January 7, 2017: Field of Miracles

Pictures from Pisa: https://goo.gl/photos/hnvV9rbFQpdd6itN6

We flew from Brussels to Pisa early in the morning. By morning, I mean 7am. And by Brussels, I mean Charleroi an hour outside of Brussels. And by 7am I mean delayed an hour to 8am.­­

Pisa is not that big. But it is quite a walk from the train station to the Field of Miracles. You have to first walk through all the shopping streets. They play music across the whole street. It’s kind of funny. It’s coordinated. They had that song “hey now, hey now” in Italian.

The Leaning Tower was kind of underwhelming from the top. I know you feel like you have to go up, but it’s not worth it. There are lots of steps and it’s expensive and you can’t see anything from the top. You only have a view of the cathedral, which was under construction—you couldn’t see anything underneath the scaffolding. When we got to the top, it was cold and windy. Everyone on the ground though is trying to do strange poses with the Tower. I am not flexible enough to lift my leg high enough to make it work. It was very difficult getting a good picture with the tower and without other people. It’s very difficult to get the right angle to make it look realistic.

The cathedral is under construction inside too. It is not the pretties cathedral I’ve seen—I’ve seen a lot. The baptistry is cool but there isn’t much going on inside. The outside is much more impressive. The highlight of the Field of Miracles is actually the Camposanto Monumental Cemetery. It is very impressive. It was subject to Allied bombing during WWII. I remember watching the “Rape of Europa” in which they talk about the extensive restoration work they’re doing on the frescoes in the Camposanto. It’s really incredible the progress they’ve made. It is still an active cemetery. It is very regal and peaceful.

We ran into an awkward problem though after we’d finished the Field of Miracles. It was this awkward hour where everything is closing but it’s too early still for dinner. None of the restaurants are even open yet. Except I had to eat something because I had a long ride back to Bologna and it’d be too late by the time I got back and I didn’t have any food at home. It was really quite the dilemma. The train was around dinner time. And we wanted to eat together before we split up. I was going home and mom and dad and Morgan were going to Cinqueterre (where they accidentally got an upgrade at their Airbnb because there was a problem with the one they’d booked). We ended up getting a quick bite to eat at a bar/café.

I tried not to go to the bathroom because I didn’t want to pay but I ended up going to the bathroom at the train station and paying. It cost 1 euro, more than the 80 cents it would’ve cost at the Field of Miracles.

I hopped on an earlier train than the one I was scheduled for. It was a regional train, so it was unassigned seats and didn’t really matter. It was just the first leg to Florence anyhow. The problem was when I got to Florence. I had bought my ticket early because it was cheaper. But I bought it for too late. And when I tried to change it to an earlier train, they didn’t let me because I bought a basic fare. So I had to wait at the station for about an hour doing nothing after doing nothing on the train. Plus my headphones weren’t working properly. I didn’t want to take out my computer in public so I had a very unproductive day. It’s harder to hop on a high speed train because they have assigned seats and they’re more likely to check tickets. All I want is to go home but I refused to buy another ticket to get on an earlier train.

Finally when I got on the last leg, I was about ten minutes away from Bologna on the train when we got delayed. I’m not entirely sure about the translation, but I think they said someone was on the track holding up our train. We already started ten minutes delayed. And then the delay grew and grew. Over 30 minute we just sat there. All I want is to just go home. And it took me over an hour to get home just from Florence, typically a 30-minute ride. I was exhausted and furious.

 

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