We have arrived into the warm, soft air of Bologna - what a change from London! Julia and I didn't fly out of Heathrow until 3 pm, which meant that we could take our time this morning eating breakfast, packing up, and making our long way on the tube to the airport. It was a relatively straightforward and easy trip, but it definitely took a while. It was over an hour on the tube, and it cost us a giant £3.10 which is significantly cheaper than the £100 we paid for the taxi over! (Then again, it depends on how much you care about lugging suitcases up and down flights of stairs in stagnant, underground tunnels. Wear extra deodorant.)

Julia was extremely pleased to discover that we were flying out of Terminal 5 because that meant we could eat at Giraffe - a favourite restaurant of hers. We have eaten there a handful of times when we have had connections in the past, so this caused a bit of squealing and bouncing. I must say though, we were both a tad disappointed with our experience. It was okay, but nothing spectacular. I guess this means that we no longer have to go out of our way to eat at Giraffe when we are in Heathrow! 

The flight was easy-peasy - British Airways is always good with great snacks and free drinks, even on short haul flights. No TV's (the horror!), but we had our iPads to occupy us and before we knew it we were landing in Bologna. After a cursory customs look at our passports, we grabbed our bags, hopped in a taxi, and were delivered to the door of our apartment. We have rented apartments all over the world, and this greeting took the cake. Our two hosts met us on the street outside 

palazzothe door and gave the most thorough walk-through I have ever experienced. Giorgio only spoke Italian, but he had a lady interpreter (whose name is escaping me!) who was super helpful. This woman was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, but now lives in Bologna. She has travelled the world, and believe it or not, her favourite place is Kamloops, BC! She said she still dreams about the colour of the grass in Kamloops. Funny. Apparently she rode a Harley Davidson motorcycle across North America in the 70s. Can you imagine??

Our apartment is gigantic, and way bigger than the two of us need. I have a giant master bedroom to myself, and Julia has the choice of two twin beds in the room next to me. We have two bathrooms, a giant living room, and a fully equipped kitchen with all of the spices and everything! I rented it knowing that it was too big, but the price was amazing (less than half the price of the hotel we just stayed at in London), and the location is perfect. So, here we are!

leaning towerJulia and I tried orienting ourselves before leaving the apartment in search of dinner - she found a place on TripAdvisor and we made that our destination. We found it pretty easily, and we discovered a few cool things along the way - like this 'Leaning Tower of Bologna'. Honestly, we haven't done any reading or research on anything in this area so I have no idea what we were looking at. There are lots of amazingly beautiful arches and walkways around us, and I assume that tomorrow we will discover more and perhaps even learn something about them! In the meantime, for this evening we were content to just eat a nice dinner (super cheap!!), have gelato, and get back to the apartment to relax before bed. 

tubThe Novotel we stayed at in London was great, but it only had a shower, and seeing this gorgeous tub in our apartment made me want a nice, hot soak. As I sat in the tub I looked up at the amazing wood all around me - this building we are in was built in 1551 and was once the family home of a very important family. During the Renaissance this family (the Bentivoglios) were responsible for giving the city its political autonomy. This place is GORGEOUS and is now broken into many apartments. I can only imagine how amazing this place was in its full glory.

There is so much history all around us, and I can't wait to experience it all. Julia may become very bored in the next few days - nothing gelato can't fix.  ;)

 Time for bed - I can already see that there will be much exploring tomorrow!


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