Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 1

I find that one of the most difficult things to do while traveling is to find images that not everyone has in their travel journals. This one and the next one aren't typical as I can't imagine that a lot of people find their way to Hotel Villa Stanley.

We landed in Florence at 6:30 on June 5th and got directions to Hotel Villa Stanley from a very helpful gal at the airport information counter. She went out of her way and even called the hotel for detailed instructions. "When you get to Ikea get off of the autostrada and make a right turn and continue on. You'll come to two roundabouts . . ." Good directions! Beautiful building and the largest hotel room imaginable! We could have thrown a party for fifty.
Take a look here and check out the photo gallery especially the camere section where there is a shot of the room we had. The view only shows half of the room
The first photo above is the view out of the window. The one directly above was taken through the window of the green house. Lots of items were stored inside and this is the only one I took. Was I nuts? I should have made a series!

On Sat. June 6th after a delicious breakfast at the hotel were I became reacquainted with Nutella spread (the Italians love it and have small containers of it amongst the jams and jellies. Hazelnut and cocoa spread of which a jar is now in our pantry.) we drove south to Pisa. I have no idea what I was expecting, but it didn't disappoint! It's theatrical, enchanting, and might have been a caricature of itself if not for the stormy sky that softened the impact. Just outside the entrance, in the photo above, there are souvenir stands and the first of numerous hawkers selling fake original watches, purses, belts, and hats! Yikes! Too touristy! Inside the entrance there are way too many stalls with vendors selling Leaning Tower imitations in plastic, metal, etc that we didn't succumb to. Postcards, yes, knick-knacks, no.

For lots of fun facts go here.
My own shot of the bell tower and cathedral. and yes, I have a shot of me trying to push it back up. After Roger took a photo of me a few tourists asked him to take one of each of them. After four he begged off. I guess that he looked trustworthy enough to hold their cameras.

A black and white image of "eyes" on the bell tower. It's one of those images that surprised me.
I saw it but didn't think that I got it being that it had started to rain, the wind was strong and my hat flew off!
The fairytale quality of Pisa with the ridiculous numbers of street hawkers made me think of this quote: Always make the audience suffer as much as possible. - Alfred Hitchcock
(more Pisa here on my other blog)


darlene aKa HugGeR said...

Your beautiful pics make me want to go take photos and explore. Thanks!

Julie said...

That is one beautiful hotel Gail! Beautiful photos too.