Italy, my journey

Pisa and Lucca

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While looking at this beautiful tower, I remember myself looking at the restaurant’s menu before I order my pizza. Then I remember the posters at the restaurant’s wall. Wow! I couldn’t believe I am actually in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Never in my life I had dreamed of coming to Italy. It’s just too impossible for me to step on the land of Europe. It was just last year (2013) when my boyfriend and I planned about the possibilities of experiencing the life in Italy by becoming a volunteer. But anyway, I’m not going to talk about that now. I want to share my experience and the awesomeness of Pisa.

My friend and I traveled from Florence to Pisa by train for about an hour and arrived there around 11AM. We took the cheapest train, of course. The Trenitalia Regionale is only 7.90 Euros from Florence Sta. Maria Novella to Pisa Centrale. We bought our bus tickets (1,20 Euro) at the kiosk inside the station and waited for the bus to the tower just across the train station. I forgot the bus number but it has something like “Rossa”, so I’m guessing that’s the last station.

On our way to the tower, we crossed the river and found beautiful places. We planned to walk when we go back to the station. “Wow! Wow! Wow!” were my words when we finally saw the leaning tower and the cathedral.  They’re amazingly beautiful!  The Cathedral of Pisa is just beside the tower.  Ok, I’m just going to show the pictures now, they’re more important than my words.

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At the train station, In front of the station and the first view after we entered the gate.
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These are the beautiful architectures.
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The Leaning Tower of Pisa! Yey!!!! ❤

Image So the plan to walk going back to the station did not happen. Before going back to Florence, we went to the place called Lucca. We just paid about 3 Euros for the train and we spent like 40 minutes there and we back to Florence. Ok, Lucca is also very beautiful but we did not stay long because I needed to go back to work that night. But anyways, here are the pictures of Lucca and their vintage market there. Image

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Italy, my journey, Personal

The Trip

I’m ready!

Everything was ready days before my flight to Rome. Visa, luggage, plane tickets, bus ticket, train tickets, etc. I went to Bangkok to get my new passport and then wait for my flight. I arrived in Bangkok early in the morning and headed directly to the Philippine Embassy, I carried all my stuffs, about 30 kilograms in all.

The Disappointment

So I arrived at the Philippine embassy around 9AM, left my luggage at the security and excited to get my new passport, anxious about my picture. I waited for my turn. When it was my turn, I gave the receipt. He asked for my old passport, I thought he’s just going to look at it to check if it’s really me. He went inside and looked for my new passport. I saw him from the window that he’s doing something with my passport. I called him and told him not to do anything with the old one because my visa there. The lady inside shouted at me saying, “Mag-antay lang kayo (just wait)!) He came back to me and handed my new passport and then the old one. My eyes almost popped out and my heart stopped beating when I saw the holes in my old passport. I screamed, “What did you do?? My visa to Italy is there! My flight is on Monday! ” He said, “You cannot have two passports at the same time. We should cancel the old one. We only cancelled the passport, your visa are still valid.” He told me to go to the Thai immigration to make sure. I told him I don’t care about the Thai visa because I’m leaving, I need my Italian visa. I was really disappointed, I really cried because I did not expect it.  How can they cancel it when it was extended for 2 years and the expiration will be on June 2015!?

I Asked help

I called the Italian embassy and asked about it. The lady said that when she checked, it’s still valid but she doesn’t know about my case if OK. I kept asking her questions and wasn’t satisfied with her answer. I went to the Italian embassy, asked another lady and she told me that they cannot do anything about it, I better get a new visa. But I cannot wait for another 2 weeks. So she told me that I should then pray that the Thai immigration officer will allow me. Immigration I know I cannot sleep well that night so I decided to go to the airport to ask an immigration officer.  A friend (my boyfriend’s sister-in-law) went with me.  It was really late at night. I asked the information where can I find the office of the immigration officers. She then called someone and handed me the phone. The lady officer asked what kind of visa I had. I told her is an Italian visa. She said she knows about the Thai visa, not the Italian but she thinks it’s okay. So we went home without any sure answer.

Sacrifice

I decided to fast a day before my flight. Yes, fast. That means I won’t eat the whole day and just pray to God to answer my selfish prayer. I know fasting is very effective. I’ve done this many times and all my prayers were answered yes.

September 2

I went to the airport alone. The queue was not long, I was early. I checked in, the woman got my 2 passports with her eyebrows connected. She asked me some documents because  she thought I’m going to marry an Italian. I told her it’s Motivi Religiosi. She nodded and gave me my ticket. I lined up at the immigration, when it was my time, I handed the immigration officer my 2 passports and my ticket. He looked at them and asked another officer, I don’t understand but I know they were talking about my passports. I was so nervous. I prayed. After awhile, he stamped and wrote at the new passport, something like “the visa is at passport number XX2988***. He then gave me my passports and I thanked him in Thai. I can still remember the day I got my new passport. I was at the backseat of the taxi and was crying out loud. I thought I cannot go to Italy on the scheduled date. I thank God for everything. I owe Him again. I arrived in Moscow and then to Rome. 🙂 Image Image Image Image