Positano, Sorrento & Pompeii
The morning started with a bit of a rush, I was slightly out with my time, thinking check out was closer to 8am instead of 7.30, so I turned up to the check in point for today’s epic adventure with a cup of tea and a couple of danishes that were my room service breaky…
We were docked at Naples, but my experience of the city was only as we drove through on the way down the coast and the way back. On the plus side, those sneaky gypsies that absolutely everyone has been warning me against, stood no chance. Phew!
As you probably know, my room is an interior one, therefore, my first view of the morning was on my cabin’s tv, (the forward view). I was surprised to see rain drops on the screen. Not having time to double check the conditions for myself, I dressed sensibly with long pants and a light long sleeve tshirt….. Yes, I was wrong!
Ok, so our relatively small group (16) left for Positano. On the way, we went through Sorrento and stopping at Sorrento’s Lemoncello factory. Nothing like losing your Lemoncello virginity at 9am! Of course like good tourists, we took advantage of the toilet facilities. I don’t know about the rest of Europe, but where I have been, toilets are either not plentiful or they are hiding really really well.
Onwards to Positano, an amazing place. Amazing drive there too. Unesco have designated the Amalfi Coast as important and no one is allowed to build new houses there. Folk are allowed to fix up the old buildings, but no new ones are to be built. The buildings cascade down the steep slopes with narrow roads, that tend to be taken over by pedestrian sightseers, although every now and then a brave motorist heads down the one way street, hoping folk will move. The restaurants are beautiful and leafy. It is just a very very pretty place.
Having spent time (and money) at Positano, it was time to find our bus (hidden in a cave like area behind a service station), and it was back to Sorrento. Having lived in Sorrento, Victoria, I was interested to see any similarities….. Well, it has a beach, traffic (and parking) is manic, and tourists with attitude walk on the road with no regard for the road rules….. you decide.
We went to a restaurant for lunch (part of the tour). Gotta love the Italians, cannelloni, chicken with potatoes and carrots, followed by a light sponge cake dessert, washed down again with red and / or white wine and water. Then it was time to hit the shops for 60 mins or so.
From Sorrento, we wound our way around the cliffs back to Pompeii, all the time Vesuvius was watching us from a distance. I believe before ‘the’ eruption of 79ad, the great mountain was even greater. It was actually about twice the height it is now, (1281m). It last erupted in 1944, just what the good folk of Naples needed during the second World War. At least these days, the vulcanologists monitor is very carefully, so the tragedy of 2000 years ago won’t be repeated. It is described as the only active volcano on mainland Italy. (Etna, of course is on the island of Sicily).
We arrived at Pompeii for our tour of the grounds, a Unesco site. When you think that the whole sight (that was home to about 11,000) had been buried under between 4 and 6 metres of volcanic ash and pumice for so long, it’s pretty amazing that we can walk around the ruins these days and learn so much about what life was like then.
We saw the theatres, the judge’s house, the brothel (complete with frescos advertising the available services), shops, spas, houses, too much to name.
Olivia and I went to the Pompeii exhibition at Melbourne Museum which complimented todays experience beautifully.
Now for a quiet night having ordered room service while I do my laundry.
The wonders of Rome and the Vatican tomorrow.