Travel Diaries No. 8

What an absolutely, amazing day. I am starting this post so late because I had to pack up to head back to the other hotel for tomorrow morning but I absolutely could NOT just leave this post out. Today was one of my favorites in Italy. I felt so alive and refreshed and I want that feeling back all over again. It was like dancing in a dream.

Today my grandparents went to a Bible study while I stayed and slept in. I was so exhausted from touring last night I figured it would probably be the best decision for me.

When they got back, they called my room and told me that I had a little less than 45 minutes to get ready and board the bus. SO what did I do? I jumped out of bed and got ready as fast as I could because girls, we all know that looking good doesn’t happen in a minute. I scurried to the bathroom, did my morning routine, threw on my outfit, and was out the door. Nothing wakes you up more than having to ABSOLUTELY be somewhere in the morning, not even a coffee.

I got down to the bus, took my seat, and since I felt so energized from speeding out the door, I decided that instead of sleeping, I would watch the view from the window all the way to Pisa. I’m glad I did because normally if I went to sleep I would feel really groggy when I got off the bus and today I stayed awake all day! Not one nap! Hopefully, that means I’ll get some good sleep.

Once we arrived in Pisa, Italy we took a mini McDonald’s sponsored train to the leaning tower of Pisa. It was honestly like going on a little kid’s ride at Disney World or Kings Island or some sort of amusement park. I wish I got a picture to show how ridiculous it was. The funny part about it was we were all making fun of one that we saw from the bus ride and then once we got off we realized that we were taking the exact same train. Funny, funny.

We arrived at the square and met up with our tour guide. We originally weren’t going to take the guided tour since all of the tour guides have been so boring but this guy was very funny. It was truly interesting listening to him make a bunch of jokes about the area. It really set a light-hearted mood for the day.

The first joke that he made was based on what the area was called in general. They call it the “Square of Miracles” but, he said, there hasn’t been any miracles happening around the place. That’s just the name they gave it. Also, the people of Pisa hate the people of Florence. So he made so many jokes blaming the people of Florence and they were absolutely hilarious!!

There are so many buildings surrounding the Leaning Tower of Pisa. You have the Baptistry, the Cathedral, the graveyard, and a hospital. All of these buildings are still in use today which I thought was very interesting.

Starting with the Baptistry, a fun fact that I thought was interesting was that the people who got baptised there would be baptised with rain water. So, originally, the giant circular building didn’t have a roof. And if you weren’t baptised, you were not allowed in the cathedral. When we were there he said that the most recent baptism that they had in it was this morning at 10 am and I thought that was funny.

Now, a lot of people come to Pisa to see the famous leaning tower but originally they came to the square to see the graveyard. It was supposed to be a very special and holy place and it was Pisa’s original main attraction.

The cathedral, in the inside, has many beautiful works of art all throughout. Their original goal for building the cathedral was to make it the world’s largest cathedral but, of course, that didn’t work out that way. Inside, if you look at the ceiling, it is all made with real gold. It was absolutely marvelous. The church itself was just a work of art.

For the hospital, it is now used as a hospital and a university which I thought was pretty neat. I just love how everything is still up and running. Like the cathedral still has church services. But anyway, the hospital was also used for travelers who wanted to stay the night if they took a long journey to see the graveyard. So it was kind of like a hotel and a hospital all in one.

And now, for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. According to the tour guide, the tower is completely useless. That was crazy to me! The fact that the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower, both very famous towers world wide, are just completely useless. WOW. They still don’t know who the original architect of the leaning tower was because nobody wanted to claim the construction error. But, they kept building it simply for tourist reasons. The tower was just the church’s bell tower and it has seven bells inside, one bell for each musical note. I loved that fact. Now they do not ring the bells because they are afraid that the vibrations will cause destruction to the tower but underneath the tower, they have secured it with sturdy rods or wiring (I can’t remember). Their original idea for keeping the tower secured was to freeze the ground since the tower was tilting 1 mm every month. Which doesn’t seem like a lot but for a building that is an issue. So they tried to freeze it and in just a 24 hour period it shifted 4 inches. THAT IS NOT OKAY. But now the building is secured for at least another 300 years. Also, the tower, back in the day, did not let everyone climb its steps. Only royal people could go into the tower like Kings and Queens. Now, you can climb the tower but you only get like 25 minutes or a little more to climb all of its 294 steps, take a picture, and make it all the way back down and it costs 18 Euros per person which is a lot for just touring a building. SO, is it worth it? Probably not.

