MY EUROPEAN TRIP PART 11, PISA, ASSISI, ITALY

Here I am again. Hi !

So, I’m now in Pisa. Pisa is a city in Tuscany and the capital of the province of Pisa.  Although Pisa has several places of interest and history going back  at least thirteen centuries B.C. , it is famous for the freestanding belltower of the Cathedral. . Though there’s an ancient city in Greece called Pisa, historians are not clear whether this area ‘s civilization is  of Etruscan or Greek  in origin. Italy’s history is complicated because it used to consist of  so many kingdoms that were entirely separate from Rome.  Italy that we know today did not exist then. Venice, Florence, Rome…. they each had their own thing going on.   Pisa is also the birthplace of Galileo Galilei. If you have not heard of Galileo, then you’re an alien.

I was , naturally, very excited to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa and it didn’t disappoint me. It was  awesome.  Actually , the belltower is just one of the  4 buildings at Piazza dei Miracoli, or Field of Miracles. But images of  it  give the impression that the tower stands alone. Well, it doesn’t. Just a few steps from it  are  the  beautiful Cathedral, the Baptistry, and the Camposanto. ( cemetery )

Below is a pic of  our tour group ( and me ) at a pit stop. We were all ready to go, quite refreshed and perky.

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There’s the Baptistry the Cathedral, and the Belltower. They are all made of white marble, and yes, they are all  sinking. The fact is, there are also at least 2  other towers in Pisa that are leaning.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise beacuse Pisa, after all, got its name from the Greek word Pisa, which means marshy lands.

.Construction of the tower began in  1173 and was completed in  1399. The tower tilted during construction due to the soft soil and inadequate foundation. Construction was halted for almost 100 years. This allowed for the soil to settle and compress , making it a bit stable. However,  the tilting continued prompting the Italian government  to seek help from engineers and mathematicians from all over the world.

.Over hundreds of years,  it became clear that the tower was not only leaning, it was actually falling, at the rate of 2 millimeters a year, and at one point, was in danger of toppling over.

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.Today, the tower is about  3.9 degrees off perpendicular  or about 5 meters off.  Nonetheless, the tower has been declared stabilized and will remain so for the next 200 years.

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.The Baptistry above was where Galileo was baptized.  We wanted to see the Cathedral’s interior but we were not properly dressed. Dress code : no shorts. Well we didn’t know  we were going to visit a church..  So, my cousin and I just goofed around outside while the rest of the tour group were inside the church.  Not fair.  But, we had plenty of time to shop for souvenirs. There was  a row of  colorful souvenir stalls  just across from the piazza. I wish I had taken a pic  of that. Very touristy.

.A nap after a tiring day.

Next day, we went to Assisi,  a medieval town and the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order, whose members vow to a life of poverty.  Together with St. Clare, St. Francis is the patron saint of Italy.

Pastoral scene on the way to Assisi.

.It was the Romans that built the town of Assisi  on a series of terraces. The population is about 25,000.

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.It may not look it, but that was quite a steep climb to the top.  I was out of breath when I reached the top.

A souvenir shop along the way

.There’s the church of St. Francis. He is also buried there.  It’s a pity we couldn’t take photos of the interior. But, there was a Mass going on, and  it was Sunday, so we decided to attend it . So now I can brag say we heard Mass in Assisi.

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Above is the main door of the church. That’s the only part  that has elaborate designs. The church is simple, inside and outside. It was, after all,  built in honor of a saint who lived a simple and humble life.  Right above are 2 Franciscan monks.  Or are they friars ? Priests maybe? I wonder what the difference is between a friar and a monk. * googles *………. Friars are those who can get out of monasteries , and some are ordained into priesthood, and therefore can say Mass. Monks are those who are cloistered in monasteries and abbeys and brew beer. Kidding !  But beer afficionados swear they brew the best beer in the world.  I suspect monasteries don’t have heaters, so alcohol trumps hot coffee to keep one’s body warm and toasty on cold , winter nights.   However, I’ve seen Benedictine monks  who go outside, and even seen them smoking, he he he. Okay, let’s not go there.  * ponders *   I wonder why we Catholics  use the word ” hear ” instead of attend the Mass ( we hear Mass ) and the priest who celebrates the Mass ,  we say  he  ” says” the Mass. It makes sense though.  I mean, say and hear  go together, right?  Just musing.

.I didn’t capture the beauty of the scenery, and the place  really looked  so serene.

.This is  it for Pisa and Assisi.

