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Independence of the Seas Cruise-Day 8-Livorno, Pisa and Florence

We today arrived at the port of Livorno, to travel over to Pisa and Florence. We had (for once) decided to go on an arranged excursion trip which was organised by an Italian lady. Getting on the coach we took about an hour before reaching our first city, Pisa; it was hardly a city, it was mainly rural countryside with a couple of cottages here and there, the actual Leaning Tower of Pisa was situated inside the castle walls where there was also a large church and a pottery museum of sorts, the only kind of urban investment in this area was the one Burger King just outside the walls and all the little market stalls built on triangular platforms that could be raised to make shelves for your items (pretty nifty stuff, if you ask me).

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Story of Romulus and Remus anyone?

Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is built in the very centre of the castle grounds, and there are constantly tourists walking in and up.

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa from a distance

 Though honestly, climbing up the stairs of a sloped tower isn’t really the thing for me; we ended up running out of time and times for entry tickets into the Tower; we only had about an hour to look round and there was generally not enough time for more than a few quick snaps and a couple of the infamous holding-up shots before we had to start retracing our steps to the meeting point, where we also bought some lovely fresh grapes which were being watered constantly on this little metal fountain station which looked like one of those afternoon tea trays you get at those posh hotels.

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Oh look, construction work…like I wasn’t expecting that.

‘Splashing around like Water Boy’

Once raggedly gathered around the guide she did a rough head count before heading back to the coach where we now took a two hour (or thereabouts) journey to Florence, through flourishing and blooming hills and crystalline rivers. Stopping at a nearby petrol station for a toilet run saw un-frog like sizes of those green hopping amphibians which were splashing around like Water Boy.

Welcome to Florence

When we finally arrived in the centre of Florence our driver dropped us off in sight of one of the many fabulous churches in the city.

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Getting a-head (joke)

We at first stuck to the tour guide but eventually (out of complete and utter boredom of standing in one place, straining to hear what our guide was saying for fifteen minutes about something we didn’t really need to know about-that or we didn’t even know what she was talking about) we strayed off to look around the city on our own, passing yet more churches, ancient statues and the famous Ponte Vecchio, where we browsed through a couple of the expensive jewellery shops there.

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‘The ancient centre of the city from secular squalor returned to new life’ says Google Translate for the Italian writing on top. ‘1895’ it says for the Latin underneath.

Lunchtime!

For lunch we headed back the way we came to a street and stopped to have light lunch at Ristorante Queen Victoria, check out my review on Trip Advisors if you’re looking to go to Florence any time soon (it’s the one by Lady Snowhawk, with a Wheel of Time picture of a man and a women in a flowy blue dress), where we had spaghetti, pizza, tapas and these humungous (yes, it’s a slang word, don’t reprimand me for using it, I just thought ‘gigantic’ was being overused a bit) spectacles of ice cream, in all assortment of flavours-wild berry, mango, pistachio, hazelnut, strawberry, lemon-you name it! The scoops were so generously dealt and the cones so ridiculously big and sharp that you can impale someone with the tips that before even one minute had passed since receiving your ice cream liquid would be trickling down the slopes of the cone straight onto your outstretched hand, which would soon dry and become sticky in the baking hot Florence sun.

‘Roadkill pigeon’

Feeling thoroughly sticky now we ambled along aimlessly through the many streets and pathways until on one close by to a cute chocolate bunny shop, Lews received a phone call from a very agitated and angry tour guide who was asking where we were. We, being closer to the place where the driver had parked his coach was, were given vague directions to the place whilst the guide group walked towards us and now started hurrying to get there in time, even passing over a roadkill pigeon and the busy road where it had been struck. Luckily, we got there in time and hid below our seats as the group came in and filled up all the empty seats. During the head count we did our best to not look at the woman lest she realised who we were and we were all relieved when she said she wasn’t coming with us on the coach to Livorno-she had been quite a pain on the journey to Florence, constantly interrupting our peaceful thoughts with random facts about Florence which she then repeated at the place through the whiny and annoying microphone system which amazingly did not shatter our ears like glass into quite a few little pieces.

News and Announcements

If you haven’t noticed I have slowly brought in a new bold type explaining the bare facts of a sort of each paragraph in every post and from now on this will be the main, not the minor. Hopefully this will help make posts easier to navigate and read so you can pick out the bits you need to know rather than speeding through it and finding none of it interesting apart from one paragraph.

Got any news you want me to post on every thread? Message me privately and I’ll be glad to put it in.

Also, can’t remember if I said it in my last post, since it was such a long time ago (sorry about that, school and all) but we have recently passed 50 posts! Thanks everyone for commenting, liking, sharing, subscribing and mainly just viewing everything I write it. It’s been a lot of fun, especially with you guys.

No ideas about how to go on. Finish the cruise first, I suppose. Then probably some food reviews? And maybe Skyrim will finally get done 😉

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