There was a train strike going on, and I was unable to buy a ticket for an overnight train from Paris to Florence. Instead, I bought a bus ticket and boarded the Flix bus that left Paris Bercy Seine at 7:00 p.m. and scheduled to arrive at The Florence Gate the following day around lunch time. I had a window seat on the 2nd row of the bus, and my seatmate talked on the phone “en français” until about 10:00 p.m. and then she took a nap. The first bus stop was in Lyon, France where my seatmate got out and more passengers got on the bus. These passengers were waiting on the side of the road at night for the Flix bus to arrive. Once we got back on the road I did my best to fall asleep.
In the middle of the night, I woke up and saw magnificent views of mountains and realized the bus was driving through the Swiss Alps! Too bad the bus didn’t stop to pick up passengers along this stretch of road. The next time I woke up was at 5:00 a.m. when the bus arrived in Turin, Italy to drop off and pick-up passengers. A few minutes later we stopped at Sarni to pick up snacks and use the toilets. We arrived in Bologna, Italy around 9:00 a.m. for another quick stop. In between pick up locations were miles of beautiful Italian countryside.
So very thankful that after 17 hours, the Flix bus finally arrived at The Florence Gate in Scandicci at lunch time. I went inside the “Caffetteria” and enjoyed Orzo Primavera, Saltimbocca di Maiale, and a side dish that I can’t remember. After savoring my lunch, I freshened up and got my things ready to get on the Villa Costanza tram to Firenze S M N station. Once I arrived at the station I walked outside Firenze S M N to find someone to point me in the direction of my lodging – Hostel Gallo D’Oro where I stayed for two nights.
En route to the hostel, I got lost. It was very hot! and dragging my little carry-on and backpack around the streets of Florence made me feel miserable. I could’ve taken a taxi but didn’t, I should’ve asked for directions inside the Firenze S M N train station but didn’t. Must be due to sleep deprivation! Thankfully, I walked inside one of the buildings and spoke to a handsome American living in Florence and he was able to instruct me to get back inside the train station and find the local bus that will take me to the street stop where my hostel is located. Once I found the right bus, I found the street to Hostel Gallo D’Oro. Thank the Lord! Hallelujah!!
Once I arrived at the hostel around 4:00 p.m. I indulged on the late afternoon snack they had available while waiting to get checked in. When I got my key and found my room, I just wanted to shower, do laundry and relax for the rest of the evening. It was so very nice to be in a room that was clean and cold. Here’s the view from the terrace of the 4-bed all female dorm room where I rested and slept after a very long day of travel.
If no Sim Card to help with directions, go to Tourist kiosk of Train Station and ask for directions