Monday, December 06, 2010

The Terrible Tourist

In Florence. Somewhere behind me is The Arno.

My parents like to travel. And when they travel they like to go with their friends and take tours. Organized tours that show them the best spots that country or city has to offer.

It's because of this that I don't usually travel with my parents. That and it tends to cramp my style with the ladies...

The thing is, I'm definitely not the Tourist kind of tourist. I'm not big on formal tours where we're driven in a bus to the important "must see" sights. I'm much more the kind of tourist that likes to go to cities and just hang. Soak up the local culture and not do too much of anything in particular. Heck, I didn't go and see the Eiffel Tower until this summer - and I had been to Paris twice before. Three trips to Paris and I still haven't seen The Louvre.

But I've had a great time there without it.

Narrow streets.

I thought about this as I quickly drove the streets of Florence. He's a beautiful city filled with history and great architecture, yet I couldn't wait to get out of there. The city was crowded, parking was difficult and it was just packed in. I had spent the last few days away from the cities in small towns where getting around was quick and simple. I didn't want that urban experience of "must see" places.

I'm the Terrible Tourist.

Give me my time in the town to hang out, walk around, visit shops, eat new cuisine and maybe even a nice place to smoke a cigar and I'm quite happy. Maybe I'll spend a week in Rome and never see the Colosseum. Or London and never make it to Big Ben. But I will have had a great time in those places anyway.

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