As a kid growing up in Australia I had heard of this crazy Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy and vowed to one-day visit the site myself. In August 2010, I finally made that journey. It wasn’t as good as some of the other destinations we’ve been to, but was still great to make the dream become a reality.

Just outside of Pisa we found an awesome sunflower farm.

The leaning tower itself is pretty cool to see. It’s different than looking at it in photos. You look up and go, Holy shit! It really does lean!

Apparently, these rocket-scientists wanted to build a beautiful, tall tower for Pisa to show off to the world. Little did they know that by building it on land that was barely two meters above sea-level, their dream was about to come true. Once the first three stories were built between 1173 and 1272, the tower started to lean, so they tried to adjust it. They thought they’d figured out the problem, so they carried on. By 1993 it was leaning nearly five meters out-of-whack so they attached some wire between the top of the tower and another local building and had a go at fixing the soil below. It now only leans by about four meters, which is still ridiculous, but makes for a great tourist attraction. Hey, you gotta bring in the money somehow!

Although feeling a little silly, we just had to strike one of those, I’m-a-giant-holding-up-the-leaning-tower-of-Pisa poses. Trust me, everyone was doing it, and in Europe it seems to be cool to follow what everyone else is doing. People love following each other like sheep in Europe. It’s quite funny to witness once you realize you are doing it too.

Rob Kaay is an Australian author & musician.

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