Monday, March 25, 2013

It's all uphill around there: Siena, Italy

don’t go for a stroll in Siena:
you’ll just have to go for a hike.
everything is uphill in Siena,
so don’t even think of your bike.
arriving by train in Siena,
you can't see much of the town
because all’s uphill in Siena
with an escalator for “down”!

View from the "down" escalator.

Photos by Richard Schear, Italy, 2013
I still have my husband on my List of People to Forgive Some Day. This time he made the list along with his hero Rick Steves, the travel author.
We visited Florence, Italy, when the Carnival Destiny stopped at the port of Livorno enroute to Venice last month. To see more of Tuscany, we decided to visit another Tuscan town, Siena, during our train trip after the cruise, because Rick Steves had praised its beautiful piazza.
We left the Siena train station, pulling our luggage and looking at our map. "We don't need a taxi," said Dick, "it's just a few blocks to the right, then a left turn, and another few blocks to the hotel. We can walk."
More than an hour later, red-faced, exhausted, in pain and dripping with perspiration, I was still climbing the mountain on which the city is built. I was no longer muttering to myself, I was cussing right out loud.
When we finally arrived, Dick wasn't even out of breath. "Hey, I didn't know it would all be uphill."
The desk clerk, surprised, asked us why we hadn't used the escalator that climbs the hill from the train station to a point near the hotel.
the escalator
that climbs the hill
from the train station
to the blankety-blank hotel
"Rick Steves didn't mention an escalator," said Dick, who never did show me the part of the book where it isn't mentioned. After depositing me, listless and witless, in our hotel room, he went to explore the city, coming back to say the piazza lived up to its reputation. I wouldn't know. I didn't see it.

Posted for Open Link Monday at the
Imaginary Garden with Real Toads


Cezar and Léia said...

ohmygod, what a story...Thanks for the hint about the climb in Siena, I imagine it was an adventure day indeed!After a deep breath you finally can enjoy the wonderful view.This city is adorable and your pictures are wonderful!

kaykuala said...

Very interesting Kay! Reminds me of those days gone by when the family were in 'Frisco. The beauty of the cable cars there with their gravity driven types left lingering memories! Nicely!


anthonynorth said...

Interesting words and great pics. Enjoyed the post.

Marian said...

blankety-blank hill! blankety-blank husbands, for that matter!
i LOVE this story and this post, Kay. love it.

Wanda Psycho said...

My knees would hate it, but it sure is beautiful.

Linda H. said...

My husband and I saw a slide show of Tuscany about 2 weeks ago and they had beautiful pics of Siena and the surrounding area.

Sorry your trip was blankety-blank.
But it gave you a great blog post.

Kim Nelson said...

What an amusement! I have been so challenged in foreign cities, too. Blisters and rashes and bad attitudes. thank goodness a cool bath and shared bottle of wine remedy nearly all ills! :-)

Leslie: said...

Oh poor you! When I was there, we only had to walk a few blocks through the shops to find the piazza and it was quite nice. Not all that splendid, but I did enjoy a bit of shopping nearby. Don't kick yourself about missing it - just look at the pictures and enjoy's a lot less exhausting. lol

McGuffy Ann said...

What an interesting piece and pictures!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Jeez! Those two are gonna' be the death of you Kay. An escalator up and a walk down would be ideal though. (There's a mountain thing near Tucson Arizona that takes you up on a tram and then you can walk down all the way if you want or jump on the tram for part of it. That's ideal!) (I'm not trying to compare Tucson to Siena~ just saying the tram or escalator would have been nice for you.)

Mixi said...

The best thing about climbing uphill is knowing that when you return, it's downhill all the way :) Although the escalator tip was sorely (no pun intended) needed before the tortuous climb, right!

Jinksy said...

A real Pilgrim's Progress report! LOL

Margaret said...

Oh my. I am so sorry! ... the hills do make for great photography!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I'm so sorry! That is so sad!

Powell River Books said...

I can't imagine you listless and especially witless. Travel guides are good, but not perfect. - Margy

Jim said...

Hey Kay ~~ I take it then, that Dick took all of these wonderful pictures. I am sorry that you couldn't negotiate the hill.

We drove up and luckily found a parking place. My foot had been killing me on that trip and so I used my handicap sticker.

Kay said...

I hate hills and I hate steps. Dick reminded me of Art there. We do have lovely memories of Sienna though. It's such a beautiful town. I love your photos!