Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Pisa in a day, 15 Mar 2009
I was really bored so I knew I had to get out and do something. Originally, I purchased tickets to Rome for April when Char and the boys come over, but then Daniel managed to find cheap tickets for Rome on Easyjet, so we decided we'll all fly instead of taking a 6-hour train ride down south. Which left me with two tickets to Rome at hand. I went to see if I could change them to Pisa tickets, and yes it was possible! So I swapped out my Rome tickets at Centrale Stazione for a Pisa round trip ticket. Even got a cash refund for the balance!
Almost missed the train like a certain apartment mate of mine. The thing was, my ticket said Milan -> Pisa, so I was looking at the train schedules at the station for a Destination Pisa. There weren't any, so I figured I was early (which I really was), and would check again closer to my boarding time. Right up to 3 minutes before departure there still wasn't any Destination Pisa. I started to check the schedules more clearly, and only realised Pisa was one of the along-the-way stations to an ultimate destination that was far from Pisa.
Got on the train just fine. Kept falling asleep and getting up over and over again for 4 hours. When I arrived at Pisa, I was struck by how much it felt more like a village than a city. The town was so small I could walk from the south of the map (where the train station was), to the north (where the Leaning Tower of Pisa stood) in less than half an hour.
Walked into the Piazza dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) and took in this sight that is a famous landmark all over the world.
Of course, at its base were thousands of tourists posing for lame photos about supporting the tower. Haha not that I have anything against tourists, of course. They paid good money to travel the world, and what they want to do is none of our business. Except they look silly to everyone else who isn't lined up right to see the picture that they will be filing away in their album when they get home.
I would just like to put a word in for the other buildings in the Piazza dei Miracoli. The Leaning Tower of Pisa doesn't just stand there by itself!! There are 3 other buildings worth our time and attention too. Just because the tower leans due to a defect, the other structurally sound and equally beautiful monuments get forgotten? No! So here is the Piazza dei Miracoli, with the Leaning Tower as far back as I could put it.
I spent a good 6 hours here. It was a very peaceful day. My trip back to Milan was rather problematic. First, I got to the train station 20 minutes early, and saw the train at my designated platform boarding. So I hopped on, and just as I did, the train doors closed and the train chugged along. It was leaving 20 minutes early! So I thought maybe it was lucky I was already here and not dawdling away somewhere behind, still thinking the train was gonna wait for me.
Then I realised maybe this wasn't my train. And so I asked another passenger and he said it wasn't going to Milan, it was going to Genova!
"Today, I got on my train back home 20 minutes early. Turns out it was going to Genova. FML."
I bought a cute pair of boxers because it was impossibly stupid.
I'll definitely be back to Pisa another time! I'd do anything for a night photograph in that place.