Saturday, May 4, 2013

Leaning Tower of Pisa--- Part 2 OR the advantages of LOOKING UP....

Leaning Tower of Pisa.  One of the world's landmark buildings.   A bell tower that took hundreds of years to finish.  It is an amazing sight to see.  The first time that I went there- It was in 2000.  It was my first time to live in Italy and I was moving away after living in Italy for three years.  The local travel agent booked me a trip to Sienna and Pisa on the train.  She made arrangements for the hotel rooms of places that she had stayed herself..   I went alone because school was already out for the summer and truthfully... 'no one' had ever been friendly since many of the teachers had worked at this school forever and hadn't moved around very much.   She had me me leaving late at night on the train and arriving very early to Pisa.  I was then to back track away from Pisa (closer to where I had been living) and arrive in Sienna in the late afternoon and spend the night.  I would continue on with my trip early the next morning.   While I'm sure that there is plenty to see/do in Pisa... when you are on a time-limit- you can visit and see the area very well in only 4 hours.   Just make sure you LOOK UP... otherwise, you will miss so much.  **CLICK on photos for a larger/clearer view.

 At the train station, I had to get on a local bus that would take me to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.   After you get off the bus and as you approach the area- you can't see the tower... and you arrive in front along the wall that surrounds the Pisa Tower and all of these other buildings that you see in the first photo.  There is a huge stone archway in the stone wall that you enter into this area that you see above.  So, until you actually walk through the archway, you don't really see the Tower from the street.

 At the first glance/glimpse that I had ... I honestly 'gasped' out loud.  Every poster, photo in a book, on a calendar, on a post-card... just does NOT prepare you to see this building that is probably as well known as the pyramids throughout the world.   As an art teacher- it might have meant more to me than to some people?

However, I also remember seeing this building as a child, as I poured over photos in photos in Life and in National Geographic Magazines, while living in rural southern Oklahoma while my only travel opportunities had been to go across the state line 5 miles away to Texas when my step-dad bought some baby calves for his farming ranch.

Those photos and maps instilled the desire to travel and see the world some day.  I didn't know how I was going to manage it- because my family was poor.  I just knew that I wanted to see what was out there.   And that one of the places that I wanted to see was the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

If you've read my blog before; you know that I often 'look up' and if I have my camera with me- I take photos of windows/everyday life/etc. that others just walk on by and never notice.   When I am with a group of people... there is always someone who comments and thinks it is odd that I do this.  Of course, they are the very people that miss so much and/or think many things are boring/etc.  *I've had actually people tell me that they didn't think that The Leaning Tower of Pisa was even worth seeing.   

Case in Point:  The above urn.  Do you see how no one is even noticing it?   I immediately noticed the carved people and the huge bird.   So, I got my camera out and ....

See the grapes worn down along the edge?  The people are looking back, walking somewhere and most look stressed/at their wit's end?  Escaping?   I wonder what piece of history or the bible that is depicted on this urn?  Plus; I just love the bird hanging out too. 

Know what this is?  A waterspout.   (with another bird too)  Just look at the carving along this edge.

Do you see the tops of the columns?  Each of these statues are of different people with different expressions.
Close up of the above building.  Different colors of marble.   I just don't think that in modern times or in the future... that we'll ever see this type of detail and artistry on buildings ever again.
Flowers and faces at the top of the pillars.

This door is huge... but, look at the carved stone (marble) facing!   Everything is different! 

Looking up above this door.   Just remember:  LOOK UP  there is another world up there waiting to be discovered.

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