Coming up with the titles for these blogs is almost as fun as the experiences we have in these areas!  Well, I take that back…not as much fun as we are having a super time out and aboot in the world!

Now, for today’s post…

It was an early morning start to get the kids out of bed and on the train to Pisa.  The reason for the early morning start was that we didn’t realize that there were only so many people let up in the tower at once, and that you had to book tickets.  So, once we got to the online ticketing site, the only option was either 1:30pm or 9:15am.  We didn’t want to go in the middle of the day with the rest of the tourist crowd.  So, 9:15am it is, and we got up very early to catch the 7:28am train as it is an hour train and a 20min walk to the tower.

As was described by many in their blogs that we planned our visit around, the town of Pisa is not super exciting like the other places we have visited thus far.  Truly, as would be expected, the tower is the main point of attraction. 

And so it should be as it is pretty incredible.  I was honestly a bit skeptical about the tower and really how interesting and special could it be…but it was. 

When we arrived there, it was still pretty quiet, so we didn’t have to dodge large crowds that had booked later in the day.  Our photos were pretty unobstructed, and we could climb in a smaller group. 

  

Walking into the tower, you are immediately thrown into a carnival fun house with the floor and walls tilted.  The middle of the building is hollow all the way up to the top, which I didn’t know.  So, other than being a tower that would have been intended as a non-functional structure other than having bells on top that are rung on Sunday for mass, it doesn’t have much purpose. 

Climbing the 250 stairs to the top, you are walking uphill, downhill, and sideways as you walk around the inner perimeter of the building.  That was weird as you had no real visual perspective of the outside world.  To make this feeling more pronounced, the stairs are very worn by the millions of people that have climbed up and down the tower.   

The view from the top was pretty spectacular of Pisa, the neighbouring cathedral, and then mountains off in the distance.

Once we got down, we headed over to the large open grassy area to blow off some steam and play tag, which is always a fun part of the day, and a great way to get some P.E. out of the kids…even though the hike up the tower was pretty challenging.

By the time we finished playing tag, the large crowds had amassed in the area of the tower and cathedral.  Self sticks were everywhere, and everyone was trying to either hold up, pick up, push down, or support the tower in some way with their hands for a photo opp.  Deb showed us a video of some guy called “The Troll” who ran around giving these posers high fives as that is what they looked like…like they were waiting for someone to give them a high five.  

I thought that this was hilarious, so decided to give this a try myself!  The first few people was a gentle tap, but by he end it was a full on flying high five.  The last couple of high fives was the best with her reaction.

After a lazy walk back to the train station, and having a station bench picnic of bread, veggies, and cheese, we headed back to Florence. Lulu didn’t like the cheese I picked.

Lulu didn’t like the stinky cheese…

It was absolutely pouring down with lightning when we got back, so we cabbed it back to the apartment. 

The full on downpour and lightning storm…

The kids hopped onto Khan Academy and Time4Learning for some school time work, and I headed out to buy my Italian cycling jersey (my souvenir for this leg of the trip) and got groceries to make fresh pasta at home.  Wilson wanted to put what we learned into practice, and show mom and Lulu what we had learned.   The owner of the apartment was even nice enough to bring over his pasta rolling machine so we didn’t have to do it old school with a rolling pin.

The resulting pasta was very good, and we headed out for a palate cleansing gelato before we packed up to head off to Cinque Terre the next day.