Masters of Science and Gardening

15 July 2013

Last night I had a bit of a glitch with my Seagate Wireless Plus — the wireless hard drive that I purchased for photo storage. It’s a clever little gadget that creates its own wireless network. I can (or at least could, until last night) stream the raw images I have downloaded to my iPad (25mb each) on to the Seagate hard drive via that wireless network. It takes ages — but I have just been setting it up when I go to bed,and it’s all done in the morning.

However, last night, try as I might, the iPad would not join the Seagate wi-fi network: it could see it; it tried to join it; but never succeeded. This is a problem, as my cunning photo storage plan is now null and void. The only file storage available to me now is the iPad and memory cards. I’ve submitted a help request to Seagate Technical Support — but they don’t have the best rep online. Fingers crossed.

Anyhow, today was a museum and garden day: the Museo Galileo and the Boboli Gardens.

On the way to the museum we stopped in at the lavenderia to see how much getting our laundry done would cost. As we suspected, daylight robbery. Through much gesticulation and the aid of the phrasebook, we ascertained that a 5 kg load of laundry (washed and dried) would cost 18 euro. Yikes. (We subsequently — with the help of Yelp — discovered a coin-operated laundry about a kilometre away that should manage the same task for about seven euro. That will be Wednesday’s job!)

Views along the River Arno on the short walk to the museum:

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The Galileo Museum was cool. And I’m not even a science geek like Dave. We consumed about three and a half hours there without even trying. Aside from the special exhibition on the history of the bicycle, there is a large collection of fabulous scientific wonders — all extremely beautifully crafted — from Galileo and many of his contemporaries. An impressive display of telescopes, microscopes, time-pieces, globes, astrolabes, scientific instruments and even astoundingly accurate cut-away wax models of different problems encountered in childbirth!

Difficult to photograph, because of the low light. But here are just a few neat bits.

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This is a modern art installation, set against a mirror. The lines of the actual installation are straight, but mirrors make them appear curved in the reflection.

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the innards of one of the astrolabe-type creations that was too big to fit in the camera.

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An exquisite set of scientific instruments from the 17th or 18th century.

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A very small part of the very big map of the known world.

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This was just weird: in the two containers are two of Galileo’s fingers — and a tooth. Eeewww!

Mum, Dad, we got you a very interesting-looking book on renaissance engineers, and a DVD with information about the key exhibits in the museum.

From there, to the Boboli Gardens — via a few (intentional) scenic detours.

The seven euro ticket let us in to the gardens and a number of other museums around the place. We did have a look at the ‘costume’ (women’s clothing) museum (no photos allowed): interesting, but it had virtually no information about the pieces on display, which was a bit disappointing. I would have liked to have known what made each piece special enough to be included, as there were items from the 1800s through to the 1990s — not sequentially, but all jumbled up.

Again, it was VERY hot, so we mostly saw shady bits of the Boboli Gardens — which are, by the way, huge. And not flat. I did quite like the water feature.

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These arched cypress trees covered a number of the paths in the gardens — blissful shade in the summer heat.

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I think this is a quintessential Italian-garden image.

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An impressionist painting ready-made.

Wine after dinner this evening: a ‘Grecale’ Sicilian moscato for about 6 euros. Mmmmmm.

Bus tour to Siena tomorrow. A 10-hour tour, with a few hours on our own in Siena to look around. Awesome.

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