It feels weird that while I’m gushing over Pisa and Assisi, and talking about serenity, I’m watching the news about the Israel and Palestinian conflict. I’m not going to say what I think about this. I won’t even say something stupid like Why can’t they get along . They’ll never get along, but can’t they just leave it alone? Who are we to say that, anyway ? Heck,  our own Democrat and Republican politicians can’t get along. That said,   I wish the US would leave Afghanistan , NOW , not in 2014. We spend 6 billion dollars a month for  the people of a country  whose hearts and minds  we can never win.  Just leave them alone  and let them do what they want . If they want to kill little  girls who want to go to school, so be it.  Can I say freely,” Frankly, my dear,  I don’t give a damn.  ?  Would they  be happy with that?  We need that money here in the US.  Can you imagine what that $ 6 B can do here in the US ?  Sentido comun.  Spend it on us, on the people of Staten Island, the homeless, on education,  renewable energy, so we won’t be hostage of  foreign oil.  Here;s the thing though. I have a co-worker  who is an Afghan woman. She married a US born Afghan -American soldier who was deployed in Afghanistan.  Her family in Afghanistan was so happy, especially her dad, that at least one of his children would have a better life here in the US. The problem is, her relatives in Afghanistan are harassing her family, especially her mother and sister.   She sends half her salary to her family there, and she’s so afraid what will happen to them when the Americans leave.  Oh, and she cried and cried when she was promoted as manager, the keyholder,  at our store. She said this would never happen  to women in her country.  * sigh * I don;t know. I’m so conflicted.

Here I go again, speaking my mind.  This is supposed to be a travelogue, ahaha.  Oh, well.  * shrugs *  I guess I’m like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna read here. he he he.

Alright, this is all for now.  Florence is next…. and Monaco ( maybe ) G’day to all, and PEACE !

115 responses to this post.

  1. Buon viaggio, Buon divertimento

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  2. Great photos as always gal 🙂

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  3. wOW THAT THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA. Another beautiful places again…Enjoy the rest of the trip! 😉

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  4. Nice pics , i really like i t…Keep writing….:)

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  5. hello, naku nag- enjoy talaga ako lalo sa photos, hahaha, ang dami mo atang kuha (shoot) dito ah. hehehe. hmmm.

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    • kase nagreklamo yung iba… wala daw akong pics dun sa ibang posts. naiwan kami sa labas, kaya nag goof around na lang kami. Otherwise, wala kaming oras mag pose, he he .

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  6. Well since I have plans of exploring Europe in near future, reading your post is something I look forward to. So, I took my time and now that I am done, I am quite relieved that the tower is going to stick out for the next 200 years- I think I have some time 🙂
    Forest Gump 🙂 Smooth !
    Lovely pictures and excellent storytelling. If I could, I would pay you all the money for visiting places I want to go and then you can write amazing travelogues 😛 What do you think- are you up for hire? 😀
    Looking forward to Florence 🙂

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  7. You can write a travel book! Very good descriptions intertwined with your own thoughts and commentary (I think this is what made this post so good).

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  8. Ah, thank you, Lafemmeroar ! ! I do write irrelevant stuff coz there’s nothing else to say. I’ve run out of adjectives to describe the places that I visited, so I just wrote down my thoughts, hahaha. But I’m so happy you like it, especially coming from you.

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  9. A) You’re always so stylish! and B) I didn’t realize the tower leaned THAT much!

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  10. I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you this, but you’re a cutie! Great pics!

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  11. Nice hat 🙂

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  12. Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on November 20, 2012 at 3:59 am

    I loved the pictures! especially the ones of the Church of St Francis! European architecture makes our seems so peasant like. lol.
    What if you were wearing skorts (skirts that were really shorts) would they have let you in huh? hm debatable!!
    I don’t know why people insist fightin over such stupidity. religion, land, education. who cares! no one should care if women get education. if they keep fighting over land, they wont have anything to take possession of.
    the religious zealots they think they have the right to enforce their beliefs on others. people would happier if they only thing they accepted is love and peace and each other.
    blah blah…
    just an idea 🙂

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    • Nope…. It should be pants or , your knees should not show.

      Right, Rebecca. They don’t need to get along, but they should at least tolerate each other. Don’t talk to each other, who cares, but they should not kill each other. I have a problem with Israel’s neighbors. . They seek the annihilation of israel. They should disavow that. How does it feel to live in a country where you are surrounded by people who want you dead.

