Thursday, May 27, 2010

Euronating I

In the last ten days I've been busy travelling, so I've had very little access to a computer. I'm back now, so in theory I have unlimited access, but in reality I only get a decent run when my gran decides to take a nap.

On the 15th I flew from Stansted to Pisa where I spent two nights. The city is world famous for its Leaning Tower, which I climbed at a cost of €15. In the past there were no railings at the top, so scaling the tower would have been something of an adrenaline rush, but when it reopened in 2001 safety was made much more of a priority. I'm glad I went up, just so I could say that I had, but my favourite attraction was the Camposanto, a large cemetery that was destroyed in World War II and later restored. I spent a good hour looking at the frescoes and inscriptions, trying to figure out what all of it meant. There was also a statue of Leonardo Fibonacci, the famous mathematician.

I didn't have great weather in Pisa, but there's not much you can do about that. Pisa has quite a large student population, and it made a welcome change on Sunday night to see crowds of students in the Piazza di Garibaldi (doesn't every Italian town have one of those?) eating their gelati. When I was at university various substances were consumed at weekends, but I don't remember gelati being on the menu.
From Pisa it was a short train ride to Lucca, an ancient city with a wall surrounding it. I spent several hours walking around the centre of town, ending up at the stunning amphitheatre. Lucca was a great town - if anything it had more to offer than Pisa - but like on many occasions I could have benefited from having someone with me.

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