Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Flying Tower of Pisa

April 11th, 2010

We woke up early and got ready to go to the Leaning Tower again. The weather didn't look promising so we brought out umbrellas and warms coats. When we got there we ran to the ticket office because the wind was so strong. We got inside, bought out tickets and put our bags in the security lockers, but when we looked out the doors we were greeted with hurricane-like weather! It was so bad, and the flag on the top of the tower was blowing away. The Italian workers kept coming of and looking out the doors and then looking at us like we were crazy. On of them said, "Da tower, it fly away!" And another said, "You go get your money back." And pointed to the ticket booth. Then some people ran in that had just come down from it. They were drenched and windblown, they said it was worth it, but hold on because the wind is strong. We made a unanimous decision not to go. We got our money back but then we had to run back to the bus stop in the rain and it was so wet! It was too windy to bring out our umbrellas so we wrapped our scarves around our heads and ran for it. Every umbrella man we ran by tried to sell us umbrellas. We waited in the rain for the bus, and when we got on we didn't even buy a ticket. We were soaked and frazzled. Valeria said I looked like the Virgin Mary in my Scarf, but it didn't come off until we got back to the hotel.

When we got back to the hotel we asked the little Italian man in a purple shirt how much breakfast was. He asked us our room number and hesitated and then said: "It's free." So we got breakfast included :) After that we finished packing and went to the train station where we caught our train to Florence!

When we got to Florence Mamie realized she didn't have the sheet with our hotel's name or address on it. I had to call Romain and give him Valeria's email address, password, and instructions on how to get onto the Concordia website so he could look it up on her email. He text me back with the address so we found a map and figured out how to get there. Since we couldn't figure out the bus schedule, and we couldn't speak the language we decided to just walk. It didn't look that far. It was raining a little so we pulled out our umbrellas and took off in the direction we hopped our hotel was in. We found it pretty easily. We also found that it was located right above a serial killer museum that plays scary music until 10 o'clock at night. Funny! But the hotel was really nice.

We went searching for some lunch then and ended up eating at this self serve place that was really cheap and super good. Afterwards we went to the market right down the road from our street. It is an awesome market with so much leather and some really great touristy stuff. We wandered around there and somehow ended up at the Duomo, a huge cathedral with the world's largest brick dome. We took some pictures and walked around the find the entrance for the next day.

We came back to the hotel for a little while and planned our next day. Then we went searching for dinner. We ate at a small restaurant by the Duomo and quickly found out that we could share our meals instead. We also found that there is a "cover" charge which is more or less equal to our tip. So now we know in the future not to order so much. After dinner on our way home we bought a bottle of wince, but we realized too later that we didn't have a corkscrew. So we went home and tried to pull the cork out with tweezers, our room key, a brush and a dirty sock. When that failed we decided to just push the cork into the bottle, which was not much easier. But it was hilarious and the wine wasn't even that good!

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