Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Final Notes on a Scorecard, Part II

First, HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY, for the second time, to my bride Laurel Elizabeth Contreras!!!

My last day in the Cinque Terre was a fortuitous one. After a 6:00 a.m. wake-up, I caught the first bus of the day down the hill at 7:15, got to the train station in Corniglia in time to catch the 7:22 train to La Spezia and once there only had to wait 5 minutes to catch the train to Pisa! Timing is everything in life.

Brandon Bennett told me how his Art History teacher at Willamette University had raved about the interior of the Cathedral in Pisa's "Field of Miracles". When Brandon and Matt went to Pisa during our first BYE week, they made a point to visit the Cathedral and were not disappointed.

When Laurie and I visited Pisa a couple of months ago, we did not go into the Cathedral due to time constraints. Since I was thankfully flying home at 2:40 p.m. from Pisa's airport, I planned on spending the morning checking out the Cathedral.

When I got off the train, I was joined by 100's of students getting off the train too walking to the University of Pisa just about two blocks from the "Field of Miracles".

The Cathedral IS worth the 2 euros entry fee, see it when you come to Pisa!

In conclusion, the Cinque Terre is a great pace to enjoy "Il Dolce Far Niente", i.e., "The Sweetness of Doing Nothing".

My friend, David Lassen, currently on the run from the Vatican Swiss Guards due to his illicit Sistine Chapel photographs, sent me this picture and reminded me that only wimps do NOT take the pedestrian stairway up the hill!

David also sent me this picture he took of Vernazza, pretty sweet!

David is the person who first told me about the Cinque Terre and convinced me to make it a tour stop...THANKS DAVID!

By the way, the Vatican City State does NOT have an extradition treaty with the United States of America, your safe in Ventura County, David.

The view out my hotel window of the town of Corniglia.

I stayed at the Cristiana Ricci B&B in Corniglia.

That's the B&B on the left, the reddish one of the three. My room is the one with the open green shutters and the white drapes showing on the second floor.

The wall around the "Field of Miracles" in Pisa may have kept out the Barbarian Hordes but it is not doing much to stop the tourists.

Pisa's Cathedral and the famous Leaning Tower in the background.

Pisa's Baptistry

I was pleased to see that my statue as a child is still on display in Pisa.

It really does lean!

Romulus and Remus?
Shouldn't this be on display in Rome?

I love toting my luggage around all day, it's good exercise!

This is the first view you get as you walk into Pisa's Cathedral.

The Pisa Cathedral's ceiling was something that Brandon raved about...with good cause as it turned out!

"Ornate" is a word that would fit.

Every Italian church, big or small, MUST have a Madonna and Child statue or painting...
It's Canon Law don't you know.

How did they do this without today's technology???

After visiting the Cathedral, and with plenty of time left before my flight to Catania, I decided to just stay in the shade sitting on the cool marble Cathedral steps and just watch the world go by.

Many of the people you see are University of Pisa students studying or just taking a break between classes. Of course there are also tourists and elementary school field trippers all over the lawn.
It was good to see two of the University of Pisa's wrestling team members working hard on their moves in front of the Cathedral!

Do they still keep track of riding time in collegiate wrestling?

Pisa has BIG pigeons at the airport!


DPLassen said...

The tower in Pisa is definitely one of those things that you have to see in person to appreciate. It seems impossible it hasn't toppled over.

Oh, and I won't point out that your consumption of Havana Club may violate the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba (no matter where you are, you're still an American citizen) if you don't bring up the Sistine Chapel photos again.

George said...

If Gov. Arnold can smoke Cuban cigars in Canada then I can consume Havana Club rum in Sicily!