Monday, September 24, 2012
Decided to head to Viareggio on the coast North of Pisa. It took a 45 minute bus and 25 minute train ride to get there. It was a 10 minute walk from train station to beach. Stopped for a cappacino at Carmencita Cafe where I had the best cappacino yet. The creme on it was lovely, very much enjoyed it. Side Note: Even though I'm a tea person at home when I travel in Italy I find myself drinking coffee, you know... when in Roma (literally). My normal preference is a caffe latte but I find I now prefer a cappacino, interesting but not something I will ponder why.
The skys were overcast and the clouds threathened rain but there was a good breeze that pushed the weather out quickly and not a drop fell. I walked and walked on the beach walking in the water which was a very comfortable temperature. Not like the Pacific ocean on the Northern California/Oregon coasts, that has some frigid water that we went to growing up. It has been over 2 years since I had my toes in the ocean and sand and it was really relaxing and calming. Tide was coming in and I had to keep rolling up my pants further so they wouldn't get wet. I stopped to read and enjoy the oceans hypnodic pattern and to people watch. Schools in so there weren't any kids but their were a few adults and some clearly were sun worshppers, their skin so tanned golden brown, a dermatologists dream.
Started getting hungry and realized I had walked miles and back tracked my steps. Ate at Bagna Irene, had lasagna, salad of fennel, orange, and pinenuts along with water. Was good. Chatted with two couples from England that were there for a long weekend since it's just a 2 hour flight for them and it was rainy (no, not England). We discussed temperatures in Arizona, England, Italy and parted ways. Was jealous how they can get to Italy so qucikly and so often.
Took the train to Lucca and purchased my ticket for the last bus back to Bani di Lucca. Went to the TI to get a map and rent a bike. I really wanted to ride on top of the wall of Lucca, it is so peaceful and I was really in the mood for excise that day. The rampart is about 3 km around, I went 1 1/2 times around and then made my way into the town. Pretty brave tempting to ride a bike during passeggiata (afternoon strool) in these small streets.
I was happy to see even though the last time I was in Lucca was 2006 that I was still able to find my favorite places. Found out that the main Piazza's have free internet access for 1 hour so took advantage to check email, train schedules, etc. Called home to wish Mom a safe flight as she was leaving that night to arrive in Florence on the 25th in the evening. Had dinner at a non-descript place and had eggplant parmesan and some wine-water. It was good as the ingredients were fresh but not worth going back.
I was making my way back to the station to catch my bus and as I rounded the corner my bus was pulling out. I flagged it down and it stopped - WHEW. Had I missed that I would ahve been getting a room in Lucca for the night or paying a very expensive taxi ride to Bagni di Lucca. Lesson learned: make sure you're at your bus at least 5 minutes before the departure time.
It was a long but very peaceful day. Definately had my share of walking/biking.
Walked 24,324 steps = 12.25 miles.