December 13th, 2005


Flying out of Stansted around the middle of the day, we arrived in Pisa at 3:30pm. The bus ride to Florence took 70 minutes, and by the time we got there it was pretty dark. We checked into the Hotel Aldini right on the corner of the Duomo piazza (square), and from our room I could see the campanile (bell tower) and cupola (dome) of the cathedral. We only went for a short walk that evening and I'll always remember my first look up at the Duomo; I'm glad I first saw it at night. We had dinner at "Buca S. Giovanni" on the other side of the piazza, so-named for the Bapistery of San Giovanni I suppose. The restaurants open at seven and that's almost a cause for distress in a person who likes his first aperitif around five. This restaurant was downstairs below street level and seemed to be intended more for the locals and friends of the proprietor than tourists. The food was passable but we had a good waiter, a grey-haired man of around sixty, who made us welcome and brought me a beer promptly each time I asked for one.

(More later...)

Underground literature

Last night on the way home from work I took a seat in the Tube station so I could read my newspaper while waiting for the train. On the seat beside me there happened to be a book. I took it home. On the front of the book there is a sticker. The sticker says:

I'm not lost!
Please pick me up,
read me, and help
me with my journey!
(See inside)

There is another sticker on the inside front cover. This sticker says:

Guten Tag!

I'm a very special book.

You see, I'm traveling around
the world, making new friends
wherever I go. I hope I've found
another friend in you!

and write a brief journal entry
with my BCID number (below).
Then keep my dream alive:

Below this is a 10-digit number and the code name of the person who left the book on the seat in the Underground.