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E-mail from Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Bon giorno!

"Blasted! They put the tower right up again!" This was my first reaction when I got a first glimpse of the famous tower, a couple of kilometers north of Pisa. It had to be the one. It looked in any case the same as the small plastic one where you put pieces on until it falls over. Remy had other priorities, and the one at the top of his list was getting to a camping. He had taken up too much to fast and started to fell miserable. He couldn't care less if the tower was upright, leaning or upside down.

We left the hotel that morning around ten and first visited the beautiful city Lucca. Lucca is a small walled city north-east from Pisa and is the birthplace of the composer Giacomo Puccini. We visited his house of birth and even cycled a part of the 'Puccini cycle route' to Pisa. Even though we didn't had to climb the day - which is unique for Tuscany - was 50 kilometers cycling and a visit to Lucca a bit too much for Remy. He was pretty worn down by the time we arrived in Pisa.

PisaI do get the impression that many of you know Tuscany very well, because we get a lot of tips and directions. For us it's the first time. It's even our first time in Italy, but I think you knew that already.

But... despite all the tips and directions: we decided to change plans once more. Even though where good at planning our trips, we're bad at following our planning. Because we do this almost every cycling vacation and we think we held it up long enough with following our route!

At the moment we are still in Pisa and because Remy got a mean case of the cold added to his health-issue list, we decided to stay again until he has recovered enough.
At first we would travel over Volterra and Sienna to the south. We hear it is a wonderful route but with a lot of climbs which will get you up to a thousand meters altitude. It's funny to think that the landscape here is described as sloping and hilly while we call our lumps in the Netherlands 'mountains'.

One way or the other, it is not sure we can make it to Rome on bicycle with these delays. To improve our chances we think about following the coast. Even though we'll still need to climb, it won't be high and they will be smaller in number. There are also a lot more campings on our route, which make it easier to stop when needed.

But for now, we're in Pisa. Maybe we try to move on tomorrow, but that's up to Remy. We hired a small cabin on a camping (also a first-timer, this cabin) and is more luxurious then the previous hotel: own bathroom, air-conditioning, kitchen (outside), WiFi, swimming pool, restaurant.... I won't be bored. And I can also try to rectify the situation with that silly tower. Because depending an the direction from which you look at it, the tower is leaning over a lot!


Remy & Gea