07 August 2009

Day 77

Cycling in Lucca, originally uploaded by Ryan Runs Europe.

22 Kilometers.
Tristan and I woke up around 10, had some breakfast and set out to do our laundry and see some of Lucca. We got some bicycles and rode them around the city walls on our way to the laundromat. Lucca is a fortified city with old Medieval, Roman, and Renaissance walls, and the latter has a bike path that rings around the entire city. After making a loop, Tristan and I locked up our bikes and waited around the laundromat wearing only our jacket and long pants while everything else washed in the machine...it was definitely a muggy and uncomfortable wait, but in less than an hour our things were washed and dried and no longer smelled horrible. We changed back into our running shorts and t-shirts, dropped off our bikes and went over to go to the top of the medieval Tower Guinigi. There are trees growing on top of the tower, so you can stand in the shade and enjoy an amazing view of the rest of the city and of where we came from and where we were going.
In the afternoon we finally set out towards Pisa and once again took things pretty easy. After about 10 km we came upon a tunnel that was clearly marked as being almost a kilometer long...and after looking around to find that there was no other option, we buckled up our packs and took a run for it. The air was dank and cars were zipping by, but as we breathed the fresh air on the other side, we were suddenly taken aback by an amazing view of the city of Pisa in the distance. The rest of the way was around windy roads and very straight roads, both of which were busy and neither of which had a shoulder...so instead our shoulders were getting scratched by the sharp tall grass that lined the wall of earth on the side of the road as we would try to lean away from passing cars.
Eventually, we got to the tower (this time a "wow, WE came here on foot") and I called up Simona who would be my host for the night. Brenda and Antonio in Milano had put me in touch with their friend Lele in Pisa, but he was away for the week and very kindly set me up in the house of a friend of his. I spent a little bit of time being stressed on the way there, not really sure of what would happen now that Tristan was with me as well, but Simona was very welcoming when we arrived and invited us both in. The house was incredible, and right in the historic center of town...with high ceilings and that old Italian style, it was definitely a change from the storage closet we slept in a few nights before. Simona actually runs a bed and breakfast (the Relais Sassetti...if you are ever in the whearabouts of Pisa) and has hosted many American exchange students, so the family was pretty used to having visitors. We took our showers and had a great dinner with Simona and her family (who had a lot of questions to ask about running) before washing our cloths in the sink and going to bed. I still can't really believe I'm in Pisa.


  1. OMG! Ryan, what adventures. Each day I read, I wonder how the heck you do it! I am happy that Tristen is with you. It is fun to have company and I am hoping that he slows you down a bit! I love seeing how you are unrelenting in your determination...like getting in to see David..how many times just asking really makes a difference! Please say Hi to Tristen, I liked the photo of you dragging him....he probably felt like that for real!! Love you son.

  2. Man, at first I saw the bicycle and thought you were cheating, that you finally gave up on running... What was I thinking! Keep it up Rybum!

  3. I love the bycicle photograph. It is awesome.

  4. Bet u are having a ton of fun w/your new companion!...

  5. you look so happy on the bike! What a great trip you are having.

  6. Ryan, You look great and happy. As if you're back home riding bicycle to see a friend:-)) love Phula