08 August 2009

Day 78

Holding up the Tower 4, originally uploaded by Ryan Runs Europe.

After staying most of the day in Lucca the day before, I decided to stick around Pisa for a day to do some planning and to make sure I took that typical "holding up the tower" photo (Check it out!).
Tristan and I woke up around 9, had breakfast and headed out to see a bit of town. We stopped by a pharmacy in the middle of town that Octavio (the father in the house we were staying) ran. He had left out a bottle of Calcium for me, because I hadn't had any luck finding it anywhere else (it is most often chewable or in fizzy drink form here). Tristan and I had lunch at a nearby pizzeria and spent a couple hours doing some "work" at an Internet cafe before heading over to the tower.
As soon as we arrived, we spent about 15 minutes trying to hold up the tower using "real life Photoshop". I think I succeeded after a while, but it was pretty hard. My expression is definitely somewhat real because it was pretty hard to hold that position for 5 minutes while Tristan was saying:
"Ok, now move the front hand slightly forward. No. No. OK. Now back. No, too far. OK...now angle it kind of forwards. No, the other forwards. OK. Lean back. OK, now put your lower hand forward again"...etc.
After photo time, it was time to have a look. Around that area you have to pay for everything, but figuring that we might as well do it, we reserved a time to go up the tower and spent the afternoon between the Duomo, the Baptistery and the Camposanto. Each building has some (or many) incredible features on its interior, including an amazing pair of 700 year old frescoes in the Camposanto that were destroyed by Allied bombs during the Second World War and then carefully pieced back together again...definitely by some dude who really really loved jigsaw puzzles.
Tristan and I sat around in the grass waiting for our 7:20 tower climb to roll around, eating lemon gelato and raspberries that we bought from a nearby supermarket, using the caps of chocolate milk bottles as spoons. The tower was interesting and about what I expected it to be like, but it was a great view of the surrounding landscape. I don't know if I will ever get tired of climbing up stone steps that have supported so many visitors that they have begun to dip in the center...something that I have really only found in huge tourist destinations in Europe.
A little after eight, we headed back to our place for the night, where we had an enormous and delicious dinner with the family. After dinner, we went upstairs to talk to the oldest son Filippo. Noticing his last name on an award on the wall, and then seeing a photographic family tree, I realized that he was a member of the same Sassetti family that had constructed this house in the mid sixteen hundreds. That was pretty amazing for me. I also called Marco, the main man behind Brooks in Italy who had offered to run with me to Livorno the following morning to arrange when and where we would meet.
Before we went to bed, Tristan and I sprayed ourselves with some "Off" that we had bought in the supermarket earlier in the day...we had both been destroyed by them the night before.


  1. That is an awesome photograph. You expression really looks like you are holding it up.

  2. Hey, I have seen many photos including my daughter's.. and yours by far is so realistic!..

  3. hey laura, email me! I lost my signal and could not get back to say goodbye to you...how is Japan?....dont have an email. mine is nadinewj@aol.com
    OK Ryan, I mentioned to Carina we were in exactly the same place with your brother 6 years ago!!! funny to see the photos, even one of the pillar she sat on with PJ. Your legs are looking pretty solid! Talk to you soon!

  4. Why everyone likes to teke a picture holding on the Pizza?... It's like on Rio de Janeiro: everyone likes to be with the arms on open, like the Cristo redentor!

    Well, killins a part of... Good pictire, good historie...
    I thoock that Pizza was more big... Not big, just glamrous... know me?
    Well... maby at a thausend or a twow thousend years ago, not?

    hehe, good picture... very funny... piegas


  5. The picture is realy good! You've got good muscle on those legs. Wow!

  6. WOW!! Ryan that leg muscle put Doc to shame. He's still at the Gym haha... enjoy your journey.Big hugs from Alexander and Ceirra.We love you and miss you very much. Carters

  7. Am really inspired by you!!! I'm from Asia, and I dream to run Asia one day! Keep going, this is YOUR experience of the life time =)

  8. I wish you all the luck with this :D

  9. That is such an awesome picture, I am so freaking jealous every time I look at your blog. How many comments must you read a day? Gotta tell ya, Ryan, your blog here has been my favorite from the beginning of my blogging career. Which started about a month and a half ago. Maybe it was just because it was the first time I'd ever seen a blog with so many followers. Or because you were featured on Google buzz, or whatev. But I got to keeping up occasionally and the story here is so cool. You are fortunate. God bless you.

  10. LOL I don't think any tourist who has ever visited the tower at Pisa has not had a photograph like this!

  11. The steps of the U.S. capitol building have the same sort of indentation leading up to the floor of the House of Representatives. It's an awesome thing, isn't it?

  12. Liam, actually, I was just there in the spring, and I did not take a picture like that. I kind of regret it now, but it's so cliché and touristy. Maybe if I ever go back that way I will ;)

    It's pretty neat to see the exact same place I have in my photos here.