HAL guest George Labecki and his family sailed aboard Nieuw Amsterdam’s Mediterranean Tapestry cruise throughout Europe this past July and documented his experience in a journal. Below is the first entry from his visit to Pisa and Florence. Enjoy!
Beginning the Weave: Pisa and Florence, Italy
The face of Tuscany has a thousand eyes, and all the irises are sunflowers. Driving along Tuscany, you see acre after acre of sunflowers winking at you and calling you with their siren song to come and visit, come and stay. Tuscany was where we spent the day today. We rose at 5:45 for a shower and a quick breakfast on the Lido deck before we made our way to the lounge to be assigned a bus for the day. Blue 24 was the sticker we wore. The only thing more blue was the sky today as we made our way first to Pisa and then to Florence.
We were told by many that Pisa was a tourist trap and that we had to go there because it’s one of the things that you “have to do.” Maybe it’s because we were there on a Sunday; maybe it was some factor that we didn’t understand, but fortunately for us, on this day Pisa was a quiet and remarkable place. Sure, we were greeted by dozens of people trying to sell us a real Rolex for the remarkable price of 5 Euros, but those guys are everywhere, and as long as you didn’t make eye contact, they left you alone. We spent the morning taking amazing photographs made amazing if only for the fact that we were standing in the place we had all read about in our schoolbooks. But when the lesson ceases to be a lesson and becomes real, that’s when you have the “Aha” moment. That was us today.