Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 12: The 5 Terre Buzz

Last day in the Cinque Terre and we spent it in Pisa. General rules of thumb: 1) European towns that start with P are smelly and gross. 2) the closer you are to train stations, the crappier it is (which is true in America too I guess). Until you get to the touristy parts of Pisa, it is nasty. Smelled even worse than Paris in several parts. The Field of Miracles was something else, though. The white marble really makes everything look very impressive.

Unfortunately, Jo was a little grumpy, so the first part of the day was rough. Once we had toured a little bit, and overcome our daily "Aw crap it's raining" mood - which now only takes about an hour - we were fine. We had gelato stop # 6 and 7 while in Pisa. Saw the touristy sights. The reason we saw Pisa today is because I've been trying to shift our plans around like a madman. We went by our B&B to check in so we could come straight here tomorrow morning, drop our stuff, and then go to San Gimignano - a city we had once cut from the trip.

We made it back to La Spezia and the station was a mad house. All the trains were delayed because the rain flooded the tunnels. The train we climbed on had been sitting on the tracks, filling up with people, for 3 and a half hours. Once we got on, we still waited for about another hour. We were packed in like sardines. 100s of us. It was hot and stinky and funny. One couple told us they were there on a cruise with their parents and children. They and their parents had come to the Cinque Terre and left the kids/grandkids back on the boat with the day care. Since they were stuck on the train they missed their boat at the dock! They were going to have to catch it somewhere near Monaco and they had no way to get a hold of their kids. Train worker people informed them that they had contacted the boat, so it was sort of ok.

Once we made it back to Vernazza we had trouble with ATMs (lots of trouble), got pizza, and paid for our hotel (once one of the ATMs all the sudden worked - thank goodness). The best part of the night? Jo had some orange drink with the pizza, and it totally had a little alcohol in it. We really didn't know! But she sure enough was buzzing the littlest bit before bed. Now we go back to Pisa tomorrow (I know, it's all mixed up), try to find trains to San Gimignano and move on to the third leg of our trip (first leg: big cities - Paris and London. second leg: relaxation in Strasbourg and Cinque Terre).

the duomo and baptistery

jo, grumpy, in front of leaning tower

me, gay pose, in front of same tower

back of duomo

i wasn't trying to do it, but apparently everyone has a little captain in them

inside duomo. impressive.

the dirty, dirty arno river

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