Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Cruise - Part III Pisa

After leaving Monte Carlo in the late afternoon, we enjoyed another excellent evening meal in one of the many  restaurants on the ship.  We then sailed through the night and woke up to find ourselves at the port of La Spezia in northern Italy.  We were planning to get off here and take an excursion to Pisa and its famous leaning tower. 
Passengers for the excursion (it was very popular!) all met in the themed Sphinx Room on the ship, which as you can see was a marvel of interior decoration! So much detail!

As the ship is too big to dock in the port itself, we then made our way down to deck 1, where we boarded the small tender that would take us across the harbour to the dockside. All very well organised and stress free!!

In La Spezia, we got on a coach, where a tour guide pointed out places of interest en route.

We passed the mountains where they mine the famous Carrara white marble; quite spectacular to look at, but sad for us that we didn't have time for a closer view! Photo taken while driving by in the bus.

The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, which is the bell tower of the cathedral, which you can see alongside. The tower was closed for a decade in the 90's, whilst engineering work was carried out to correct some of the lean, and then covered in scaffolding for another decade while they cleaned the exterior. It has only re-opened fairly recently, so we picked  a good time to see it! Now they are sprucing up the cathedral itself.

The base of the tower, where you can see very distinctly how the foundations have subsided on one side.  There are in fact many buildings around Pisa where you can see other buildings leaning in the same way, but none are as obvious as the tower.

Nigel was there! The weather was still cool enough for jerseys!

"New" city walls of Pisa, erected in 1156 by Consul Cocco Griffi.

The central square in Pisa. Loads of people everywhere!

Horse-drawn carriages ready to take tourists on a viewing ride.

Also there was this little train taking tourists for trips around the town. I am standing on the left.

The Arno river runs through the centre of Pisa and we were taken on a boat trip to see the many sights and beautiful buildings, including palaces, along the banks. A very prosperous city in past times.

I was quite taken by the beautiful architecture of this small and delicately styled church.


Away from the centre of the town, many of these fishing nets are set up.

We had much enjoyed the day's tour and considered ourselves fortunate to have seen Pisa's wonders!

Once back at the ship, I was fascinated by the changing colours of the bridge lighting, see Part I.



Watch this space for The Cruise Part IV.

and my daily blog


78 comments:

  1. What a marvelous trip Diane. You were fortunate to see the tower after it's closure and sprucing up. And what a site it is! Very exciting.
    Sam

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    1. Sam it would have been disappointing if we had seen it covered in scaffolding so we were lucky. Take care Diane

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  2. the tower always attracts my attention !

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    1. Ola something historic and very unusual. I am so glad we got to see it. Have a good day. Diane

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  3. I can't tell you how wonderful it looks from the frigid NEastern US. It is SOOOOO cold and Pisa looks so warm and inviting. I still can't get used to the size of cruise ships but yours looks delightful...

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    1. Deana the size is incredible but once on board ship it is like being in the largest hotel you have ever been in and you hardly feel any movement at all. Quite an experience as was all the restaurants we went to. Have a good week Diane

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  4. this was such a wonderful trip! interesting to see pisa, i have never been there. there must be something in the ground which doesn't support the foundations? i wonder if there is lots of sand? thanks for showing this to us!

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    1. Jaz it was interesting to see one of the winders of the old world. The cause of the lean is the reaction of the composite of clay, fine sand, and shells that the tower is built on. Hopefully they have rectified it so it will last for many more years. have a good week. Diane

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    1. Thanks Rick, a bit different fro the Charente for a change :-) Have a good week. Diane

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  6. Apart from the 'sights'...that church by the river bank looks exquisite. And you must have found those fishing nets familiar from the Charente coast....

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    1. Fly I would have loved to have got off the boat and looked at that church properly but..... You know I have never really seen the Charente coast except at La Rochelle and Ile d'Oléron !!!!! So much to see and so little time to fit everything in.
      Have a great week and both of you take care. Diane

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  7. I spent the day in Pisa in either May or April many years ago. The tower was still open to the public with no hordes of tourists (even though I was one). The Carrara marble site would probably have been more interesting to visit.

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    1. Nadege you are probably right. I would loved to have seen the marble site closer, also the church on the river. Maybe one day we will get back to Italy. This year we have planned on Spain and Portugal. Two different friends have bought in Portugal so we have two great stop overs. have a good week Diane

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  8. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures. What a grand adventure! Have a great day! Cathy

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    1. Cathy it was an adventure plus for us, one we would never have planned with out our friend. You have a great day also. Diane

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  9. It is fun going on a cruise with you. Great shots of Pisa

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    1. Thanks diane b it really was quite and adventure for us and I am glad I can share some of it. Take care Diane

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  10. looks like a wonderful trip ;-) happy new year

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    1. Thanks Rebecca and a Happy New Year to you as well. Have a good week Diane.

