Amalina's fascination with the Leaning Tower of Pisa began after watching a Little Einstein episode. I didn't realized how much that stayed with her until one day, after stacking some cups upside down, they went a bit lopey and she declared, "Look Mummy! The Leaning tower of POSA!"
Leaning Tower of Posa? She meant Pisa? Since then we realised that she had a little fascination for The Leaning Tower of Pisa and decided that we would bring her to see the real thing one day.
And the day has come.
The train ride from Firenze is just over an hour.
The train ride to Pisa was littered with scenes of the countryside covered with snow.
We arrived at Pisa not knowing where to go. I know we had to catch a bus to the Torre. Found a bus Map that told us that we want the Rossa line or the Red line.
A lady who was standing at the bus stop kindly informed us that the l'fermata (bus stop) for the Rossa line towards the Torre is in front of the albergo (hotel.) By this time by old Italian classes are coming back to be quite quickly!
I asked her where we should get the biglietti (tickets) for the l'autobus and she told us that we didn't need them as the bus was free on Domenica (Sunday.) Hooray! Imagine that! Free bus on Sundays! So here's a good tip for you travellers to Pisa out there! Buses are free on Sundays! (In Dec 2009 that is.)
I am so grateful for the hospitality of strangers to tourists! She told us all that information with a smile. What would we do without the goodwill of friendly strangers?
When we got on the bus, I heard two Singaporean girls behind me. I could tell they were my countrywomen not only from their accent but also from the following conversation.
Girl 1: How did you know this one is the bus ah?
Girl 2: I asked the guy at the shop. And he told me.
Girl 1: So ah, how do you know where to get off?
Girl 2: You will know one.
Girl 1: Aiyaa Pisa so ulu and so kampung wan ah? Look like Malaysia like dat.
Girl 2: Ulu? This is not ulu yet. Later I show you Ulu.
Wah you see ah. I cannot tahan wan the girl talk like dat! She says ah Pisa Ulu like Malaysia like dat. But ah, nevermind ah, gud wan she is travelling to see the world. If not ah she thinks only Malaysia ulu and kampung one.
I smiled at myself as I listened to that conversation. I hope that I will be able to broaden my child's horizon so she can see the world and the big picture.
Girl 1 however was quite right. Pisa on Sunday was rather quiet and there wasn't much going on there except for the Duomo and the Torre! As soon as you get into the walls of the Duomo, one sight you will see a lot of are people taking photographs!
David, on the left side of Amalina, is not the only one with the weird poses in the vicinity. Almost all the tourists were trying to capture all sorts of poses with the famous leaning tower.
And here is the picture Amalina took as Abah took her picture. As you can guess, yes we are sometimes a picture taking family.
For posterity's sake we all had to take pictures with the Torre because otherwise there isn't that much else to do there. The sky looked different between the two pictures because we each used different cameras.
I didn't even pick up a fridge magnet there! Everything was made in China and costs a bomb.
After all those pictures we were ready for lunch. Now I had read another tip that suggested we ate further away from the Torre area itself because some were overpriced and not as delicious.
However I could not resist entering a chocolate shop, Dolce Pisa, Caffe Pasticceria at via S Maria. Found out they served pasta as well as delicious hot chocolate!
This was Amalina's Spaghetti con frutta di mare. We had wolved down the Risotto con Aspiragi before I could remember to take a picture. (It was a cold day and posing for pictures is hard work!)
I ordered Ciocolatta Calda Fondante (Dark hot chocolate) and DH ordered one with some pepper in them. Can you see how thick the hot chocolate is? Taste exactly like melted chocolate!
We then decided to take a walk. Without a map, and not sure where to go, we decided to follow the direction where other people we walking. Finally arrived to a place that looked like the town center and found their Sunday Market!
Finally found a bus stop that was serving the Rosso line. Our travel companion was looking at the bus schedule.
Do you still think Pisa look like kampung in Malaysia?
We managed to get the train back to Firenze and I could not resist paying homage to my mothership.