Friday, August 24, 2012


     This past week we decided to take Michelle on one last adventure before she returns home and we decided to go to Pisa for the weekend.  Stephen had to work on Friday, so we left when he got home around 4:00.  The drive was about three hours, but it would have been shorter if there had been gas stations open along the way--Stephen gets gas coupons from the base, but he can only use them at a gas station chain called 'Agip.'  So we spent about thirty extra minutes trying to find one that was open, which we did not.  Finally we just bought some gas at a station with euro; of course, about ten minutes later along the autostrada we found an Agip that was open.  The drive was nice, we saw the bottom of the Alps in Tuscany.

     We stayed at Hotel Capitol which was about a ten minute walk from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and that night we got dinner at a restaurant in Piazza Vettovaglier.  Even though Pisa attracts tourists, the restaurant's staff did not speak English very well, and we had another confusing culinary experience--not abnormal.  It was already quite dark after we ate, but we decided to walk to the Tower and take a few pictures before calling it a night.

     The next morning we got up early and had breakfast at the hotel--the Italian breakfast is much different than an American one.  The Italian breakfast is light, usually consisting of a small pastry or bread with coffee. The hotel offered pies for breakfast as well--one was Nutella and the other looked like a kind of fruit.  No matter what, it was weird, and I still have not begun enjoying coffee or cappuccinos yet.  That day we went to the Tower, we went through the church as well as the baptistery.

     As you can tell from the pictures, it was very beautiful, but as I heard before, Pisa is a typical Italian town with an architectural mishap with the bell tower.  I read that there are several towers across the country that are leaning; apparently it was not an uncommon occurrence, but Pisa gets all the glory now.  It was a fun and quick trip and we were able to sit in the church's yard and watch lots of people make fools of themselves for a good picture.  Of course, we couldn't judge.

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