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Published: September 28th 2017
We didn’t get much sleep during the night and staggered down to the little bar for breakfast but Dave couldn’t have any. The ladies there were very sympathetic and Tamara could understand their Italian quite well by this time and translate it. Fortunately she was unaffected by the bug. We had bought our tickets to Lucca so went very gently to the train station nearby. We didn’t even have to carry our luggage down and up the subway as our train left from the nearside platform.
We more or less rested on the train and looked out at the countryside. We went past the huge and famous marble quarries at Carrara and kept a sharp lookout for Viareggio where we had to change. In good Italian style the train was just late enough that we missed the connection to Lucca and it was two hours to the next train not half an hour as we thought so we and a number of other people hung around until the next train. This station had a lift so it was a lot easier to get off the platform with our luggage and sit somewhere a bit more agreeable. The next train to Lucca arrived more or less on time and we arrived in Lucca in the early afternoon so we still had time to do something. Dave was feeling a bit better and it turned out to be only a 24 hour bug.
The old part of Lucca is totally surrounded by the famous walls, which have only a few openings. Dave had checked out one near the station which we managed although it had a lot of steps. We ended up buying a map of the city as it was not obvious how to find our lodgings which were pretty much right in the middle. We got onto the main shopping street where we asked for directions which were not entirely clear so we went rather a long way round but got there eventually. The door was closed and we rang and rang but nobody came, so we knocked loudly several times and eventually a guy turned up and let us in. He spoke practically no English and understood less – it is really useful to speak some Italian. This was a B&B and we climbed up two steep flights of stairs with our luggage and were shown to our little room with shared bathroom, but it did have WiFi. It was actually quite comfortable and there were two bathrooms which were rather peculiar but quite usable and no lack of hot water, especially as many people shower in the morning but we prefer the evening.
It was a beautiful afternoon so we managed a gentle walk round most of the walls. We looked down at the fine gardens of the Pfanner Palace. Lucca is seriously into wine and food so we found a nice little restaurant and had a very good ribollito soup which is a Tuscan specialty. While Dave had a rest Tamara did a little recce of the buildings that we might look at the next day, following a suggested sight seeing route that came with the map. Dave was definitely on the mend so we had a nice peaceful night.
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