Budapest Hungary to Pisa Italy
If you have been following us, you will remember that Pisa has been an interesting story. We called for permission to land. Pisa said we had to get permission from the Army in Rome. We did. We got an authorization number. We called yesterday to make sure that everything was OK. They said "no problem". Sol we packed up the plane in Budapest (top pix), took off and flew over Pest on the way out of town (2nd pix).
We had a very nice flight. The total flying time was 3 1/2 hours. We departed Hungary, flew over Croatia (3rd pix) and Slovenia. When we were about 40 miles east of Florence, Italy (about 40 more miles to go to Pisa from Florence, we got a call from ATC (Air Traffic Control). "You do not have permission to land in Pisa. Your new destination is Florence. You will land there."
I told them (without any frustration in my voice -- maybe a little begging) that I had authorization from the Italian Army. They asked for my PPR number (authorization), which I gave them. They told me to stand by. Well you can't really "stand" up there so we continued our flight, as is appropriate, and waited. By that time we were flying over Florence at 11,000 feet (with a great view of the Italian Alps). ATC then called back and said that we had permission to land in Pisa (bottom pix).
The first thing I asked of the handling agent when we landed was, "Do I need permission to take off"? He said "... of course not. NO PROBLEM". We'll see---------
The ground service, as it has been all along, was great. Our hats were given out (along with a few lira) and we were whisked through customs and sent out to the cab. We arrived in Pisa, had a first view of the leaning thing, and settled in to the Hotel Duomo, about 1/2 block from the leaning tower (pictures tomorrow). I called Steve Fisher and we will see them tomorrow. Steve will pick us up and I think we are going to the beach. I is really HOT here! Although Steve and Rick speak Italian, it will be a pleasure to spend the day with people who are not only friends, but SPEAK ENGLISH as well.
We will also continue our research (on the beach).