knew I would be busy but man, I’ve been going nonstop since I first arrived in Florence!!

Before departing the States, I was informed by a professor that my flight had changed (we were originally on the same flight). Therefore I had planned around my new departure time of 6:05 pm instead of the original 3:50 pm time. On the morning of my departure day my mom decided to call the airlines to confirm the time and she was told there was no flight change, that it was still the 3:50 time. I of course had slept in that day thinking “Oh I’ve got time. My flight doesn’t leave until 6:05 in the evening”. Definitely NOT. When she got off the phone I jumped out of bed and got my things together in a hurry to make it to the airport on time in Houston!

I had only flown by myself once before coming to Florence, and had never been out of the country. I was a nervous wreck on the way to the airport thinking I would have no idea where to go or what to do on my own. Then stressing about arriving in Frankfurt, Germany was another mess in my brain. After all, I had an 8 and a half layover time in Frankfurt…. ALONE. All I kept picturing was this clueless American who has never been out of the U.S., arriving in one of the busiest airports in the world all alone, and not knowing how to navigate or even speak German.

I flew with Lufthansa Airlines. I was recommended by a professor to fly with them. Let me just say, they are amazing! My flight was such a wonderful and positive experience. This plane was massive. I felt as if I was in a flying hotel. It was double-decker and had three columns of seats instead of your traditional two columns with one very narrow walkway. All of the airline stuartists were very friendly and helpful. They served us dinner as well as breakfast two hours before landing in Frankfurt. I watched movies the entire time. The only thing I didn’t really like was the time change (which I am still not used to even after being in Florence for a week). It felt like one minute it was daylight outside then the next it was dark going into the early morning. Once I arrived in Frankfurt I was trying to figure out what to do for 8.5 hours. I took my camera bag to a storage facility so I could lessen my chance of losing it or having it stolen. I then went to the info desk where I was welcomed by a sweet German woman listing all kinds of things to do in Frankfurt during my short visit. She insisted that I visit one of their art exhibits but I started thinking (What if I get lost and can’t find my way back to the airport? Or don’t have enough time to make it back before my flight?). My mind quickly changed and I decided to just stay at the airport. All of the stores in Frankfurt were closed anyway since it was Sunday. After a little leisure time walking around exploring, I stumbled upon a chocolate shop owned by the sweetest lady I encountered in Frankfurt. She had all kinds of suggestions for me and even gave me some of her favorites. I got the cutest truffles in all shapes in sizes. The cappuccino flavor is in the shape of a tiny coffee mug (: I will definitely be stopping there again on my way back to the States.

As I was running out of things to do and places to go I just decided to nap on a series of chairs near my departure gate since I didn’t sleep one bit on the plane. I figured I would need it before arriving in Florence, which was another short flight of an hour and a half. Once arriving in the Florence airport (smallest airport I’ve ever seen) we were guided to baggage claim where I ran into another Texas State student studying abroad here, but instead of studying art she is studying the Italian language. I was relieved by her company. We were then greeted by one of the CAPA coordinators, Lorenzo. He saw my two large suitcases and asked how long I was staying. I told him a month and he jokingly asked “You mean two months?” LOL! I know, I overpack literally everywhere I go! We were then guided to a taxi and sent on our ways to our apartments.

I was the first stop at Via della Robbia, 20. This is where I was introduced to two of my three roommates, Martha and Lynn. They had been at the apartment all day waiting on me and my other roommate Cat, who didn’t arrive until the next day. They showed me around the apartment (which is beautiful and spacious)! It definitely exceeded my expectations because I had read and was told how small most of the living spaces are in Florence. We have two bedrooms with two beds in each, one full bathroom, one half bathroom, kitchen, large living room, and a HUGE terrace! I think we might have the biggest terrace in the entire apartment complex! (:

We decided to go out and look for a place to eat dinner. But again, it was Sunday. So we walked around a few streets in our neighborhood and familiarizing ourselves with the place we would be spending the next month in. For dinner we all made spaghetti with the food that was provided for us in a welcome basket in our apartment. What better meal to fix when first arriving in Italy, right?

Below are pictures from the time of arriving the airport to arriving at my apartment. Of course I had to slip a selfie — which was before finding out I would no longer have a window seat 🙁

More stories and pictures to come!

-Preslie

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