Only got one night booked in Pisa as I’ve actually been told you can see everything in a few hours. I tried to book a bus ticket online to get me to Pisa but the system wouldn’t let me and I had to print a ticket if I wanted to ride the train so I thought I would head to the station and try my luck there instead. Turns out, I was in luck. The coach I wanted to catch actually also sell tickets on board so I bought one for about £6 and climbed aboard.
An hour later, I arrived in Pisa and my introduction to the town was the awful stench lingering through the place. At first I thought it was confined to the airport but as the day went on, I caught this whiff everywhere. And I can confirm it’s not me making the smell.
I took a walk to my hostel and found that the instructions given were completely incorrect, it told me the street but no house number and the sign for the hostel wasn’t even clear! Eventually, a random guy in the street asked me if I was after the hostel and sent me in the right direction. “Thank you random guy.”
As I got into the place I realised it was not going to be the best. The only person there was a guy making the beds. There was no reception, no lockers and no real security to the place. I dumped my stuff there and went to see all of Pisa in my short time here.
First stop was a large garden with an open air theater enclosed in some old ruins. Actually, all of Pisa is enclosed in ruins. According to an information board, there was an archaeological dig that uncovered 9 graves but they’ve sadly covered them back over. After this I headed to the other side of the river and passed by many churches but the one that stood out for me was the Cathedral of Pisa. This is just in front of the Leaning Tower and behind the Temple of John the Baptist. All three of these monuments were immensely decorated with garish statuettes adorning the outside. I contemplated going up the tower but considering the size of the queue, I was not prepared. I did get a ticket for the inside of the Cathedral but these are organised in a stupid fashion. They give you a ticket, at no fee, but there is a time stamp on it. You have to visit at that exact time or you’re not getting in. I know this as my time wasn’t for another hour so I took a wander around the area not paying attention to the time and I got back to the Cathedral 10 minutes late and they wouldn’t let me in! The next time stamp was in another hour again so I gave up. Instead I walked down to the Marina where there were more ruins and I even found a little enclosed garden to sit in.
At around 9pm, having trudged around Pisa for the last 7 hours, I thought I’d head back to the hostel. It was just as grotty as I remembered it and my new roommates were just as bad. I was shown my bed and it was a top bunk with a paper thin mattress and out of 3 rungs to climb up, only one of them actually existed and that was held on with tape. I walked into my room to be greeted by a very fat man’s bare arse. I relaxed outside, chatting with another Brit and having put the world to rights I called it a night. I thought I might get some sleep until the guy below me started snoring heavily and the large fat man joined in. It was the world’s worst orchestra.
Instead I decided to abandon the idea of sleeping and I left at about 6am, as I couldn’t take much more.