Dr. Katinka's practice


Nothing special happened on the 30 Nm to Pisa. It became interesting at the entrance to the river Arno, it was my first river entrance and for this reason I was a little bit excited, especially as the wind in the afternoon fresh up clearly and flushed us with wave and 15 knots wind, literally into the Arno. In the river itself it became quieter very fast and we drove past many fisher huts where square nets floated above the water, which can be lowered with a device.

On the left side upstream, the Arno borders a nature reserve. On the right side there are many small moorings where we wanted to dock one. This was not so easy as there was still a lot going on at the beginning of September. At Nautika180 we found what we were looking for. We got a place for 200€ and could stay four days. With the mooring one was helpful to us with the lines and the people of the small Marina were very friendly and one came immediately into the conversation. We wanted to use the time to visit Pisa and Florence. Who has already driven a bus in Italy knows what comes next. In order to be able to drive with a bus one needs a ticket, so far so well. In Italy you buy the ticket in advance at a newspaper kiosk or at a ticket machine at the central bus stop. Only in exceptional cases and very reluctantly, one can buy such a ticket at the bus driver, of course with surcharge. So what to do if one stands in the middle of the pampas at an almost unrecognisable bus stop and does not have a ticket? The bus driver is the first choice. Our driver chased us away with an unfriendly muttering so that we just grabbed a free seat. He then drove on and took us with him without us having paid anything, so it can also work. We took it as compensation for waiting at the bus stop, because the times on the plan deviate considerably from reality. Anyway, we arrived in Pisa probably kept. Which cannot be taken for granted with the driving style of the Italian bus drivers. The city made a very dilapidated impression on us. In the oldtown on the other side of the river, it got better, the sightseeings there are impeccably in good shape when one gets to see them. As one approaches the famous Leaning Tower, the crowds become bigger and bigger. If one sees it then, one cannot recognize the pavement in front of all the people.

Numerous tourist groups are guided through this chaos by their guides and we are right in the middle of it. What surprised me the most was the statics of the tower. For my understanding it should have fallen long ago, but something still seems to hold it upright. Also the other sightseeings here in Pisa are very well visited. At noon the tourist has numerous restaurants at his disposal and at the entrance the waiters stand and try to bring the best menu of the city to the man or woman. After we had looked at everything and had had enough of the crowds, we made our way back again. The adventure bus ride the second began. We were smart and remembered the line. In a newspaper kiosk we bought two tickets, so we felt well prepared to go home. The problem started when we didn't find our line at the bus stops of the city. After a long time wandering around we finally asked a few passengers we had noticed on the way there, for the bus station of the line 10. Yes they told us, that is not so easy, you have to walk to the bus terminal and that is a bit. We let ourselves be explained the way and finally found the mentioned terminal. The bus arrived on time and with us 100 people got on the bus. So the bus was packed, no chance to get to a stop button, let alone to an exit. The latter didn't matter, because if you don't stop the bus, you can't get off anyway. Much too late we noticed the dilemma and so we were dependent on the mercy of a fellow passenger who finally pressed the red button. That was of course not at our station where we would have wanted to get off, no we drove about 5km further to Marina di Pisa where the bus emptied in one go except for two or three people. Here arrived the people streamed to the beach, we changed the side of the street and waited for the bus which should bring us back a part of the way. Since the buses in Italy are basically late, or do not come as indicated on the timetable at all, such a bus driver always gives full throttle. Ours came a quarter of an hour later and hardly got on, he already shot off. Learning from experience, I positioned myself directly at a red button and observed the landscape flying past me. Since a sign "Nautika180", like now already, much too early, that can not be at all, but the motor activity was faster than the brain and activated the red button. Another hundred meters to the bus stop, much too late for the bus driver. Shortly our eyes met in the rear-view mirror and he hit the brakes. About 100 meters after the bus stop the bus stopped. We apologized and got off the bus. This time two stations too early. The sign Nautika 180 was only an advertising poster and so we had to walk another kilometre and a half, of course with the corresponding comments from the background. We spent the evening on the boat with a magnificent view of the wildlife in the nature park. Deer, wild boars and various birds came to the opposite shore and used the Arno as a watering place.

The next day was filled with stress reduction. We cleaned the boat from the salt crust. The day after we tried the next bus experiment and visited Florence. We liked the city where Dante was born and who chased him from the farm, and where Michelangelo and Loenardo da Vinci worked, much better than Pisa.

We visited the Ponte Vecchio, the Palazzo Pitti, the Piazza della Signoria, the Greek Gods carved in stone, David and the Fontana Nettuno. We visited Dante's birthplace and strolled to the cathedral of Florence. In the market hall we found a nice stand where we enjoyed a mixed ham platter.

The day passed very fast, there was still so much to see. But we got an impression, were tired and still had our bus trip from Pisa to our Katinka in front of us. This time we mastered it with a stop on the spot. The days in Pisa were counted and the weather brought us NO wind, which was great for our onward journey to Elba. From Elba and how it went on afterwards and what happened in this time, we tell you the next time.

In this sense, keep a hands wide and your ears stiff.