Sunday, 8 June 2014
Well folks we have finally made it to the St. Francis City of Assisi. We left Belfast yesterday at 3.15pm on a cold, wet Saturday and arrived in Pisa, Italy, three and a half hours later, to be greeted by bright sunshine and heat. The hotel was easy to find and was really luxurious. Yesterday evening as we were walking past the Basilica we were drawn by the sound of singing. We ended up at the Pentecostal Vigil Ceremony with the Cardinal, about 30 priests, and a magnificent choir. It really was a wonderful experience and a fitting welcome to Italy. Today we travelled by train to Florence and then changed to the train that brought us about 31/2 hours later to Assisi. The first train journey was horrendous and we ended up standing for over an hour on a packed stiffling hot carriage. Has the age of chivalry really died? All these young men sitting and not one would offer Mary or the other women who were standing a seat. Anyway aside from that everything travel wise was without a hitch and the scenery was stunning. Our hotel in Assisi is two minutes from the St. Francis Basilica and with fabulous views is a real gem. We went for a quick tour of the Basilica and then walked the Via St. Francesco, eventually arriving at Plaza Comuno where we sat outside and had a really tasty Italian pasta meal washed down with a large glass of beer. Life doesn't get any better. First impression of Assisi is wow. I already have a sore neck looking up at the most elaborate and beautiful buildings. It is so beautiful and perfect it looks staged. Can't wait until tomorrow to explore. The only down side is the weather. It was 32 degrees today and that worries me for the walk. It looks like it will be very early starting times but we will think of that on Thursday and enjoy Assisi.