Moby Obie Memorial Mediterranean Cruise, Day 11

PISA & FLORENCE

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[From the port city of Livorno, we boarded a tour bus for a ride through Tuscany to Pisa and Florence.]

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[We disembarked in a Pisa parking lot.]

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[Led by our tour guide, Rosa (lower left), we wandered through the streets of Pisa on a beautiful Sunday morning.  Rosa would prove to be a real pip who drove the Gang of 17 crazy!  😉 ]

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[We’re heading to the Leaning Tower, of Pisa fame.  Turned out to be a bit of a walk.  🙂 ]

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[And there it is!  The supervisor rushes ahead for the first photo op!]

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[In Pisa’s Cathedral Square, the first building is the Baptistery, the second is the Duomo (Cathedral), and the third is the Tower (a bell tower). They were constructed mainly over a 100 year period beginning in 11th century.]

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[The Duomo]

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[And the supervisor performs the ritual all tourists rush in to do – she supports the Tower from falling, here with her backside.  🙂 ]

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[And then uses her hands.  😉 ]

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[My turn . . .]

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[Ever the rascal, I’m pushing it over.]

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[Others follow suit with the Baptistery in the background.]

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[On Facebook pages everywhere.]

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[Hands up!!]

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[The Tower side of the Duomo.]

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[Munchkins]

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[The mandatory tourist eating area adjacent to a historic site.]

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[The “mandatory” eating area is directly at my back here.  Hey, the Tower’s not leaning here!]

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[The Baptistery, the Duomo, and the crowds.]

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[The supervisor enjoys the shade.]

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[Is this Facebookable?]

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[No, we didn’t go up.]

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[Plains animals looking for shade.]

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[If you’re a tower, and you can lean, you can see around the corner.]

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[Looking across to the “mandatory” eating area.]

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[Wow, was that bright in the cloudless sky!]

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[Something on top of a building.]

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[The supervisor chances a bolt across the lawn in the blinding sunshine.]

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[The line for the Duomo . . . no, we didn’t.]

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[The Tower hiding behind the Duomo.]

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[The line into the Duomo . . .]

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[The supervisor finds a slot into which to shoot.]

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[Did she Facebook this?]

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[The Golden Arches . . . no, we didn’t.]

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[Human statues are popular here.]

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[Hmmm, was a purchase made?]

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[On the road to Florence . . . ]

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[We could see the Apennine Mountains in the distance.  When the Apennines were first mentioned by Maria when we were on the Naples tour, it was like a word out of the distant past.  When was the last time we had heard the name “Apennines”?  School daze, long ago.  Apennines, as the spine of Italy, it’s nice to meet you!]

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[That mountain in front of us induced a comment from Rosa.  I forgot what it was.]

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[Appears we are approaching Florence . . .]

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[Well, maybe not yet?  Just another view of the Tuscan country side.]

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[Oh, here we are.  Welcome to Florence!  🙂 ]

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[The road less taken?]

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[Students . . . or tourists?]

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[And we’re walking.  I assume The Nanner likes the hat of the gentleman from Brisbane?]

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[Florence is all about art.  In “If I Had a Million Dollars,” it could be a Picasso or a Garfunkel.]

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[Approaching the Piazza del Duomo.]

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[The Cathedral . . .]

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[Quite the facility.]

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[The Baptistery in the square.]

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[And views from all around the square . . .]

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[That may be Jack Nicholson on the left?]

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[OK, get the herd back in the shade again.]

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[And more around the Duomo . . .]

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[Yup, the place is monumental.  🙂 ]

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[Where to next?]

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[Piazza della Repubblica]

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[And another human “statue” at the Column of Abundance.]

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[Felt sorry her – it was bloody hot that day!]

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[The Orsanmichele Church, on the “trail” between the two major piazzas.]

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[Looks like rebar is necessary . . .]

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[To hold these archways together.]

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[Porcellino!  Drop a coin in the pig’s mouth and rub its nose to ensure a return to Florence.]

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[Ms. Shankar gives it a go.]

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[In search of . . . ]

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[Ahead is the Palazzo Vecchio (the Old Palace).]

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[Welcome to Piazza della Signoria!  We will now begin a tour of the statuary therein . . .]

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[The Joaquins checking for dining potential on the plaza.]

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[David.  OK, it’s a replica – but a darn good one!]

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[Neptune]

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[Heads on swivels.]

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[Probably not George Washington.]

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[Rosa lined up a fine dining experience . . . with a view!  🙂 ]

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[It was time to move out to the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) – we got separated from the supervisor here as she was determined to go her own way.  Oh, this is walking through the Uffizi Gallery courtyard.]

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[We’re heading through that archway to the Arno River.]

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[We’re heading through that archway to the Arno River.  (Oh, I already said that.)]

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[And there’s the Old Bridge, built in medieval times over the narrowest point in the river.  An obvious spot for a photo op!]

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[Undiluted by photo opees.]

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[Let’s head for the Old Bridge.]

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[This view is a continuation up the Arno – we’re taking a left turn to the Old Bridge.]

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[That’s amore!]

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[The Arno]

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[We reunited with the supervisor – she’s in the background with Anne.]

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[And here she is with, I believe, a bust of Knute Nelson?]

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[Yup, it’s Knute!]

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[Let there be commerce.]

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[Shop till you drop.]

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[Street artists – literally.]

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[Pastries!!!!]

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[Hey, Roy-san, send this to Minnie!  🙂 ]

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[Santa Maria Novella]

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[Rosa!  She was a pistol, not a movie star.  She must have been an elementary school teacher in her previous life.]

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[Marching to Pretoria?  Rosa led us on a forced march across the city to find our bus – the Gang of 17 were unhappy campers.]

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[Remember Moby from Day 1?]

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[Rush hour for boats?]

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[I have no idea why I shot this in the vertical?  Is that the Statue of Liberty?]

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[I’ll take it at face value.  🙂 ]

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[A dining room visit with the Joaquins.]

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[I just love dress-up!  😉 ]

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[Sound Idea (I believe)]

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[A pastry!!  And we say arrivederci to Pisa and Florence.]

Up next:  More stuff, but we only have Cannes and leaving from Barcelona to go.  May have to interject some more coverage until then.

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