The next day we were late leaving the house for various reasons. We hurried through Florence, getting faster and faster as we went, as we slowly realised how late we were. I really didn’t want to miss the train because if I did, I would surely miss my flight home. In the end, we made it to the station with what I thought was seconds to spare. We jumped onto the train, enjoyed about two seconds of feeling massively relieved, then realised that there was no-one else on the train, and the lights were off.
I had a horrible sinking feeling. It looked like my journey home was not going to be straightforward. It turned out there was a train strike on, and there was no way I was getting to Pisa by rail. There was a bus leaving soon, but it was going via somewhere ridiculous and it would take three hours, which was definitely too long. Reluctantly we went to the taxi rank outside the station, and said “aeroporto” to the taxi man at the head of the queue. “Firenze?”, he asked. “Pisa”, we said sadly. His eyes lit up and off we drove.
It was an incredibly unpleasant journey, watching the numbers on the meter climb higher and higher. I made it to the check-in with barely a minute to spare, but I was a horribly large number of euros poorer.
The flight home was a slight consolation. A couple of times before when flying into and out of Pisa, I’d noticed a small island off the Tuscan coast. On this flight, I got a great view of it, basking in the orange evening light, with the hills of central Tuscany rising out of the mist in the background.