And the adventure begins…

Pisa was overcast when we landed which came as a surprise, it’s only ever been sunny on previous visits. In under 15 minutes we were through passport control, luggage collected. Queuing for train tickets took considerably longer

€50 euros for four to Poggibonsi was a bargain compared to a taxi transfer which was nearer €200. The PisaMover shuttle train was well signed and we headed off to Pisa Centrale with confidence.

Today is the last of three Easter festival days and we hadn’t bargained for the trains being so busy. There was only just room for us to manhandle ourselves and our suitcases aboard, it was very cosy, very hot and standing room only.

We changed trains at Empoli with only 4 minutes to meet our connection on a different platform. It was hard work dragging heavy suitcases up and down stairs.

The train to Poggibonsi was marginally better, we had room to sit down in the small lobby between carriages.

It was pouring with rain in Poggibonsi and the train doors took against us. They refused to stay open long enough for us to get off and a sense of panic ensued as we struggled to get out with doors persistently closing on us – they were determined to decapitate! Luckily other passengers were there to help otherwise we would have made national news. Suddenly UK trains seem absolutely wonderful.

Things improved when we found a solitary taxi at the station and we were on our way to the hotel. In view of the weather we decided to eat in the hotel only to be told the restaurant was closed but we could pop across the road to the supermarket.

We did just that, then sat at a discreet table in the hotel bar and proceeded to picnic. Luckily Jacky had packed plastic plates and cutlery and Ken had a bottle opener.

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