summer vacation in Tuscany

This blog has been quiet for nearly a month because I was busy being abroad on my summer vacation. Started out in sunny Nijmegen in The Netherlands:

They still had flags hanging everywhere from the Four Days Marches that had finished two days before my arrival:

After a few days in Nijmegen with Matthijs, we grabbed our suitcases and met up with a group of others to fly to Italy, where we stayed in San Gimignano for two weeks. Of course the trip happened to be scheduled on the two hottest weeks Italy has seen in a very long time, so even locals had trouble with adapting to the extreme temperatures we had. Being a pale office worker from Estonia who had barely seen any sun this summer, it only took me a few days to get a lovely sun allergy that covered my entire body in red and very itchy spots. Nevertheless, San Gimignano looked lovely:

We gathered on that square nearly every evening to buy gelato from a lovely tiny shop and sit on the stairs around the well, chatting and enjoying the atmosphere. I took a few walks alone to see the town a bit more and admire the medieval buildings and sloped streets.

Of course there were a lot of hills and mountains all around, since we were in Tuscany. Sunsets were beautiful and rather colourful. Surprisingly early for me as well, since I’m used to the light nights of northern countries. Seeing the sun go down at around 8pm was very strange for me and it was even stranger to walk around in complete darkness a few hours later. It never gets that dark during summertime in Estonia, unless you’re in the middle of a very thick forest. Obviously I do not have a photo of how dark it was, so have a sunset instead:

We also had two short daytrips to Siena and Florence. Both trips were too short to see many things, so we just walked around with Matthijs, choosing beautiful churches and viewpoints over shopping. Siena seemed a bit surreal to me, especially one view over the town:

For some reason I could not believe I was entirely awake, because this view reminded me too much of several computer games I had played years before. It made me feel like any moment some guy would appear on the rooftops, jumping from one to another and gathering items that he would stuff in his magical backpack that can fit anything from an apple to a massive battle axe or perhaps a chair.

The trip to Florence was a tiny bit longer than the one to Siena, but it was still not enough to see even half the things we had planned. This was partly due to the insanely hot and damp weather (I guess it was around 38 degrees… in shade) and the fact that I had to lurk from one shadow to another like a vampire to prevent my sun allergy from taking a very sharp turn to the worse. Plus we also ended up on a wrong hill when trying to find a viewpoint, so we climbed two hills instead of one. I felt rather dead when we finally reached our destination, but I still managed to capture the nice view we had from there:

I will definitely have to return to Tuscany some other time to see it properly. Perhaps during springtime when heat levels are not that insane and it is possible to walk around without feeling like you are getting roasted. Didn’t see enough of that beautiful area in two weeks.

After relaxing in Nijmegen for some days after Italy, I’m back in Estonia and preparing for the move. I have already applied for a new ID-card and passport and started sorting things I want to take with me or leave behind or throw away, but there is still a lot to do. Also, there are a lot of friends I still want to see before flying away for that long. I just have to hope they will find time in their busy schedules. Modern life is difficult sometimes, nobody has time for anything.