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  11. Great to see the tower freed of scaffolding at last, we were not so lucky for our visit. Can you get inside it now?

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    1. Hi rusty duck, so far as I know yes you can go up the inside now, We did not have the time and we would have struggled with the number of steps anyway!!!! Have a great week Diane.

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  12. What a lovely adventure you had. Beautiful weather and wonderful sights. Karen

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    1. Karen the weather was very up and down but mostly cold. Think this was the only day that N wore shorts! It was though a huge adventure. Have a good week Diane

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  13. Your pictures brought back reminders of my visit to Pisa some years ago. The Tower looks much nicer now than then. We did get to La Spezia recently when we went to the Cinque Terre. Thanks for sharing your pictures. Shirley would love to do a cruise, me not so much.

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    1. Michel they have really spruced the tower up and we were lucky to see it minus scaffolding. Not sure that we would go on a cruise if we had not had the offer. Only being in one place for a day was not easy when there were many things to see! Keep well and have a good week Diane

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  14. Hello Diane,
    First of all I have to say your new banner looks great! It very pro and elegant!
    What a magnificent trip, this cruise!
    You managed the feat to get the Pisa tower look straight... at least on the first pic!!
    Where Nigel stands, it must really feel funny to a monument stand askew!
    Your photos are really gorgeous!
    Keep well!

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    1. Thanks Noushka, it was my New Year banner but I decided that I liked it so much it will stay put for a while :-) Depending where you stand you can get the tower at almost any angle! Hope this week is a bit drier, take care Diane

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  15. Fabulous photos and a very interesting post, Diane.Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Colin and Elizabeth, it was certainly a cruise of a lifetime for us and we did enjoy seeing how the other half live. Keep well you two Diane

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  16. How fortunate that you go to see Pisa and more of Italy I think this area would be super to see. I have been North, Thank you for sharing your trip , , I cannot get enough now. I have to go back :-) You were on a trip of a lifetime , just amazing, take care and keep warm xoxo

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    1. You are right Anne it was a trip of a lifetime. We were lucky to see Pisa, sadly we missed Rome as I was not well see part V!! It just keeps raining!! Keep well, Diane xox

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  17. Your photos make me want to go on holiday, quick like, lol. Alas, I won't be going anywhere for quite some time. Good thing our weather here has been pretty good in December and January though I hear it will be back to normal (rain) soon. I hope your weather is cooperating.

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    1. Joyful going through these pictures makes me want to return :-) It will not happen though. We have a trip to Portugal planned for June though which should be good. Our weather is horrible it just does not stop raining!! Take care Diane.

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  18. Your header is amazing, I love it! What a wonder filled cruise, thank you so much for sharing this tour with us! Your photos are awesome!

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    1. Thanks Linda, it was an amazing tour and we cannot thank our friend enough for making it all possible. Keep well Diane

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  19. Hi Diane .. we went when I was about 15 and so those sights resonated .. but obviously there's so much more 'touristic' choices now - no horses or river cruises when we were there. Your photos are fabulous .. and I too love that little church - incongruous with those flat concrete like apartments behind it ... I bet it's beautiful inside.

    Gorgeous trip - and you were, as you say, really privileged to have the trip arranged for you ... Makes me want to go back! ..... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary thanks for the two comments. I was really sorry that we only got to see the outside of that little church but.... At least you have been there and seen it, now I can say as much :-) Hope you have a good week Diane

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  20. It was lovely to see more of this famous city. I only know of the leaning tower. The Sphinx room looks great with its Egyptian decor. Great photos!

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    1. Denise it was interesting to see more of Pisa despite a rushed trip, I also before only knew of the Leaning Tower. Have a great week Diane

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  21. I have been in La Spezia, Carrara, Pisa and enjoy you taking me back there!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed your return trip :-) Have a good day Diane

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  22. I've never been to Pisa, so thank you for the wonderful shots.

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    1. JM I am surprised I thought that you had been everywhere..... Have a great day. Diane

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  23. Excellent pics of your visit in Pisa. It's a pleasure to follow your beautiful post.
    Deepa

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    1. Many thanks for the visit and the comment. Hope to see you back Have a good week. Diane

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  24. An interesting post with some good shots.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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    1. Thanks so much for your visit and comment, much appreciated. Have a wonderful week Diane

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  25. Hi Diane, to answer your question that you left on my blog, I am doing very well. I think I will be walking normally by mid summer. Hope you are doing well. Looks like you have had some very good vacation trips, this one looks fabulous.

