Sunday, May 15, 2005

A Pisa Party..

After Venice,we decided to check out a world wonder while we were there. The leaning tower of Pisa seemed to fit the bill quite nicely.So we board the famous Eurostar ( running at a whopping 380 k/hr ), we get there and find we have to take another bus and travel for half an hour to get to the actual tower. Doesn't make sense, if you ask me. If the only thing your town has to offer is a world wonder, you'd want the railway station to be as close to it as possible wouldn't u ?

But I digress. Anyway, half an hour of travel later, we get to the famous tower. At first sight, its partly blocked by a couple other buildings, one of which is a museum and the other a prayer hall (I think. Entry fee to each building cost Rs.700 so naturally I didn't bother going in to make sure)

Anyway, the actual tower is, well, not too impressive. Prejudiced i might be , but i would say its about 25% taller than the Anna nagar tower near my house. And i`m told the tilt is because of the ground breaking up under the foundations. Whats the big deal about a tower some architect screwed up is beyond me.

We figure the least we could do to make this trip worthwhile is at least climb on top of the tower. Entry tickets cost around Rs 850 per head and turns out people were only allowed in in batches. Pretty sensible, Too much people get in, climb to the top, the tower gets top heavy and more world wonder !

The earliest ticket we could get was for 2 hours later and we amused ourselves (well, stopped ourselves from drifting off to sleep through sheer boredom actually) by walking about the lush lawn all around the tower. Now that turned out to be a much better pass time than looking at a crummy old tower. Europeans everywhere seem to have a curious affinity with lawns. No sooner do they spot one than they proceed to strip off (yup, you read right), to various stages of undress and expose their nubile forms to the nourishing rays of the sun. And of course to gawking tourists, yours truly included). Maybe i should ship some of them over Chennai. My college does have a good collection of well maintained lawns. And theres no lack of willing eyes either..

Well back to the world wonder, climb up the tower we did, and it was no mean feat let me tell ya. I mean, the height and the distance weren't really a factor. But thing is the higher you go the more the angle of inclination of the tower, so the harder it is. Some places you end up hugging the wall and moving one foot step at a time (at least i did). About 3/4ths of the climb climb is within the tower and the rest outside its circumference which was scarier or more thrilling depending on your point of view. The view from the top was worth the whole thing though. You could even spot a football match going on a in a distant stadium, and if u get a pair of high powered binoculars. So you know know where to head if u don't get tickets to the next AC Milan game ..