25 March 2011

Quick stop in Siena [Italy]

I arrived in Siena about midday, stopped in at the information centre to confirm my investigations; that there was only one hostel in the city. I was correct. And it was nowhere near the city centre. The buses ran every 30 minutes, and took about 15 minutes to get to the hostel. But it was also only 30 minutes walk. So I threw on my backpack and headed off. I might have reconsidered walking if I knew the hostel was on top of a hill!

When I got to the hostel I found a sign hanging on the door 'Open at 3:30pm'. What the ..? What am I meant to do for three hours. Checked for wifi, negitive. So I did all you can do in those situations, found the McDonalds located 50m down the road, chilled out and read my book.

I checked back at 2pm and thankfully someone was there. I can say without doubt that this is one of the worst value for money hostels I have ever stayed in. In a few words: very basic and expesive. The room was literally just two beds. The shared bathrooms - smelled, half of the doors for the toilets were broken, there were no doors to the showers (just a shower curtain), basically, they were crap. Internet? Negitive. No kitchen or even any communal area. And the cost? €20. More than I have paid at any hostel so far. It did include breakfast, so I thought OK, maybe the breakfast will be amazing?

I had a shower and sorted myself out, then went into Siena and met up with Petra from Couch Surfing. She is a German girl living in Siena for a few weeks studying to be a librarian. I can say without doubt - she is the most interesting librarian I have ever met! So we wandered around the small city centre, checked out the churches, and just took in the cool little city. Siena is a beautiful place - being one of the most well preserved mid-evil cities. There is a huge central square where people just sit in the sun and chill out. We were there just as the sun was setting - it was really nice. There is also a famous horse race that goes on right in the central square called the Palio. Obviously it was not on when I was there, but the photos I saw look freakin' cool.

After a quick bite to eat I waved goodbye to Petra and Siena and made the 40 minute treck back to the cell block that was my hostel room. That evening I just relaxed - I was exhausted after so much walking!

This morning I went down to breakfast hoping for a big plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, toast... What I got was bread and apricot jam. Seriously, that was it. Don't like bread or apricots? Too bad. They did not even have any cerial. It is quite sad because Siena is a cool place, but there is just no decent budget accomodation! Getting to and from Siena is also a bit of a mission. I didn't mind so much as time is not really a factor on this trip, but for those on a tight schedule - Siena might not be the stop for you.

I am currently on a bus to some crazy Italian city, where I swap to a train and travel the rest of the way to Rome. I can't wait to get there! Petra was kind enough to give me a tourist map of Rome and highlighted all the must-see spots. And I am meeting up with some other Couch Surfers when I get there, including my mate Daniel from Venice. Should be a good time!

1 comment:

  1. HA! Dude, everyone knows you travel with mini boxes of cereal. I take them every time I go anywhere because if I'm flying and the plane is going down- you better believe the last thing I eat is going to be some Captain Crunch. It's a fact. ;)


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