We arrived in Pisa Centrale at 11:30 at night. A quick cab ride, I was at the Hostel and asleep by 12:30 or so. This morning I was up and out at 8 a.m. The hostel I've found to stay in is 800 meters from the Leaning Tower, so I walked into the old city. Coming around a curve and looking in the distance, I saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa for the first time. It was a thrilling and overwelming sight!
Click HERE to see where I am now.....
Pisa, 3 p.m. and back at the hostel. I've had a very interesting, enjoyable and educational aftenoon so far. After I posted the early part of this blog, I continued to the train station and found that there is an 8:55 a.m. train directly to Rome. I bought a 1st class voucher, needed in addition to my Eurail pass for 5 Euros, and headed back to the walled old city of Pisa. On the way, I figured out how to use my Europe cell phone as an alarm clock and got the phone number of a taxi company. I called just to be sure they spoke enough English or I spoke enough Italian to get a cab in the morning. Thankfully, they spoke a good deal of English. Hopefully the dispatcher in the morning will be just as good.
Once back in the old city, I thought it was time for a sit-down and a beer, so I walked into a "restorante" and found I needed to pay at the register for a beer. At the time, I was asked if I wanted to buy it at the bar, and I said I did. The beer cost 4 Euros and I gave the casher a 20 Euro bill. He gave me 6 Euros in change and we discussed the concept of "addition and subtraction". I pointed out that 20 Euros minus 4 Euros is 16 Euros. A couple of "no comprendi's" later, he gave me a 10. Lesson learned -- follow the money!!!
Once I had my beer in hand, I turned to walk outside and sitdown at table to enjoy the brew. Another employee of the bar, a woman this time, chased after me, telling me I had to stand at the bar. Afterall, I paid for a beer at the bar and if I wanted to sit, it would cost me extra!! OK, I got that and stood at the bar enjoying the drink and doing some people watching.
A fellow next to me was enjoying what appeared to be a small glass of wine and he had been given some peanuts to enjoy with his drink. When he left, I pointed to the peanuts and asked another woman behind the bar -- "OK??" She said "si si". Two peanuts later, the bartender, a guy, took the peanuts and when I asked for them he said "not with beer, only wine!" "But the lady said OK," I said, and he pointed out that "no, she's a-crazy!" So much for the peanuts. I shrugged my shoulders and laughed, and finished my beer. The bar tender starting talking to another co-worker in pretty rapid Italian. I heard the word Americano, but figured they were enjoying my ignorance and good nature. Or maybe they figured I was "a-crazy" too!!