We again cruise overnight, the Liberty of the Seas is already at dock in Liverno when we look out the window. The port is nondescript, we are quickly up and at breakfast. We have booked a half day tour of Pisa. It’s going to be hot today and we would rather do Pisa early and be back for late lunch and the afternoon in the pool than doing the long drive on to Florence. The bus is waiting and off we go.
It’s about 30 minutes to Pisa, but there’s a lot of traffic so it may not be as far as we think. The approach to the Old City is fairly ordinary really. The road is strewn with rubbish and graffiti here and there. The coach parks in a large car park about a kilometre from the Old City. The car park is full of tat stalls and hawkers, they are in your face as we try and escape. We are stuck waiting for our guide, who is stuck waiting for people by junk. We finally get going but it a slow walk as many of the group are already struggling in the heat.
We finally enter the gates and travel back to the 12th century. In contrast to outside the walls, the old city is clean and well organised. We go straight to the booking office but we cannot get tickets to the tower, before our bus leaves. We walk the grounds taking some pictures, just like everyone else, tour the Duomo and the Monumentale. This takes a couple of hours and we head for the square and a coffee. Best coffee since we left Sydney over a month ago. It’s now very hot. And we get some more water for the walk back.
Our guide finally gets everyone together and we start the walk back to the car park. The walk back is quite a bit longer, as we leave the Old City by another gate. The pace slows and Pam and I just keep going at our own speed. We find the bus and wait and wait. The last person finally boards complaining of the heat and distance. He is a large man and obviously happy to sit in the air conditioned coach like the rest of us. Our bus departs, a few minutes later there’s a scream from the back, Paul, the last man to get on the bus has just had a heart attack. He passes away as a result. The rest of the bus trip was very quiet.