Saturday, June 8, 2013

The first glimpse of the Leaning Tower of Pisa...

Walking through the wall surrounding Pisa and the entrance to the grounds.  

In 2000, when I lived in another part of Italy and was moving to Asia and another new location for my job... I decided that it was time to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.   After all, I hadn't poured over those photos in National Geographic and Life Magazine for nothing as a child... and art classes in college only strengthened my desire to see this world recognized landmark in person.

School was out for the summer and I was extending my stay for a few days before I moved away.  I went to my local travel place where I'd always purchased my train tickets and told the nice lady what I wanted to do-- I also told her that I'd be traveling alone.   So, she booked me a wonderful 3 day trip... to leave at night, ride the train all night... and I'd end up in Pisa early the next morning.   I'm sure that there are many more things to see/do in the Pisa area... than just to see the above landmark... but, I didn't have much time or money.   After Pisa she had me stopping in Sienna for the night (leaving the next afternoon) and then on to Florence on my way back to where I was living.  It was a wonderful trip...  Short but wonderful.

She booked my train ticket to Pisa and instructed me to get off the train and then take a city bus (she gave me the number) to Pisa.   When the bus stopped... I did ask a couple of locals if I was in the right location-- since, the bus just dropped you off on the street and nothing around indicated where I was.   They all nodded their head and pointed straight ahead and then to the left.   So, I set off walking.

I finally came upon an old stone wall... and I continued walking along it and of course at the same time I was constantly looking to the left to see where I should go next. 

Suddenly, I saw the arched opening in the stone wall.  And, my first glimpse of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  I did gasp out loud because I was totally not expecting to see the whole entire view spread out before me.   I remember just standing there taking it all in.

When I recently ran across this photo... I remember thinking back to a couple of people that I knew at my base in Aviano... when, I told them what I was going to go do before I left Italy.   Both of these individuals (they didn't know each other) had told me that they'd gone to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  I asked them if it was as amazing as I thought it would be?

Their response?   "I'm glad that I saw it... but, I wasn't that impressed with it- it wasn't nearly as impressive as much as people talk about it being the 'thing' to see."

Trust me... I was impressed and photos just doesn't do it justice. 

One childhood dream was fulfilled that day for sure.

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