After a good night’s sleep we all managed to get up and moving. Jayne was kind enough to go down the hill to find breakfast food for us. Silas demonstrated that he’s learned how to make scrambled eggs! So that along with some croissants and coffee and we were good to go, but not before Jayne was hanging laundry like a native.
And go we did – back on the train that brought us here to Manarola to La Spezia Centrale, where we changed trains to Pisa. We are becoming quite adept at taking all the Trenitalia trains – how to read the boards, how to get between all the tracks and even how to scoot in to get seats on the trains where we only have standard tickets and no assigned seats.
We got off at the Pisa Centrale stop, as they didn’t stop at the one closer to all the sights. In any case, it gave us a good walk through part of the town, until Voila! There was the famous Leaning Tower. It truly is a sight to behold. We were all hungry so we opted to stop into a small sandwich shop and chose some outrageously delicious and filling large sandwiches.
I had previously booked tickets to “skip the line” or as our Florence guide Marco, called it the “money shortcut”. We got in line only to have the ticket man come to tell us we weren’t allowed to even carry purses but had to go over to another building to put them in a locker. Ok. Jayne scurried over to do that for all of us while we held our place in line. The good news is that they really do only allow a certain number of people climb the tower at a time. Scanning our tickets and having a security wand waved over us and we were inside. Just standing inside in the center and looking up was fairly dizzying. You could already feel the slant in the flooring. And then we began the climb! Round and round, on steps obviously trodden by thousands upon thousands as the stone was significantly worn down. No railings so I kept my hands on the walls to feel balanced. Every now and then there were spots to pause and look out or to grin at other tourists and gasp for breath. As I tend to do, I counted the steps – 222 until we reached a part where we could go out and walk around the entire outside. Then there were an additional 78 steps to get to the level with the bells. Those last steps were the only ones that sort of made me queasy. But we could sit up at the top and admire the bells , after all, that was its original purpose , and of course, the view.
Eventually we climbed down, fetched our bags and posed for the requisite pictures where you look like you’re holding up the tower. Cheesy, I know, but you have to do it!
After the climb Silas declared it time for gelato. We tried to convince him to wait a bit be he stated “there’s never an excuse to wait for gelato!”. So there you have it. Gelato it was. Gulgun and I still wanted to wander around the other major buildings so we left Jayne to have a glass of wine and Silas to keep her company. We chose not to enter the cathedral and Baptistry but we’re satisfied to just walk around them and admire the architecture.
We met back up with the others and decided we had time to sit for a glass of wine before heading back to the train station. On the walk as we passed over the Arno River we saw the amazing small church, the Santa della Spina, right on the edge of the river. We also smartly stopped at a small grocery and picked up wine and snacks to have back at the apartment.
Once back to the train station, we were onto our train and headed back to Cinque Terre. These last two trips no one checked our tickets but on the way to Pisa, they did check. Having booked all the tickets from home has really helped. No stopping at all the ticket offices or figuring out schedules.
We climbed the hill to the apartment, fixed our snacks, opened the wine and sat on the balcony watching the town. The seagulls swooped over it all, reminding me of the seabirds around the cliffs in Iceland and Ireland. We were all tired so decided to make it an easy night. Jayne and Gulgun ventured down the hill and found pasta to go so we could dine in the apartment. Another fun day checking off another bucket list item.
3 thoughts on “Pisa”
Your gelato/wine fueled trip is making me dizzy but you can for sure say “I’ve seen it” and cudo’s for booking all in advance. Getting the best bang for your bucks
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Silas makes me laugh, so delightful. The tower is a lovely building!
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