Saturday, July 22, 2006

DAY 37 - 17.7.2006

Italy... mmm... we had waited for Italian food for few weeks now. We drove to Genova in the morning. Unfortunately Italians seem to go to work quite early as we ran into some traffic. The suburbs were in pretty bad condition, which made our drive to city centre not so enjoyable. In fact it caused an immediate culture shock on the brothers. They were expecting something else from the Italian Riviera. Avenues made of diamonds or something like that:) We drove to the beach and found out that there was only one free public beach. The beach was very small and full of old people at the early hours. It didn't bother me as I was ready for the last day on the beach. But it bothered the brothers and they wanted to leave Genova right away. Fortunately I managed to talk them over to see at least the city centre by walk after our morning swim.

The city centre was quite nice actually. I think we all were glad that we didn't miss it. At 2 pm we were back at our car. According to our plans we should have stayed in Genova the whole day and see Pisa and Firenze on the next day. But as I was the only one voting for that, the democratic solution was to go to Pisa today. And so we were on a hot road again:-
We had read that they let 30 persons in the leaning tower of Pisa every 30 minutes so we wanted to be there early as possible to be able to climb up to the tower. Once we got to the city of Pisa our hopes disappeared. There was an unbelievable amount of tourists. Masses of people were walking towards the tower from the tourist buses. And there were lots of souvenir stands along the road selling all kinds of leaning tower related stuff.

I had pictured the tower to be a lot smaller. Once we got there we noticed that the tower was huge. And very beautiful as it was so bright white. All the pictures about the tower don't really give justice to it. We went for drinks to this nearby cafeteria as we had to charge our batteries. After that we went to ask about the tickets. They cost 15 euros. That's not bad but for the first free tour group we should have waited for three hours. So we decided to skip it. We were also worried about our car as we had heard some bad stories about car thieves here. After few more photos we returned to our car. I don't think I'll get another chance to visit the tower because in some years it has to come down. I just hope that someone gets it on video:)

After finding our car in a good shape at our parking area we went to search for a restaurant as it was 6 pm and we had not had our lunch yet. Unfortunately there was not a good one on our way to autostrade so we had to go to a McDonald's. And what a big mistake it turned out to be! It took me 30 minutes to get my meal! Not that there was a big line but the sales persons just kept screwing up everything. They really got on my nerves.

Once we got on the road again, we drove to the nearest gas station to wait for the sun to come down a bit and charge our batteries. It was way too hot for driving as we weren't in a hurry. We decided to skip Firenze as we weren't really in mood for it's many museums. Of course the city has a lot else to offer but we decided to drive to Rome instead. We drove near Rome and slept at a gas station.

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