What are the odds that a trip planned in the very last minute and that starts off in the wrong foot will be one that brings a smile to your face? I can tell you I have a handful that do just that, and today I will talk about one of my favorites: our day trip to Pisa.
The trip to Pisa happened 10 years ago, a few days after that time in Venice when we had to sleep on the street. We were so certain that after getting off the train at Pisa Centrale station, all we had to do was go straight ahead, cross a bridge over the river and then we would see the Leaning Tower.
All I can say is that we walked, and walked and walked… I think we walked for about an hour in the scorching sun and were pretty frustrated with each other and the situation. We gave it another half an hour to decide that we were lost, once we saw quite a few somewhat modern condo buildings and some houses.
Then we stumbled upon a Carrefour supermarket and I had never been so happy to stumble upon one! Among the three of us, we bought a box of bite-sized chocolate ice cream, paying $0.88 Euro cents (I can’t forget the price, even after a decade!) and walked some more. Then we spot another set of condo buildings and a bus stop. Since none of us could speak italian, we tried to communicate with some locals that saw we were lost and with an italian word here and an english word there, they decided to wait for the bus with us; shortly after the bus arrived, they spoke with the bus driver and when we asked how much the fare was he did not accept any money and dropped us off basically where we needed to be.
By the time we got to the Leaning Tower it was already getting dark and we obviously did not climb it, but we just felt happy about all that experience. We were happy because we had a different adventure, we got to interact with locals and see that it is nice to be able to count on people’s kindness, even when it’s not such a big deal… and we were simple relaxed (tired, but relaxed). Also, the atmosphere in the area close to the Leaning Tower was really cool: lots of people making a fool of themselves trying to hold the tower for their pictures, all in the good spirit of fun!
I can’t wait to go back to Pisa and hopefully I will have a good story to tell again… because Pisa is truly fun!