I don't have an awful lot to write about today (though some of you will wonder what's the difference between today and every other day that I blog), so I thought I'd rummage through my old travel diaries and pick out what happened on the 5th of May, 1994 (not quite the last time I did anything exciting).
On this day I arrived in Florence. I'd nearly missed the train getting there, because it'd arrived at a different platform than expected, and left earlier than expected. The youth hostel was really pretty, like the one in Verona - it had carrara ceilings and ceiling frescoes, and looked really grand.
My first touristy stop was the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge apparently once full of jewellers' shops; now it's full of souvenir stands. Then, while I was wandering about looking for the Thomas Cook office and a place to process my 14 rolls of film (I was about five months into my travels by then), I bumped into a guy whom I'd met on the bus to the hostel. Once a mid-Westerner and now a Seattlelite, Mike was in the midst of a Kurt Cobain makeover (without the Prozac, the rock chick girlfriend, and the record deal). He seemed really interesting because he played in a band back home, made his own movies and shared my love of Utimate (some call it frisbee football). We followed each other around the green-, pink- and white-striped Duomo, shared calzone and talked in the freezing cold hostel garden until curfew at 11pm.
It was in Florence that I was "caught short" and went into a cafe solely to use its customer toilet. Being an honest sort of person, I made the effort of buying and imbibing an expresso first so I'd qualify as a legitimate customer. Having added dangerously to my already full-capacity bladder levels, not to mention the diuretic effect of the caffeine, I was not at all pleased to discover that this cafe had no toilets.