The Leaning Tower

Our plane landed in Pisa at 10:15 on Saturday night. After being told by a taxi driver it would cost us 15 Euros for a two-kilometer ride to our hostel, we decided to walk.

The streets were quiet and the walk was uneventful. We arrived at our hostel about 20 minutes later, checked in and went to bed.

The next morning we woke up, showered, chugged three cups of coffee each and were out the door and on our way to the leaning tower by 10 a.m.

It was a rainy Sunday and the streets of the town center were fairly empty, save for a few loud Italians charging around with their umbrellas.

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The walk from the hostel to the leaning tower took about 45 minutes. As soon as we got in the vicinity of the tower the streets filled up and the excited voices of tourists filled the air.

To be honest I didn’t expect much, but it turns out the leaning tower is pretty cool.

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The area around the tower is clean and the buildings are well preserved.

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The tower itself leans much more than I imagined. It’s a miracle the thing has fallen over and squashed a group of stupid tourists pretending to hold it up.

And of course the Coug flag had to make a brief appearance.

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The one downside of the place is that a trip to the top of the tower costs a whopping 18 Euros. Of course they can get away with charging this obscene amount of money because the damn tower is quite literally the only thing worth visiting in Pisa.

Naturally, we heard people bitching about the cost of going up the tower. I wanted to turn around and tell them, “if you’re not prepared to pay 18 Euros to do the one thing worth doing in Pisa, kindly leave.”

Anyway, we went to the top.

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While the view from the top was pretty cool I think the most fun part was navigating the stairs on the way up and down. Even though the tower is leaning to one side, gravity keeps you upright. So as you clamber up and down the stairs you feel like you knocked back one too many glasses of vino at lunch.

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After summiting the tower we cruised over to a nearby restaurant for lunch.

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After lunch we determined we’d done the tower, so we’d done Pisa.

We spent a few more minutes watching all the really clever and original tourists pose for photos pretending they’re supporting the tower with their skinny little arms before we walked back to the hostel to get our bags.

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By 4 p.m. we were on the train and hurtling our way toward Cinque Terre where we would spend the next three days.

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