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.
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