We checked out at 10:00 (more like 10:30) ate breakfast and headed through the long blue tunnel to the train station. We waited 30 minutes (always passing the time with a game or 2 of gin) and took the train to Monterosso.
We found a nice spot in the middle of the most crowded touristy beach and tanned. Elizabeth and Kate swam two different times, but I stayed out and continued tanning. I ran around in my bathing suit and chacos like the typical tourist trying to find some stamps...finally I found some in the train station . I went back down to the beach. We all packed up, and dressed ourselves and walked up the stairs.
We each bought a slice of pizza, I mailed some postcards and we made it to platform 4 just to wait for yet another train. Is the train waiting getting monotonous yet? 20 minutes later we were in La Spiza waiting for another ..can you guess it? a train to Pisa. The people working for the station were shuffling all the awaiting passengers from platform to platform, back and forth. Finally as soon as we went to the final platform and boarded the train, it left 2 minutes later.
At the train station we sat down in McDonalds trying to get some wifi to book a hostel, but no such luck. Just as we were about to leave, this little old lady reminded me of a bird the way she spoke in short choppy sentences so quiet. At first when she tried to ask me something I asked her if she knew English because her thick England accent didn't sound American English at all. She asked us to watch a few of her bags while she went to check in at her hotel. "Only half an hour, oh thank you! I'll be sure to make it a quick trip," is what I gathered from her chirps.
I laughed at how hard she was to understand, but just waited for her to return. Her name was Wendy from Porkshire (something or other), England. She had white wispy hair and pomegranate colored lipstick smudged on her petite lips.
When she came back, she immediately slapped a map on the table and asked exactly where we had booked our hostel. We told her we didn't know the location, but we had directions on how to get there. I really don't even think she listened to this statement because she told us to follow her as she loaded her red and white bag on to her blue and white striped baby stroller. She strolled out of the station and Mc Donalds to where all the buses were pulling in and out. We all knew this is where we had to get on the bus #6, but she walked across the street passed the bus stops to the plaza. She asked literally everyone that passed if they knew the Italian street our hostel was located.
At this point my patience was gone. I wanted to tell this lady that we had been on our own for almost 2 months and she was clueless! But instead I kept my mouth shut because she was sweet, old, and just trying to take care of a couple of young girls...so I let her. When we stopped at a gelato shop, she asked if anyone had glasses or a magnifying glass...I laughed and said no. But I did tell her I could read the map without glasses or a magnifying glass, but she refused to lax her help she was trying to provide. She kept looking with no success. Finally, I lied and said, "oh! I know exactly where to go! Come on girls! Thanks Wendy! Have a nice stay and thank you again for your help," walking away and pushing Kate and Elizabeth with me.
Hey it worked and I was polite. I mean...We've been on our own for this long and we didn't need anyones help in this circumstance. We were in Pisa and had all the time in the world to find our place.
We finally found our hostel after running away from Wendy, walking a mile with our heavy backpacks, sprinting and waving frantically in front of bus #6 to stop it and get on it, walking around a corner and finally seeing our semi-disappointing hostel. It was decorated nicely, but our actually bread was concrete with a satin bed spread to make it look fancy.
We unloaded and took the bus back to the train station to catch another bus that would take us to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We took the cliche pictures leaning on it and such and just spent 20 minutes admiring the probability and reality of this building falling and actually staying standing tall. We took a taxi back to our hostel because the buses stopped, and it was too far to walk. mmmmm sleep. Can't get enough of it.