September 10 – Dublin to Pisa
The Arno At Night From Our Hotel Window At The Royal Victoria
We said good-bye to Dublin this morning but not before we had a yummy breakfast at the Queen of Tarts. If you are in Dublin at a hotel that does not include breakfast, go there. We both had orange juice, the best coffee in Ireland and outstanding scones. Ann had porridge with strawberries, rhubarb and maple syrup. I had granola with fresh fruit and yogurt. There are other delicious choices on the menu, but this is what we chose.
Taxi to the airport with our three large bags was only €22. The bus would have been €10 less, but we did not want to deal with lugging our bags in a crowded bus.
Our flight was with Ryanair. In spite of what we heard, our experience was good. If you follow its rules, you will have no problems with them. For example, our bags were under the 15 kilogram limit and we carried on only one additional bag. Seats are close together so there is not much leg room but the seats do not recline. This saves the knees. The flight was right on time and landed in Pisa early. The only negative thing I can say is that everything that you want to eat or drink has a price, even water and coffee.
In Pisa, we went through passport control, picked up our bags and got on the train for a 10 minute ride to the central train station. Then we wheeled our luggage for a half mile to the Royal Victoria Hotel. Our room was on the second floor and faced the Arno. This is a very old hotel. The rooms have been upgraded in the last century, but not by much. The ceilings are at least 9 feet high. The floors are old oak parquet and show a lot of wear. The floor in our foyer is marble as is the floor in the rest of the building. Our room is long and narrow with twin beds. The weather here is warm and humid, so we are keeping our large window open. Hopefully, the mosquitoes are gone for the year.
For dinner, we wandered over to the market area just behind our hotel and found Antica Trattoria il Campano. We started with crostinni – four pieces of toast, one with Tuscan beans, one with bacon and cheese, one with pate and one with garlic, tomatoes and basil. Our main course was two kinds of pasta. I cannot describe them but I know that they were delicious. We were happy to find a good place to eat without advice from Rick Steves or TripAdvisor. On the way back to the hotel, I stopped for gelato – licorice and coffee. It was outstanding.
Here is a a link to today's photos.