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      • Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on November 21, 2012 at 1:01 am

        Knees? Wouldnt thighs be more skimpy or what? lmao.
        Tolerance is such a big word, I dont think anyone knows what it means. it would be wonderful, instead of teaching hate, people would teach tolerance.
        Especially children. the world be changed so dramatically in the next generation.

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        • It’s more tiring to hate than to tolerate, Hate drains us. Small children don’t really hate. They can play with anyone. It’s the adults that teach children to hate. They get hate from their parents. Although we have to admit we have our own biases and preferences. Ugh. You should listen to my family;s conversations over dinner, He he he.

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  13. hello, Ren… ang gaganda ng pics nyo rito, ang lilinaw. at saka, you and the cousin look relaxed, parang turista lang, haha. at kinarir nyo talaga ang pagsipa at pagtutulak sa leaning tower, hakhak. btw, i like the pastoral scenes, am sure they look ten times better up close… haha, you are so matabil as usual w/ your remarks at pagkukwento… basta, this sounds better than the previous, i guess… hey, hope you’re having fun. 😉

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    • Eh? Yung pics lang ang maganda? Kami, hinde? Ha ha. Hindi ko ma focus sa tama, kase may tao lagi . The aim to make it look like we;re pushing the tower down was epic fail. Alam mo ang ganda talaga ang sceneries. Super. Postcard pretty talaga. Pero, I din’t know how to make it look good. Basta shoot lang ako ng shoot.

      Alam ko na matabil. It means chatty. pero, masaya, di ba?

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      • ay sus, gaganda ba ang background kundi maganda ang subjects? naman! ahaha, bumabawi lang, sister. pasensya na, nahuli ang compliments. 🙂 kayo na ang naka-shorts, you’re both looking good, seriously… ahaha, oo, pero halata ang attempts nyong magtulak ng tower, di successful. try uli, pagbalik, hakhak.

        yes, ang ganda ng pastoral scene sa assisi, may nabasa akong feature niyan with wonderful, wonderful pics, as in. am sure it’s breathtaking, dear… saka, one can hear sa post mo – you had a good time, ahaha. cheers! 🙂

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        • Siempre naman. Blushing beauties kami. pero mukang di kami blushing. para kaming sira ulo doon. Marami pa akong pics na ganyan, pero siempre , pareho pareho.
          Oy, and ganda talaga ng scenery. At saka walang tao masiado. yan lang ang ayoko sa masiadong tourist spot. I couldn’t appreciate the place anymore. Hay naku, ganyan ang nangyari sa amin sa versailles in France. Grabe.

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          • ahaha, you both look cool like you promised yourselves that you were going to have a good time on that day. and you made good on your threat, hehe. i could imagine, nahirapan kang magpili ng pics na i-u-upload, as in… ^^

            yes, sabi rin ng ate kong nakapunta ryan, ang ganda raw, breathtaking… tapos, tanong nya, ba’t di ganoon ang farms sa Pilipinas, hahaha. kako, matter of age din ng civilization. haha, tama ba? ^^

            oy, maganda rin daw ang versailles. touristy ba masyado? i’ll wait for the post about it pa rin… have a good day, Ren 🙂

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            • Kase naman , Ate, wala na yatang open space sa Philippines na walang illegal houses. Di ba? Tapos, di pa maganda ang hitsura ng mga bahay. Sa Europe, kahit alam mo hindi mayaman, hindi panget tingnan ang bahay.
              Ang ganda ng Vesailles, pero , sobra daming tao. Grabe !

            • ahaha, sa cities? meron naman? sa MM, halos wala. you have to put guards to secure a property. sa countryside, marami pa namang open spaces not occupied by illegal settlers. there…

              age nga ata ng civilization ang magma-matter. kasi, in most European countries, rich ang societies. ang mahihirap doon, they enjoy infrastructures, support systems and assistance which their Third World counterparts do not. ang mahihirap sa mahihirap na bansa, walang-wala talaga, ahaha. so, it isn’t uncommon to see them in thatched houses and makeshift settlements, i think… 🙂

              hala, matao ang Versailles? many people swoon by the beauty of the place… antay ko ang post mo, dear. have a good week 🙂

        • My parents say so many cheat on taxes. And whatever collections the government gets go to corruption. Very good example are real estate taxes. Over here, owners do not get to see Internal revenue people. They are the ones who determine the value of the property…how much people are supposed to pay. ( by mail ) There’s no one -on -one meeting where bargaining occurs, if you know what I mean.
          Ang hirap kase sa Philippines, maraming professional squatters. You know, I get this stuff over dinner. We “talk ” a lot. Do you know my parents were almost jailed by Dictator Marcos? They had to hide, and family friends took care of my 2 older siblings. I wasn’t born yet. My parents were political activists in the Philippines.

