Sunday, October 2, 2011

It Isn't Over Until...

We made the most of our 12-hour overnight layover in Amsterdam by checking into the Citizen M Hotel one block from the airport. A good-night's sleep sounded SO inviting.

To all travelers
long and short haul
To the suits, weekenders, fashion baggers, and explorers
To those who need a great bed,
a cold drink and big fluffy towels.
A hotel for all
mobile citizens of the world.
Welcome to citizen M.

This hotel is pretty hard to describe, so I'll let Potts show you:

Very upbeat, very clean, very comfortable.

 The privacy hanger said, "Don't come in; there's someone naked in here." 
A pretty fair warning considering the shower is right IN the bedroom.

 They even provided shower gel/shampoo for morning or evening.

 AND a stuffed animal.

Our morning wake up call consisted of 
very gentle songbirds,
 then monkeys, lions, and various other jungle animals, 
then elephants blasting as loud as possible! 

It made us laugh.

And with that, we made our way home.

Farmaceutica Novella

Today is the day we head for home.

Kristen, Drake's niece, found herself alone in Florence for an unexpected day, so we spent the morning with her scouting out a few favored places that we hadn't yet seen.

FIRST STOP - the National Museum. Closed.

SECOND STOP - The Medici Chapel. Closed.

But we were able to walk through its adjoining courtyard.

 THIRD AND FINAL STOP - The Farmaceutica Novella. OPEN!

Open the heavy doors, and the aroma nearly knocks you over!

 It was like walking into Harry Potter's potions emporium!

Herbs and Elixirs for every ailment known to muggle.

Once the Santa Maria Novella church, monks began concocting herbal remedies here in the 13th century. It is one of the world's oldest pharmacies.

"The monks' simple apparatus for distilling flower water rests inside wooden cabinets, flanked by old containers used for lotions and potions, lists of ingredients and even the monks' original recipe ledgers. Merchandise lines the walls of the dimly lit, frescoed rooms—all manner of soaps, sachets and scents, many made according to ancient formulas."

The amazing frescos give evidence of the former church.

We found these walls depicting the life of Christ especially captivating.

Looks as if this young woman is caught in Hermione's Time-Turner. She's in two places at once!