One thing that is worth it though is going to Pisa, Italy. I absolutely loved it. It wasn’t as crowded as all of the other places like Florence and Siena. It felt so fresh and airy and the weather today was just absolutely beautiful. Since Pisa is about 8 miles away from a river you really feel the nice breeze. I just loved how the place looked in general and I really enjoyed my time touring there.

After getting our super cheesy Leaning Tower of Pisa pictures, we headed out to try and find something to eat before we had to get back to the McDonald’s train station at 5:30. We started walking around and since I didn’t eat breakfast because I decided to sleep in, I was getting some pretty bad low blood sugar. I felt very irritable and hungry and the last thing I wanted to do was walk around to find a restaurant. But, my grandfather already had one picked out. So we started walking but the GPS kept taking us in the wrong directions and gates were locked and we had to keep turning back and finding a new direction. It was very irritating. I was just very hungry. We walked and walked and walked what felt like hours (it was only a maximum of 30 minutes) and all of the places were closed where we were. So we finally found a place and I got a coke to bring my blood sugar up and after I ate I felt much, much better. THIS is where it gets laughable. We started walking back to the square where the leaning tower was and turns out… WE ONLY HAD TO TURN THE CORNER TO GET TO THE RESTAURANT WE ATE AT!!!!!!!!! WE WALKED FOREVER TO JUST EAT SOMEWHERE A MINUTE AWAY FROM WHERE WE ORIGINALLY WERE. OOOOOOO that really got me. But it makes a great story and I had a good time sharing it to the other members of our group on the way back to the train.

Once we got back on the train, I just looked out the window and didn’t take a nap! Two points for Laurel. When we finally arrived back at our hotel, I just went to my room, texted some people from back home, and practiced my music that I will be singing at the Feast in a couple of days. The music is all in Italian so I’m hoping everything goes alright. But, I’m sure it will because I’ve sang in other languages before in my choir at school.

After about an hour, my grandparents came and got me and we headed down to the other hotel for dinner. I had some still water tonight with some white wine and pasta. I didn’t eat as much as I have been because I just didn’t feel good last night from eating so much so I figured I should take it easy tonight. I just ate until I was satisfied and not until it was gone…

Something that was different about tonight was that there was a guy who was playing music for all of us while we were eating. He played so many instruments! The flute, saxophone, piano, the accordion (if that what that piano thing is called ha!), and he even sang for us! The cool part about the music was they were all songs that we recognized like songs from the Beatles and Frank Sinatra. It was very enjoyable.

They brought out everyone’s desert which was an amazing mix of strawberry gelato and a type of creamy ice cream and when you mixed it, it tasted like strawberries and cream! IT WAS ASTOUNDING. I loved it so much and someone even gave me theirs! While I was eating my gelato, the music got more upbeat and fun and I was honestly living my best life eating that desert and dancing. AND THEN! the song that has the phrase “YMCA” came on and we all just rose and started dancing! I love to dance. We were all dancing and jumping and people were taking videos and I’ve never seen so many smiles.

The music man turned up the volume and we danced the night away. I did some crazy dancing and even a man came up and asked me to dance so we shuffled around the floor and it was so much fun. Then a slow song came on and my grandfather and I slow danced. The music got exciting once again and next thing you know it felt like I was flying all around the dining area! I’ve never had more fun in my life! I felt so free and happy. We ended the night’s dance with the chicken dance and the macorana. During the chicken dance, the guy who played all the music danced with me! It was such a blast. It was also nice to work off all of the meals I’ve been eating here in Italy!

This night was definitely one to remember and I’m so excited for what tomorrow brings. Also! They told me that there is supposed to be a huge dance at the Feast and I couldn’t be more excited. And remember that boy I was talking about? Well, his grandmother came up to me and told me that he was a good dancer and that I should get him to dance because for some reason he was being shy tonight. I told her to tell him that I’d love to dance. So dear boy who sat behind me on the bus part two, let’s be friends and dance partners. What do you say?

What a night.

Laurel ❤


laureldobrozsi View All →

I am an eighteen year old who wants to blog for the teenage girls.

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