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  14. hello, Ate San here, am back… sasabihin ko lang, natutuwa ako every time na may pic kayong magpinsan sa dulo ng series where the two of you are sleeping like logs piled on top of the other, ahaha. kayo na ang turistang pagod sa gala, hehehe. inaantay ko lang lagi na may drool, haha. am very bad, peace!

    hey, here’s the link of dpsa, dear –
    http://may11apr1940.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/tawagin-ang-pulis/

    hope to see you there sometime. salamat for keeping up sa pagbabasa. cheers! 😉

    Reply

    • Ate, hindi na ako maka wala sa more than 4,000 emails. kaiyak talaga. Lahat ng free time ko ngayon, just trying to catch -up. Pero, priority ko talaga Filipino sites, kasi masaya . Do you know, I just read 300 blogs? Ahahaha ! The whole day. Thanksgiving weekday ngayon. Me pasok dapat ako sa school, pero wala nagyon. tapos nagbasa na lang ako.

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      • haha, nauunawaan kita, kapatid. di rin ako makawala halos sa ganyang kalagayan. am trying pero di ko pa kaya ang 300 posts in one sitting, haha. i can’t even muster 30, naman… yehey, ang saya, bibihira kong marinig mag-holiday ang aleng matabil, haha. 😉 yes, matabil is spirited chatter… hugs and cheers, Ren 🙂

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        • I have 80 subscriprions. Tapos yung iba, sobrang mag – post sa isang araw. problema, I really read everything, word for word. I don’t delete just like that. Last week, na-reach ko less than 4,ooo, like ,3,960, tapos after 2 days na hindi ako nagbasa, biglang balik sa 4, 600. Kaiyak talaga. pero, sige pa rin ang basa. Ha ha ha.

          Reply

          • ahaha, nakow, di ko na mabilang ang dami ng subscriptions ko… can’t keep up, of course… but like you, i don’t delete. i always promise that one day, am gonna get the time to read them, hahaha. of course, i don’t! asa pa, hakhak… ^^

            but don’t you notice? we become speed readers, against our will, hehe. hwag kang maiyak, sister. medyo ganyan talaga, hihihi. 😉

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  15. Interesting !!! Good to know about the history of bell tower…Assisi town too looks neat and great!!! Politics – No Comments!!!

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  16. Great photos as always. The leaning tower is really amazing. I am glad it is stabalised. For the next two hundred years anyway. What a fantastic and unforgetable trip this was

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  17. You are having a lot of fun ladies!

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    • We couldn’t enter the church, ha ha ha. Actually we spent more time shopping at souvenir stalls.

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    • Oh, yes. I couldn’t believe I was there , right in front of the leaning tower. We had more time to goof around, and take pictures.. The rest of the tour group were inside the church. I wish I had seen that too, but we weren’t dress appropriately.

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  18. Those photos are gorgeous. I love the ones of the countryside.
    I know you said “stable for 200 years,” but I wouldn’t stand too close to the leaning tower of Pisa. It looks pretty diagonal.

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  19. Hi there, Dora the explorer! 😀

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  20. hello, dear… gusto ko ang pic ng monks, pati ang kwento about them… 🙂

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  21. sasabihan ko pa namang cool yung tower .. Literally falling na rin pala siya .hehehe

    Cheers 🙂

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    • There was a time they had to evacuate nearby homes 20 years ago. It does look orecarious, ha ha, and we walked around the building, but what was the probability we’d be at the wrong place, wrong time? Ahaha ! What a way to die, huh. The Leaning Towere of Pisa fell on us.

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  22. Great photos! I’ve always wanted to see the leaning tower of Pisa! 🙂 Is that your sister with you on the photo?

    I’m loving your hat by the way, looks cute on you! And thanks for bringing Pisa to me through your post! 🙂

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  23. great post! great pics! binasa ko lahat pati mga comments haha 😀 bawal ba pumasok sa loob ng leaning tower?

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  24. I enjoyed looking at your pics! Maybe when you get back we can meet up. 😀

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    • Thanks, jacquesdelight. I enjoy your blog, too. I learn a lot about fashion and make-up and all.

      Haha, but you live in the Philippines and I live in the US. But, maybe when I go there on vacation next year?

