Okay, so I am waaaay slow in posting anything incredibly specific about my trip other than my quick synopsis below. But it’s mainly because I’m having a devil of a time getting my images transferred from my Canon 40D to my laptop. Issues. Sheesh. All these beautiful pictures and it keeps erroring out. So, I did take my little Nikon point-and-shoot but took a small handful of pictures with that camera as compared to my lovely other cam. I’ll use what pics I can from there but will hopefully at some point (fingers crossed) be able to share the more photo-wonderful shots.
This is me landing in Paris – almost 14 years after I went there for a study abroad program:
Sigh…entirely too short of a visit if you ask me. I literally had time to get off the plane, walk to a comletely different terminal, and board the plane there to Athens. In all, I spent about 87 minutes in Paris. Dang it.
After getting into Athens, I had to pick up my bags and change carriers to go to Pisa where Tani (my ex-mom-in-law) was going to be picking me up. Unfortunately, no direct flights go from Athens to Pisa so I went to Rome for a short time and then on to Pisa. At the Rome airport, I had quite the stereotypical Italian moment.
I was sitting near my gate, people watching (because how fun is that to do when you are in a foreign country?), sniffing pasta-laced air, enjoying the fashion of Italian men, and overhead the sound system starts to play Offenbach. You know, that song from Life is Beautiful? Seriously, I couldn’t stop giggling because it seemed all so, so…Italian. When I boarded my little plane to hop over to Pisa, the flight attendants were these drop dead gorgeous Italian women who spoke like, EIGHT languages. And the Japanese guy across from me was texting on his phone and I know he must of thought I was staring at him because I found it fascinating to watch his fingers move and select the characters/symbols for what he was trying to say (ever seen somebody text in symbols? weird…but so cool). And because I am a total dork, I wanted to jump up from my seat at one point and shout, “Ah, principessa!” I was having another Life is Beautiful moment.
Once in Pisa, I met up with Tani to head to La Spezia where we were staying. It was about 10:30 p.m. when I arrived in Pisa so we thought we would get there, oh, maybe around midnight. Famous last thoughts.
I couldn’t leave Pisa without seeing the Leaning Tower Of so went cruised on over for a couple of quick shots in the night. Little note to future travelers: the tower is not so very well lit up at night and is quite difficult to take a shot of. Thus my results below (the best of about 30 attempts we tried):
After my photo session with the tower, Tani took me to get something to eat because 24 hours of nothing but plane food is not exactly warming to the stomach. I wanted something not served in a tiny, compartmentalized, plastic tray.
A little outdoor cafe was open right by the tower so I hopped inside to find several different choices of panini sandwiches to choose from. Ooooooh, what to choose, what to choose! Can’t remember what I chose, but it was good and tasty and a perfect first Italian food.
The plan after picking up the panini? Head out to the autostrada to go to La Spezia. The plan roughly 2 hours later? Head out to the autostrada to go to La Spezia. Pisa was the city we could not leave – even though we were trying like crazy!
Here’s what happened: Tani input the address to the hotel in the GPS she brought along. The GPS kept sending us on a route to a closed freeway entrance. Like, a hundred times it sent us back to that route. We tried every which way imaginable to get OUT OF PISA and it would inexplicably send us in circles. We saw the same roads 50 times over, saw a few “ladies of the night” showing off their wares to get us to stop, went down dead end after dead end. We were in the Black Hole of Pisa.
I couldn’t stop laughing and at one point turned to Tani and said, “I think I’ve seen enough of Pisa now; can we head out of the city, please?”
Mercifully, we finally found a way to escape and get on the autostrada. Of course, now we were out of gas…