don't you carry nothing that might be a load
14.10.2007 - 15.10.2007
I will now finally give you a recount of my Italian voyage! It's definitely been a long time coming, and hopefully it will be worth it. Hopefully I remember what happened Here goes . . .
I left Dublin on Sunday the 14th of October and flew Ryan Air from Dublin to Pisa. Didn't know what to expect of Ryan Air as they are a "budget" airline, but the ticket was way cheaper than anything else I found so I went with it. I was pleasantly surprised. Obviously you have to pay for most everything, no free beverage service or anything, but that's to be expected. You can't book a particular seat, but you can pay a little extra for priority seating, which I did. Thusly people with priority get to board before everyone else and both ways I got a pretty good seat. While the seats themselves aren't incredible or anything they don't seem much less comfortable or smaller than most of the ones you find in economy class in the U.S. So overall, definitely a good bargain.
My flight landed around half eleven and I was picked up a little after midnight by my Uncles Drew and Mike, my cousin Brittany, and my mom. We were back to the villa near Segromignio, Italy (a little outside of Lucca) around a quarter after one. After chatting with Brittany, who I was rooming with, for a bit I finally hit the hay about half two in order to wake up at half seven. I think I'm really getting to old for this sort of thing
In the morning we were off to Cinque Terre, which means "five towns" and is basically the Italian Riveria. From some local advice it was decided we would drive there in our two mini-buses. Along the way we were stopped by an accident on the motorway for more than an hour! When we arrived in the first town of Riomaggiore after descending a narrow and very steep road to find that there was no parking for our mini-buses - fun, fun. So, we headed back up the road to the nearest city to find parking and then take the train into the Cinque Terre. However arriving in La Spezia around half one (we've now been on the road for four and half hours) we come to find that there is no parking to be found - even more fun. So, we decided to scrape the Cinque Terre for the day and do Pisa instead. First though we had to find somewhere to stop for lunch and ended up doing this in Carrera. The restaurant here was nice with calazones as big as your head, but more importantly this is where Carrera marble comes from and we saw some huge examples of this on the side of the road - craziness!
Now, with full tummies (mine full of some yummy chestnut pasta) we headed off to Pisa. Now I expected this to be extremely cheesey and not all that exciting, but I was nicely surprised. Pisa, like many old Italian towns has an "inner" walled city which contains the Piazza del Duomo aka Cathedral Square. This includes the Duomo aka Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Camposanto aka Cemetery, and the Campanile aka Bell Tower aka the Leaning Tower. We didn't get there with a lot of time, so I decided just to tour the Cathedral and take a walk around town. The Cathedral was gorgeous, including this amazing fresco in the dome above the altar.
The town was also nice, an odd combination of touristy and quaint. There was a pretty sunset this evening and while cheesey Leaning Tower photos were also taken, I'll leave you a more classic one. More to come . . .