A tower that leans

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April 28th 2014
Published: August 30th 2017
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This morning did not start well. After being mis-directed to the bus stop, we sat and waited for 20 minutes until finally spying our bus turning out of a different road and speeding away from us. Unwilling to wait a further 20 minutes we decided to walk the 30 mins to the train station with our backpacks. This plan was further complicated by a lack of directional knowledge, having being picked up at the train station yesterday. We followed our noses and headed out.

An hour on a train later and we arrive in Pisa. Websites like wiki travel etc all hint that the only thing to do in Pisa is the tower and then it's best to get straight out again. (Un)fortunately for us this wasn't an option and we were committed to spending the day/night here. Pisa is split down the middle by a river. On one side it's fairly touristy whilst the other (where we stayed) was a lot more local. We headed across the river, up the pedestrianized tourist streets with chain shops like H&M and Zara (ubiquitous in any foreign city it seems!). The Tower itself was not what I was expecting. Set almost on the outskirts of the city, it's situated inside the Field of Miracles, along with Duomo di Pisa (a cathedral), a baptistery and a monumental cemetery. We bought our tickets to climb the tower 2 hours later, took the obligatory 'look at me i'm so strong I can hold up the tower' photos and then headed off in search of food. True to form, food around the tower is over-priced and under-quality.

Climbing the tower's 150 steps was realtively easy compared to yesterdays feat in Lucca. The top has two levels; a semi-inside one and a totally exposed one at the very top. The semi-exposed one felt like we were leaning more than at the highest level. Being on a slope made of marble in the rain was a little bit daunting but the views were amazing. The Pisa stadium where AC Pisa play looked like it'd seen better days though. But the views of the Tuscan hills and rest of the Field of Miracles was well worth it.

A superb dinner of muscles, spaghetti and heaps of meat and wine followed this and figuring out how to get to Venice on the cheap.

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