I still can’t believe, that a little over 12 months ago, on the 1st day of November 2019, we woke up for the second morning in Switzerland. And later that afternoon, we were taking pictures at the world famous heritage site, Leaning Tower of Pisa, in Italy.
I’m recounting it all, like an excited school-girl back from a 1st ever holiday without the parents 😅 Truth be told, it all feels like a dream. Yet the memories are as real as if they happened only yesterday and not a year ago. So I’m writing everything down for fear of losing these fond memories – as the days & months turn into years and my dear old brain ages and forgets 🙂
In all seriousness, I want our granddaughter when she’s grown up, to read these recounts and know that inspite of covid19 and all other problems/disasters/countless other issues, that come our way, daily – this world we live in is a big round playground, for anyone and everyone irrespective of race, colour, religion, gender etc, to play in and enjoy. And God is the master caretaker, in everything that happens in this big and wonderful playground. It doesn’t matter which part of the world you wake up in – you are still you, and God is God. I wake up everyday, forever thankful to God for the freedom to make choices, to be able to dream, for the air I breathe in, for friends (old & new) and most especially the blessing of family both immediate and extended.
On day 5, we woke up even earlier to restock on snacks for the bus, from a corner shop down the road from the hotel. We’d gone to check it out the previous night but it was closed. Luckily for us it opened up quite early. Anyway, we ended up buying more Swiss chocolates and souvenirs 😅 besides snacks for the bus ride. We walked back quickly to the hotel, repacked our growing luggage and loaded them into the bus before heading to the dining room for breakfast.
By 7.00am we were on the road again, our destination this time, Italy!! First point of call apart from the rest stops, was Florence. However that was changed on the way when our tour leader, Matt, realised we would be late due to traffic. As it turned out, Friday 01.11.2019 was a public holiday in Italy, hence it was a long weekend in that part of the world. The holiday/ long weekend was to celebrate All Souls and All Saints days. Hence, pretty much, “all roads led to Rome & Florence” on that particular Friday.
Around 4.45pm, ee arrived at Pizza Del Duomo which is home to the landmarks, leaning tower and grand marbled-stripped Pisa cathedral. I’m not Roman Catholic but I attended a Catholic Girls High School, so Italy, Rome, the Vatican city, leaning tower etc have always been on my bucket list of places to visit. Here I am living my dream, and the best part of it is, I am sharing it with my husband, Iamo.
There were thousands of people there, but there’s something magical about this place. If you stand still in silence, despite the noise all around you, a special feeling of completeness engulfs you. That’s how I felt! Blessed beyond measure is how my husband and I felt, as we stand in awe of those two landmarks. I also had my dad’s bible with me, and I’m reminiscent of why he had insisted on my attending a catholic girls high school, even though he himself was a pastor in the United Church, PNG back then.
From Pisa, we then travelled to Montecartini our transit point for the night – we stayed at this hotel called Massimo D’Azeglio. After checking in and freshening up, we all met in the hotel dining room for a Tuscan meal. The food and wine didn’t disappoint, another fun meal shared with great company.
The rest of the night was free for anyone who wanted to go out and see the festivities happening around town. We went for a stroll with our friends but didn’t venture out too far… we were back at the hotel and in bed by 10pm, ready for another early departure.
Day 5 done with leaning Tower of Pisa ticked off the bucket list 🙏❤