Thursday, August 15, 2013

From Pizza Making to Pisa! Wednesday, June 19th

One of the many travel planning decisions we had to make was just how to get from Florence to Civitavecchia to board the Norwegian Epic.  Remember, this is back towards Rome!  Of course the most economical way would be to take the train. The “on the go traveler” in me wanted to make a detour in Pisa though. We had the time – of course we did right? Sure, we could have spent a bit more time in Florence this morning, but I knew the consensus of the group would be to start moving towards the ship. We didn’t have to be on board until 3:30 though, if I’m remembering correctly now. 

We could take a train from Florence, stop in Pisa, store our luggage, and then either walk or take a taxi or bus to the tower, and then go back to the train station, pick up our luggage and then train to Civitavecchia, then walk the ½ mile or so to the ship, take the shuttle bus to the pier and board the Epic…..seemed simple right?? The train times worked in our favor if all worked out in Pisa, as far as getting the luggage back, I’d read there could be lines, and getting the taxi or bus in time to make it back.

Or we could find a private transfer company to make the trip for us. Surely someone would be able to make this drive, with a stop in Pisa!

Or we could just skip Pisa all together, stay in Florence that morning and see some more sites – it’s just the tower right?  Then take the train with no stops, well except to transfer in Rome.

The private transfer won out!  It just made sense on this adventure of adventures!

So, here we are in Florence bright and early! Our driver was right one time and somehow he was able to squeeze his van down the narrow street that our hotel was on. One thing that seemed to keep occurring in Florence was random street closings! This happened with our taxi on arrival – he was sure he could go up one street, which when he arrived happened to be closed. Then our hotel had some sort of road work being done in front of it, which I gathered was quite unusual. Everyone from the taxi driver to our tour guide to the van driver the next morning made comments about the strangeness of this truck blocking the road to do work! Then when he finally could get up the street, he found it was blocked at the end! He was sure he could get through it earlier! Turns out he had to back down the street and turn around. It was quite a start to the ride. We were all laughing at how they can possibly figure out how to get around!

After an hour or so? Maybe more, I have no idea anymore…we arrived in Pisa.

We were all really glad to have made the decision to have stopped. We got there early so the crowds hadn’t really shown up yet. It wasn’t too hot out yet either. We tried to take the obligatory pictures holding up the tower, but you can see they didn’t work out so well. They’re not as easy as one would think! how do I pose??

Mimi will show us all how it's done!

Sort of....not too bad!

Alex and Keith decided to climb the tower. They had no problem buying their ticket and climbing it right then and there.  

We walked around the Field of Miracles and looked at the buildings. We hadn’t had breakfast so since we were getting hungry, we found something to eat. Megan and I had pizza. We found a little shop we could sit down and eat in. We met up with Keith and Alex after they came down from the tower and once they came down they realized that somehow they missed going to the very top. I don’t quite know how that happens! But they took some good pictures and enjoyed their climb!

We had about an hour in Pisa and then met up with my parents at the van and drove the rest of the way to the ship. We arrived at the port about 1:30. Plenty of time! I think our decision to hire the driver and make the stop in Pisa was excellent. 

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