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      • Really?! I thought you were living in the Philippines! :)))) You know how I stumbled on to your blog? It’s through reading the comments at the Current Discussions Thread of Skip Beat at MangaFox! LOL!

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        • AHahah ! That’s so fun ! ! ! In case you haven’t noticed, this blog is renxkyoko’s space ! I’ve been reading Skip Beat since 2007. Hey, update your manga site.

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          • Me too! I think! :))))))) I started out reading Skip Beat at this site (http://www.zaha.net/shoujo/nakamura/skip/skip_tran.html) Then I transitioned into reading manga scans. I think Skip Beat is the only running manga that I’ve read when I first fell in love with manga! (I hope you understood me. I am bad at explaining myself.)
            I will update soon! I will try my best! :))

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            • What are your favs now? Girl, I think I'[ve read all, no kidding. But right now, I’m obssesing on LDK , Ao Haru Ride, The One, and others I can’t recall. I’m so bad at Japanese titles. How about you? Do you post on forums?

            • I hardly post! I am just the silent type, reading all your comments, agreeing and commenting on my mind. LOL. Hmm. I like Ao Haru Ride, Oresama Sensei, 07 Ghost, Yostsubato!, Koi Dano Ai Dano. On the old ones I am waiting for the scanlations of Uwasaya, Rasetsu no Hana. I noticed that the really good mangas are the ones hardly translated. 😦

  25. Thanks for sharing all the pics and info! I have never been to Italy at all, but your posts help me to “visit”!

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    • Thank you ! I’m very glad that it makes you feel you’ve been there, too. To be honest, it’s the same with me… looking at the pics myself, I feel like, yeah, I’ve been there, too. ha ha ha . The feeling of having been there becomes blurry in time, you see.

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  26. Posted by WordsFallFromMyEyes on November 22, 2012 at 2:04 am

    You’re now in Pisa? I’m beginning to suspect you’re a millionaire’s daughter – like Paris Hilton!! Good bloody luck to ya!

    These are great photos. It’s such a weird thing,t hat leaning tower. I’d reckon you’d have to see it to believe it. Wonderful post. You’re the breath of fresh air that I need 🙂

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    • Noelle, I’m back home. Ha ha ha

      Millionaire’s daughter ! ! I WISH ! ! My parents are still paying the bills ! ! LOL ! !

      Thanks, I’m glad you like it ! !

      Cheers !

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  27. Lovely! Your travel posts make we want to go abroad again. Alas, not until my kids are out of the house, or at least old enough to be abandoned.

    I’ve been to Assisi but never to Pisa. By the time I get my chance, that damn tower will already have tumbled.

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  28. Hello Sweet RenxKyoko, I just came home from a 6 week trip to Australia/New Zealand. My apologies if I have not responded to your comments left on my blog promptly.
    I just got updated with your recent posts. You truly had a wonderful European trip. Great photos… your camera person needs to learn a little adjustments for the artistic photos… nonetheless great photos! 😀 ))) Looking forward to your visits! ♥ Fae.

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    • I know. Miss Fae ! ! We should have done that, especially in Pisa where we had enough time to make adjustments. I guess by this time, we already got used to taking pictures fast, without focusing properly. =_=’

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  29. Great photos! Beautiful trip! Im so jealous ;P I want to go to Italy again
    xoxo

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  30. This place looks beautiful, Ren. I like these pictures a lot. Specially that one of the tower. It’s awesome. You are having a great trip. Enjoy the rest of the trip too. 🙂

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  31. so this is the place to visit for peace and quiet and serenety, i know i could live here 😀

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  32. Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on November 29, 2012 at 2:30 am

    • Rebeccaaaaaaaaa ! ! How many have you given me already? I haven’t acknowledge them, ( except 0ne ) ….. but I will , after my travelogue ! ! Okay ?

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  33. hello, Rhence… just saying hi, dear. still swamped, huh? keep well… 🙂

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  34. why is it that you’re catching the air.. ahahahaha! very funny!! but i am still envious…

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    • Hello, potsquared ! ! Sorry for the late response ! ! I wasn’t trying to catch the air, he he I was trying to look like I was pushing the leaning tower down. FAIL ! ! We were just stupid photographers ! LOL

      Reply

  35. I loved reading your thoughts on Afghanistan, Ren. 🙂

    Subhan Zein

    Reply

  36. Great post! Did you visit the cemetery?

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  37. Many thanx for sharing your pics and info.

    Reply

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