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Lucca

By Hannah

overcast 7 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Lucca: Biking the walls

Lucca: Biking the walls

My dad and I visited the old, walled city of Lucca today. Abby wasn't feeling too well, so she stayed behind. The place we're staying at provides bikes to use free of charge, so we rode around on top of the wall a couple times. It was an interesting perspective, and not one that you got the chance to see very often. As we traveled, we saw the morning routines of Lucca's residents. A couple of friends out for a jog. A group of elderly men playing a raucous game of dominoes. Numerous owners being walked by their dogs. After our ride, we wandered the streets for a bit. They meandered and criss-crossed all over the place, and we had to retrace our steps carefully so as not to get lost. We found a large square, which was actually a circle due to the fact that an amphitheatre had once stood there. Houses and shops were built around it, and remained after it was gone. You can imagine how busy and full of tourists it would've been in the summer. As we walked, we discovered a number of bakeries and delis, and couldn't help popping into one to buy some goodies (darn our sweet tooths).

Lucca Torre Guinigi

Lucca Torre Guinigi

We came home for lunch, and to check on how Abby was doing (I think she read for the entire day). We had the cookies we'd bought, which tasted like shortbread/sugar cookie crosses and were either dipped in chocolate or decorated with sprinkles. Tasty, but not quite the same as French pastries, we agreed. I suppose we've become a bit snobbish. After lunch, Dad and I abandoned Abby once more in order to explore Lucca further. We decided to go up one of Lucca's many towers (it seemed that, back in the day, a family proved their importance by building a tower). The one we chose was Lucca's most famous, named Torre Guinigi. The only reason it was distinct was because it had trees planted on top of it. We hiked the 125 feet up to the top, and surveyed the misty, sprawling city that was Lucca. It was a pretty good view, too, and we stayed up there for awhile. We did some church spotting (apparently there are 100 churches in Lucca), and tried to figure out which towers were taller than ours. Eventually, we headed back down, careful to avoid the abundance of pigeon droppings. Another hour or two was spent wandering and trying to read the map (mostly successfully), looking at churches and strolling through squares. We're sorry Abby had to miss out on Lucca, but hopefully the pictures and this summary will give her (and of course you, dear readers) an idea of this quaint Italian town

.Lucca: Torre Guinigi

Lucca: Torre Guinigi

Posted by KZFamily 14:01 Archived in Italy Tagged tower italy lucca cookies guinigi Comments (2)

Tunneling Through to Italy

by Abby

overcast 7 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Italian Tunnels in North of the Italy

Italian Tunnels in North of the Italy

This morning we woke up bright and early so that we could get a quick start to the day as we were going to be travelling to a new country...Italy! After we got ready we ran around the town desperately trying to locate the grocery store we had seen the previous evening. Unfortunately after a large amount of time looking around we were unable to locate the small Carrefour, but we settled for a different store we found along the way. We picked up what we needed for a couple lunches and breakfasts, and soon we were on our way. Recently, we had revived our old tradition of listening to howstuffworks podcasts as we drive. We started listening to these entertaining and informative podcasts during our road trip across Canada, and fell in love with them, as well as the two hosts, Josh and Chuck. To pass the time we listened to "How Language Evolved", "How Pickpockets Work" and more. Hannah also created her own form of entertainment.. counting the number of tunnels we have been through. She knows that she may have missed a couple along the way, or accidently added numbers to her count so she doesn't have a completely accurate number..so we've settled with saying that we know we went through over 120 of them. We also tried to learn some Italian, at which my dad and I were unsuccessful. I passed most of my time by sleeping though, which was fine by me. We stopped for a lunch of baguette and cheese midway through our trip, but soon we were off on the road again.

As we neared our destination we kept our eyes open for house number 266, but we should have known we wouldn't find it on the first try. But we knew we had their phone number so we went to the nearby payphone to try it out. Unfortunately we couldn't get it to work so we had to try Plan B: asking people at the hotel close by. This went well and we got the information that we needed, but, alas, followed it wrong. Instead of turning right outside the hotel we turned left, having gotten confused as we walked out. But fairly soon we were at our place, and were able to be let in. The couple that own the place speak English and are very kind, and let us stay even though we had accidently booked for the wrong nights, the eighth and ninth. We unpacked and turned on the heat, and Hannah got to work on dinner. Before we knew it we were sitting around the table eating warm chili and bread, and then on it was to chocolate and cookies. The heaters were taking quite a long time to heat the cold stone house, but we bundled up in sweaters and blankets and each settled down with a book. We went to bed late, but we fell asleep quickly as we were all exhausted by our long travel day.

Posted by KZFamily 09:05 Archived in Italy Tagged italy lucca Comments (2)

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