Lucca, Italy

Staunton has finally finished and now we’re in Lucca, Italy. Tomorrow we’re heading over to Porto San Giorgio by train (a bit shy of 400kms!).

The UK team won the match against the Dutch 26.5 – 23.5. Gawain drew the last round against Sokolov. Overall it was a good experience and Gawain was pleased with his last week of play with 3.5/5. We had a day break in between which included going to his former residence in Reading and picking up his books. We thought we’d be over the limit and flying back from Bologna (to Ireland) with RyanAir meant we had to be ruthless with our possessions. In the end we sent 20kgs to his parents! We also left some stuff at his mum’s cousin’s house. Lugging around 9 pieces of luggage was no mean feat but we succeeded and finally arrived.

The train from Pisa was easy (and cheap). Staying in Albergo Universo which is conveniently located right next to Piazza Grande and near the shopping stretch Via Filungo. We spent yesterday lazing around as the tempertaure was at a high of 42 degrees and in the evening it was still around 27! We also met up with a school friend of Gawain’s (He lived here when was 14).

Today we were planning to go into Pisa to do some sightseeing but felt quite tired so slept in. We ended up going shopping for me as I only have 2pairs of shoes and luckily found some before the shopkeepers were heading off for their siesta. We decided also to have a siesta then went and hired some bikes to cycle to the village he used to live in. It was 15km cycling in all and if you know me you’d know I don’t like much exercise but luckily we made it back in time before the bike hire store closed.

It’s nice here, the walls, towers, churches and of course the great food! A bit hot but in the evenings it’s quite nice to go out for a passagiatta.

We’re quite tired so off to sleep soon in time for our 6.09am train.