Today I decided not to go to Pisa because the museum is closed. Yes, I am an art history major. I also decided not to go because, while my little sojourn at the beach yesterday has given me the bronzed arms of an Italian, it has also blessed me with the burning shoulders of someone who didn't apply enough sunscreen often enough. But, not to worry, it will fade away in due time to a sexy tan. I am always incredibly happy after coming home from the beach, must be the purity of sun, wind and water, all great elements in my life.
Lucca is wonderfully charming. Somewhere between the walled city, the tower with trees growing on top of it, and the gorgeous mosaic on the facade of the church in piazza san frediano next to my hostel, I couldn't be happier with my selection of a homebase for 5 nights. The churches here are cavernous and beautiful, and I just feel really safe just wandering around. When I arrived I didn't pull out my map until I was standing in front of a bike rental shop thinking that my hostel should be located before my tired body. No sweat, well technically lots of sweat but you know, I found the hostel in a renovated fine arts school. My room, shared with 5 other guys, is a bit hot. I thought Milan had been a little sweaty, but here it's worst. But get this, I actually don't mind it. Sure my sheets may be a little damp come morning but I eventually fall asleep and just feel great energy in the heat. Call me crazy. The funny thing about the hostel is that in the last two nights there is perhaps one guy out of the 6 who has stayed both nights. Since Lucca is so small, I guess people just stay a day and run away. The best example of this was yesterday afternoon when two new spanish kids rushed in, avoided introductions, put on their shoes and explained they had rented bikes (I don't really understand, even now, what the rush was). They were like two mexican jumping beans. Spanish, rather.
For the first time in my 8-week adventure, I find myself travelling alone. I just realized that I have been surrounded by people always, whether it be Matilde's family or my own. It's lonely alone. There isn't anyone to express running commentary to, there isn't anyone to talk to either... you learn to talk to people you don't know, be friendlier. I don't mind it actually. Now that Carly has arrived to her beautiful apartment in Lucca for 2 weeks of language school, I have a friend around always. Aside from stepping of my island of solidity and independence, being on my own has made me care a bit less about what other people think and just be more unadulterated me. I like it. Time for a bit more independent strolls along the city walls, a bit of reading and a lazy afternoon visiting gardens and museums. Ah, the good life.