On our way back from Monte Carlo, Mr X happened to mention that he overheard something about a train strike. A train strike!!!! We were due to take an overnight train to Florence that night. After enquiring, sure enough there was a 2 day train strike with no Euronight trains going out of France. We had to catch a train to Vintimille (which is just on the Italian border) and then pick up the overnight train. The most fun was had with waiting for the elusive train at one platform only to have the French change the platform at the last minute-you sure have to stay sharp to pick up such things, especially when there are no English announcements.

Got into Florence at 7am so decided to store our bags and jump on a train to Pisa for the morning….. a trip which should take 1 hr. Good plan huh! Three hours later we arrived in Pisa as the Italian trains had track problems- they don’t tell you this you just have to work it out. Ms X feeling pretty crappy as she still sees herself in “her pyjamas” (the clothes she slept in from last night)
Pisa is a very old dilapidated university town which bases its whole existence on the Pisa Plaza which is centred around luxurious grass that is chained off so you can’t sit on it. There is a grand cathedral that charges an entrance fee, a magnificent Baptistery (another entrance fee) and of course that leaning tower. Now, we are seasoned cathedral visitors and we both have a problem in paying for going inside a church. Incredible as it seems and obviously reinforced with modern technology, this tower looks as though it is ready to topple over at any moment.
But just like the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty, after we had gazed at it for 15 mins we had seen enough and as Mr X has a fear of heights, let alone heights that also lean, we chose not to go up inside it. Trained it back to Florence in the record time of 1 hour.