After a relatively smooth 2 hour flight with the infamous Ryanair (they’re not that bad!), we arrived in Pisa late Thursday night. There was a bit of confusion when we booked our Pisa accommodation so we were a little worried that the night may be spent sleeping under a bridge. Our worries nearly came true when the guy that was meant to pick us up wasn’t there when we arrived. We ended up walking out of the airport, waiting around for a bit and then going back in eventually to see the sign with Matt’s name on it. We confused the poor man by awkwardly coming to meet him from an entirely different direction than he was expecting.
Michele is a very sweet man who reminds me of a turtle with the voice of Luigi. He was very helpful and showed us around the area as we drove to his guesthouse. Once there, he made a point of telling us which room we had booked and surprised us with a free upgrade! The conversation went a little like this (just imagine his broken English with an Italian accent):
“You booka dis rooma here with share-ed bathrooma, si?? Di dooble rooma for one night, you remember dis? You booked it.”
“So I know dis and I give you new room with own bathrooma. It is very nice and I give to you, no charge. And tomorrow I show you room you were meant to have.”
We didn’t get to see the room we were meant to have and we’re not too sure why that was important. Either way, the one he gave us was indeed very nice and once Michele gave us a very thorough tour and the wee-fee ackchess (wifi access) we were left to watch badly dubbed-over TV before drifting off to sleep (CSI in Italian doesn’t improve the show apparently).
The next day after breakfast (which Michele cooked, he does everything at the guesthouse), Matt asked if he had a safe place for us to keep our things while we explored Pisa before catching the train to Florence. An honest question, but one that was met by a look that said Matt had offended him to his innermost soul.
“It is safe because it is my guesthouse.”
His ‘safe place’ was on the floor of kitchen, so kind of a fair question!
Leaving our bags behind, we headed to cross off #61 from our list – Take cheesy photos by the leaning tower of Pisa.
Coming up to the tower was an experience in itself. We had got a bit lost trying to find it (which Matt’s always saying is the best way to see a city. He’s right, but don’t tell him that) but suddenly turned a corner and it was right in front of us. You see so many photos of the leaning tower so seeing it in real life is quite a trip. I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn’t another picture and I was experiencing it in real life.
Accomplishing our goal was actually pretty hard. We had to climb up on these concrete posts to get into position:
Then we had to awkwardly twist our hands so that it lined up properly in the shot (just look at the concentration in Matt’s face):
But we managed to get a couple decent ones (apparently some Asian tourists thought we were doing a good job so they were snapping photos of us posing as well):
Hover over the photos for captions and as always, there’s a bunch more on Flickr.