European adventure 2016 – 6. Venice to Piza

European adventure 2016
York, Hull, (P&O Ferry – Hull to Rotterdam), Cochem, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Prague, Passau, Salzburg, Lazise (lake Garda & Verona), Vicenza, Padua, A. Venice, B. Siena, C. San Gimignano, D. Piza, Antibes, (GNV ferry – Genova to Barcelona), Sitges, Trèbes, Arès, Chataillon Plage, Guérande, St Malo, (Brittany ferry St Malo to Portsmouth)
16 May 2016
We enjoyed our stay in Venice! Long journey south today to Siena. Some of the road in Italy are rediculous, heaven knows what they are like further south. Fortunately most of it was on payage €28. The site was situated in the heart of Tuscany and the scenery is quite stunning with vast views over rolling hills and the vineyards and typical cypress. The site was very shady and OK despite having to turn on 3 showers to get warm water. We went to the village to get supplies and ate in. John decides to fall out of the van sending the washing up everywhere. A damaged knee and damaged pride lol. More importantly no pots broken. It rained all night and kept me awake grrr.
17 May 2016
Nice day. We get the 11.45am bus into Siena at €2.20 return each. Nice journey and the town is lovely particularly the main square with “the second highest tower”. Spritz in the Square and enjoy the sunshine as we then follow the route from the eyewitness book. John took a picture of 2 ladies in what appeared to be Lycra to be put on the fridge door. Sooo, bad. We decide to buy a selfie stick as all our pictures have the same look and not much in the background. A nice look around then supermarket and bus home which went into the camp site door to door, lovely.
18 May 2016
Short drive today to San Gimignano. The campsite was tiered with panorama views. This we found out not to be true as they had planted trees to obscure it. It was the cheapest per night at €15 so what do you expect. When we arrived we were told to pitch up and go back to reception. God it was steep. We chose pitch 25 and headed off. The turn and steepness meant we had to unhitch on a hill to drop the jockey so the back didn’t ground. Quite a manoeuvre and impossible without the mover. Anyway, we set up and go to San Gimignano. Michael chose a site 14 miles from Florence and 15 miles from SG. A lovely drive getting to town around 4pm. Very pretty with nice squares and streets. (Forgive me, but so has every town in Italy apparently), we have a Spritz which came with ample tapas. Then we looked for a restaurant. It was too early for most places at 6pm. We looked around and ended back at the place we had the Spritz. Med salad and mushroom pasta for me and pasta and beef with beans (methane) for Mike. Nice drive back before sunset.
The thought struck us – how do we get the van out of the site? Mike didn’t sleep for worry.
19 May 2016
Oh my. A stressed Mikey is panicking, how do we get out and if it rains etc etc. He announces emergency pack up and we get ready for off in record time. We watched several people leave all with different techniques. Next door took a run at it bouncing his way up, scary. Another took it in his stride and off he went. The van that restricted the run up left, that improved things. Our turn. Slowly does it choosing the correct route. The BMW is a powerful beast. With an inch to spare we made it out and we breathed a sigh of relief. We had escaped and our journey to pizza correction Pisa started. 80 miles. With our early start we arrived at 11.30am and quickly found a lovely spot on the end of a row with south west view. A thunder storm was brewing in the distance. We had a cup of tea. “Shall we put the Awning up?”. Ok, if it rains it could do with a wash. Famous last words as we almost finished the heavens opened with heavy rain then hailstones which increased in size to marbles then 1″ ones, the weight of them collapsed the awning which needed a push to get them off. The plastic Windows took direct hits and several holes appeared, then the water started moving under the ground sheet making every step bring water through it. Then the window from earlier started to leak, mmmmm. This is a mess. It stopped with mountains of hailstones by the side of the awning. Photos were taken for insurance. We head off for supplies and eventually found a Carreforte but decide to eat out in Pisa. The leaning tower complex is very close and beautiful in the last light and very quiet with no tourists. Explore the town at this time is great but the map we had was rubbish and we got lost. We found a lovely restaurant because of it though called Caverna. Spaghetti with Ragu and beef sirloin for Mike and a form of tagliatelle with red pesto and mackerel plus cod and vegetables for John. The desserts were superb chocolate and coconut fondants for mike and pannacotta with peach and elderflower. Fab. Good wine and pretty staff.
20 May 2016
Lazy day requested and washing clothes to do. The awning needed to dry out and it could take quite a while 🙁 Out in the evening to find this beating heart from the map. Found. It’s just like Drawing board but a bigger square and the lovely barman let me taste several wines before selecting one. The night was very busy and very enjoyable. We will return.
21 May 2016
Sunbathing then a night in the town. Met 4 lovely people @ Drawing board 2. Gero was leaving for Brighton to do an English course on the 28 May. Mike added them on Facebook. Lovely people.
22 May 2016
Train journey to Lucca today. Lovely day, mike felt a little poorly so we came home but enjoyed the day. Trip to Pam supermarket for a meal in tonight. BBQ kebabs mmmm
23 May 2016
Pisa as a tourist today. We walked in and down the main shopping street buying some lush hair shampoo. Then back up to the leaning tower complex.
Mike doesn’t fancy any more tourist viewings so I go and see the duomo and baptistry. One thousand years is a long time. Amazing buildings
Curry tonight then into the town, it’s just like home.
24 May 2016
We should go to Florence today on the train but decide not as the news just breaks that France is under lockdown and there is a fuel shortage. Because there government changed employment laws! The people are revolting. We can’t get across France without the need to fill up. Everything is in chaos. What shall we do? Adam has a flight to Nice booked. We will have to ponder this one mmmmm
We have a trip out to a seaside resorts called Viareggio and Torres de lago Puccini. Ok but nothing special.
Remaining curry tonight, even better second time. A night in watching the final instalment of the Hobbit.
25 May 2016
A meal out was in order after a hard day pre packing and cleaning for journey tomorrow. We found a atmospheric pizza place and it was very cheap and good. 3 course meal with wine for 2. €40. Not bad, then into the square for a last drink. Gero met us again with another girlfriend. I think gays are very repressed in Italy.

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