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    1. Horst good to hear from you and glad that you are walking better. Summer should be good for you this year. Yes last year was a good year for holidays! Have a wonderful week Diane

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  26. Un très beau voyage. Bravo!!
    A bientôt.

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  27. Diane, what a great place for the ship to stop so you could visit! I envy you, and would love to go there. So much history, so much incredible architecture and interesting things to see in Pisa. What a great trip! Thanks for the tour and have a good rest of the week!

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    1. Thanks Pam, it was an amazing trip and one we would never if been on if it was not for our friend. Glad you are enjoying the trip all be it on the computer :-) Have a good day, Diane

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  28. The leaning tower is amazing. Such a wonderful cruise you guys explored! Again, thanks for taking us to your tour.

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    1. Thanks Rose, it was a wonderful trip. Hope you are feeling better. Take care Diane

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  29. What a trip Diane.. The only time I've taken a boat trip was a four dayer down the Nile, was fantastic. Your cruise ship here is so much bigger. The tower of Pisa always makes me smile, it kind of reminds me of the shelves and pictures my husband hangs for me :)

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    1. Ha ha I can imagine your shelves and pictures. It was an amazing trip and something we are never likely to experience again. The tower at Pisa looks quite smart now that they have done it up. and hopefully stopped it from tipping any further. Keep well Diane

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  30. Diane - as you know Sue and I will be in Italy next October however Sue has been to Pisa in a former life and so I may miss it.
    I'm sure that from our trip to Italy in 2006 we will still experience many other wonderous sights if we miss Pisa. You photos do make me wonder if I will regret missing Pisa.
    Leon

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    1. Leon we loved Pisa but a short day visit was not enough. Maybe one day we will return but there is just so mush to see in Europe that may be we will not have time! Off to Spain and Portugal in June this year. Sorry my reply has been a bit delayed :-) Take care you two Diane.

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  31. What a great cruise you are had, inspiring!

    Of course Italy is the best (I would say so, wouldn't I?) :-) hehehehe

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    1. Ha ha Alessandro of course you would say Italy is best. It was an amazing cruise though and we did enjoy it. Have a good week Diane.

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  32. Hi Diane, wow you had a great holiday didn't you. I have just been reading all your posts about your holiday and it looks fab. The ship is massive and looks so great. You have certainly seen some wonderful sights. A holiday to remember for you I think. Thanks for sharing your pictures and memories. :))

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    1. Ellie it was certainly a holiday of a lifetime for us thanks to out friend. The ship was like 5 huge hotels al in one it was quite amazing. Glad you enjoyed. Have a good week Diane

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  33. Parabéns pelas suas maravilhosas fotos.
    Beijo.
    Nita

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    1. Nita, muito obrigado por sua visita e comentário. Tenha um bom dia Diane

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  34. i hv never seen the base of the tower in pic before, thanks. great sightseeing and the mountain views from the bus is beautiful!

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    1. Lena it is interesting to see the base and how much it has in fact moved. Have a good week Diane

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  35. Lucky you are!
    Enjoy the rest of the trip!
    Always good to explore, see and do new things and collect good memories.

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    1. Gunn we were lucky and it was a holiday of a lifetime. Great memories of the holiday and of our friend. have a good week Diane

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  36. Απόλαυσα και σ΄ευχαριστώ πολύ αγαπητή μου Diane για την ενδιαφέρουσα ξενάγηση!!!
    Χαίρομαι που περάσατε τόσο όμορφα! Ποτέ μου δεν ταξίδεψα με κρουαζιερόπλοιο, αλλά πρέπει να είναι πολύ όμορφα!
    Ίσως ταξιδέψουμε κι εμείς κάποια μέρα...
    Πάω να απολαύσω την καινούργια ανάρτηση σου :)
    Πολλά φιλιά

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    1. Thanks Magda, glad you are enjoying the photos. Keep well Diane

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  37. Hope your cough is better..Remember when you, George and CaraRose went through the winter with the cough? What a year that was..but yours never left. Hope it is much better now. Glad you had a wonderful trip, it looks beautiful..Always think about you.
    xoRosebud/Carolyn

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    1. Carolyn, it is amazing that my cough has gone. I had a few problems over Christmas in the UK when it returned, but once back in France it went away again so fingers crossed!!!! Think I am allergic to the UK :-) It was an amazing trip. Have a good weekend Diane

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  38. Great shots of those wonderful old buildings, Diane.

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  39. Thanks José, it is amazing how long some of these buildings have been around for ! Keep well Diane

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