No the van didn’t turn into Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and fly me to Europe, I left her in LA at my mates place. I was on a J1 Visa for the summer camp, which only gives you 30 days of travel before you have to leave the country and come back on a different visa. I had a friend who had recently moved to England and I could get some cheap flights to London, about USD$400 return.
Some hot tips for getting cheap flights, join the mailing list at https://scottscheapflights.com/ they uncover some amazing deals and send it right to your email. Being flexible with dates will allow you to get the best deal, I personally use https://www.google.com/flights/ to find the best deals. You can look at a whole month and see the cheapest days to fly or select a location like Europe or America and see the cheapest countries/cities to fly to.
After a brief stop in London (less than 24h) we flew to Pisa to do a bit of a road trip through the Tuscan countryside. We arrived in Pisa the Friday evening, picked up our little black Fiat 500 and headed to our AirBNB.
After settling in to the place then went for a wander to find some dinner. We had been told by quite a few people that there wasn’t really anything to do in Pisa, except the tower of coarse, after wandering for a little bit into the city centre we realised this was true. The place was dead, only a few people around and overall a not very attractive city. We found a place for dinner and then headed back to get an early night so we could up early in the morning to see the tower.
It was a good choice to get up early to see the tower, we ware able to get in our ‘classic’ leaning tower of Pisa shots in relative peace and quiet.
It didn’t take long till the place was swarming with tourists as bus after bus turned up, but I will admit it was pretty entertaining watching everyone trying to get their ‘perfect’ leaning of tower photo. One thing you may not know is there is actually an amazing and massive church right next to the tower.
With the crowds building we jumped back into our little Fiat and headed to a little town called Lucca.