Doug & Heather's Voyages

Join us as we travel the world...or at least that which can be reached by cruise ship.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pisa doesn't taste as good as it sounds...but it's fascinating.

The trip from our port, Livorno, to Pisa is a little bit rough. The ship didn't provide regular transportation from the ship to the train station, nor do they let you walk out of the port yourself. We had to get a shuttle to Piazza Grande and we walked from there. Don't trust the Google Maps measurement tool. It said we would walk 1.4 miles, but it was definitely further than that. After that hike, we got to the train station and had some real fun. Heather's favorite part of this trip is always using public transit (see how happy she is?).

A quick 15 minute train ride and we were in Pisa, a mere 30 walk to the tower. The tower, like the Coliseum in Rome, is quite spectacular when you first see it. Fortunately, we had booked tickets for 12:40 for a tour because when we went up to the ticket window, the only tickets were for 2:40 (about 2.5 hours later). Unfortunately, we had to wait in a horrible, hot, ticket line to get our pre-purchased tickets. There isn't really much to do in Pisa other than this, so the crowds just built around the Field of Miracles…oh well, gave you something to look at once you went up the tower.

The tour was short, but pretty exciting. Walking up the steps is an experience in itself. Especially when you get to the final steps before the bells which are on a small spiral staircase. The view from the bell level is stunning and scary with no platform for walking along them, just 4 steps up to the level where the bells are hung, which were the only flat area on that level. From there you take a nice path up some more steps to the very top. It's a little creepy being up there, but the view was fantastic…I was scared even to hold the camera out over the edge.

Hot walk back to the train station and a nice 15 minute ride on the train back to Livorno. Once in the Livorno Centrale station, we were dreading the last walk back to meet our shuttle, so we caught a bus. Easy to do, but getting the tickets is a little difficult, had to go into the train station to a Tobacci shop to get them. €1 each and it was the best purchase we've made in all of Europe.

Oh yeah, another picture of food for Kim...

Sadly, the end of the cruise is drawing near. One more port tomorrow, Monte Carlo.

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