"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Structural Engineer in Italy

I should have Nick write this post, but I am sure that he won’t, although maybe I can do an update later with a few comments from him!

When we were planning to go to Italy, as usual, I asked Nick if there was anything specific he wanted to see.  Expecting, as usual, a laid back “not really” that I usually get from him, I was totally flabbergasted when he answered… “Is the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy?”

“Yes” I stammered in surprise, and I immediately set about planning so that we would make it there.  It also gave me some ideas for a few other things to plan on doing while we were in Italy… mainly, look for “structures” that my structural engineer would enjoy!

In Rome, we found the oldest bridge in Italy called the Pons Fabricius and it was built 63 years BEFORE CHRIST!  And it still stands today.  Nick definitely had a shock-and-awe moment when he saw this.  His feet hardly touched the ground as he walked o’cross it!

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Side note: the Russian word for bridge is “moct”, which is pronounced “most”, and to remember the word we joke that it’s the structure civil engineers love the most! (I bet everyone reading this is LOLing right now… maybe even rolling on the floor.  We are so funny!Winking smile)

And of course in Tuscany we visited the iconic Pisa!  Nick had a lot of fun explaining all of the methods that they employed to correct the imbalance over the years.  “Look, you can see there where they intentionally built one level all off kilter to correct it...” or “They were able to adjust the lower side by 6” in 1990 by…”"  512516

The amazing thing to me about Pisa is that it was really beautiful.  Someone put a lot of time, effort and resources into making… but you know what?  It was slowly built over hundreds of years and the imbalance was apparent very early on.  So someone just kept adding to it even though they knew that it would look a little ridiculous in the end.  But for Nick’s sake, I am glad they did.  He really loved it.

And then onto Venice, where we found the worlds first “skyscrapers” that is 6 and 7 story buildings that were constructed in the cramped jewish “ghetto” in the 15th century and also where the word ghetto originates.

Oh and they were pink… see, something for Nick, something for me!

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I had to get really low to get the whole building in!

I am so glad that we were able to find things that Nick actively enjoys to see in Italy!  He usually just goes with my flow, so I was glad to go out of my way for him.  This has definitely given me ideas for future vacations!

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