Hugging loved ones.
In may we went home to Denmark, to say hello, to all of those we really miss back home. Mr. Hymer, the caravan, is not welcome in Denmark (due to not being taxed in Denmark), so we left him in a very secure parking facility in Schönefeldt, Germany. From there we took the plane home. We always use Skyscanner when booking tickets. We have experienced, that it’s the best and cheapest search engine. A bonus pro-tip is to book single tickets instead of return tickets. Somehow it often turns out to be cheaper.
After 4 weeks in rainy Denmark, we headed south again. First stop was a well known place: Via Claudia Camping, where we enjoyed some higher temperatures than in Denmark. It was much needed. Just like the last time, we were amazed by the beauty of the campsite and the area. We stayed for a few days, was greeted by “our goats”, bought a supply of delicious cheese at Schönegger Käse-Alm and systematized our belongings. A thing we actually do pretty often. Who knows, someday we might end up having everything in order, in the most perfect way. After that we went through Austria and on to Lazise in Italy. Lazise is one of the lovely little towns by Lake Como, but the plan was to go even further south, so we only stayed there for a few days.
Lechbruck am see
Taking a detour.
Actually we were on our way to Naples, but as the signs also began to point towards Pisa, we took a detour. In fact, tourist attractions are not something we are big fans of, but still the Leaning Tower tempted us. Our mission is to explore the non-tourist gems of Europe, but that doesn’t mean we can’t follow the masses once in a while. We are really glad we made that decision.
More than expected.
We don’t know, whether we came at the right time of year, or if Pisa is always less overrun by tourists than we expected. Anyway, we were pleasantly surprised. The town itself is super cozy and the Leaning Tower actually exceeded our expectations. It was far more skewed when we stood in front of it than we thought it would be.
The tower was built in 1173 and shortly after, it began to tilt. The soft soil had simply not been taken into consideration and a poor foundation had been made. It’s actually kind of funny to think about, that people are coming from all over the world, to see some shoddy workmanship. It must, nevertheless be a solid kind of shoddy workmanship, since the 14,000 tonnes of heavy tower has kept its barely 4 degrees tilt for more than 800 years. However, it was closed to the public for a number of years. During that period, the tilt was slightly corrected and in 2001 the tower was reopened.
Things to see in the area.
We weren’t up in the tower, but instead we walked around in the area and enjoyed buildings like the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which is right next door. It is incredibly beautiful, just like the Baptist Church, which is also right next to the tower. We returned to The Leaning Tower again later in the evening, because we had seen some pictures on the internet, where it was illuminated. We would like to experience that. Unfortunately this was not the case and we were told, by one of the locals, that it only happened on special occasions.
The Fallen Angel.
Right next to the Baptist Church is an incredibly beautiful bronze sculpture of a fallen angel. The sculpture is called Angelo Caduto and is made by a Polish artist. The broken wings, half buried in the grass and the other damages of the angel, make it one of the most beautiful pieces of art we have come across. In the eyes of some people, it might be very banal, but in our eyes incredibly beautiful.
Our Pisa visit was short, but definitely not something we would have been without. Pisa was quiet tourist wise, the inhabitants are sweet and welcoming, the tower and surrounding buildings are really beautiful and the food is, like most places in Italy, quite formidable. A little tip for eating out in Italy (and everywhere else): Steer away from where the tourists areas. Walk down a side street and keep an eye on the places where the locals eat. Here you always get a much better quality of food, at a cheaper price. Often you will even experience local dishes, which are always exciting to try.
– Text: Eva. Adding, captures and photo editing: Malthe