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By The Skin of our teeth

Where to start?

I’ll save some suspense and first describe where I am because this alone is a unique experience. The only night time internet spot in Sorrento as far as we can tell is a club. We laughed last night when we saw it. Little did we know the next night we’d both be sitting here getting in our net time while listening to peak volume hip hop music? Did I mention that I’m sitting under one of the speakers on a laptop on clear plastic chairs while the waitress passes by with neon drink trays? I mean, they literally have neon lights in them… whew… This is new and different.

Okay, well last night Brandy calls from the airport, she’s landed and waiting for her bags. If I’d had to place a bet, I’d have already said they’d lose it. Then she called back 20 minutes later, no bags, filing claim… of course… The next time she calls, she’s heading for the train. In the interim, I had surveyed the train schedule to Naples. When our original plans had been she’d get here in the morning, there was no concern. Trains from Rome to Naples run more than hourly. However, we still have another train to get from there to Sorrento and those trains stop at midnight… So, I tell Brandy to hurry to the train from the airport to Termini and call me the MOMENT she hears the arrival time for Termini announced. I was going to book the naples ticket as soon as I knew what to plan for.

While I waited, I surveyed the train schedule again and figured out that even though the trains from the airport are every half hour, there’s one train she needs to be on if we have a real hope of making it… whewww… cutting it close… Brandy calls about five minutes later… from the right train… YESS!! WAY TO GO!!

Run by the ticket and then try to wait for them to assign it a platform… and they don’t… and don’t… Finally run out to the VERY DISTANT track where the airport trains come in and meet Brandy and then we run. Being the only one with real luggage (and that being a heavy backpack), I’m the slow one. We get back to the main part of the station. Still no platform assigned… tick… tick.. tick… They assigned one and we head straight there. Train pulls in and we hop on. We don’t know the exact schedule for the Circumvesuvana train, just that it runs to midnight… We’re cutting it close. There’s the definite possibility of ending up in Naples for the night (and we’ve both heard the area around the train station is pretty sketchy). Add to the mix that I’ve tried to call the B&B in Sorrento but have gotten no one but a fax machine. I e-mailed that morning in hopes that someone would get the message we were in late.

We blabbed on the way in about the adventure we were having at the very least. Got to Naples and bought our tickets… the last train is literally 4 minutes away… eep… We literally got there about a minute before it left. That’s how close we cut it.

Midnight, we arrive in Sorrento to a mostly dark town. Decorated cheerily for Christmas and a far cry from the graffiti encrusted areas we rode through. This is a resort town after all. But at midnight… a taxi… yeh… I’d always planned to walk, but not at midnight… We find the B&B, which is somewhat a misnomer. It’s a condo community that’s gated… and it turns out Louis, the owner doesn’t live there. I managed to get him on the phone on a number listed on the sign and he comes out and is the picture of a nice guy. Lets us in. Gets everything set and leaves.

After he’s gone we realize… no heat… well, it’s running but producing nothing… also no hot water… great…. it’s after 1am now, so we decided to just deal with in the morning… oh… what a miserable night… hopefully one of those stories you laugh about one day (we have a little already). We called Louis this morning and he said he’d send someone out. About 20 minutes later, we pounce on the housekeeper who we guess is the person he sent. Of course, she speaks no english and is clueless about what we want. Brandy came pretty close to the right word for cold and she got it. About an hour later, we had hot water and were told that someone would fix the heat while we’re gone. So, showers and head for Herculaneum to regain part of a lost day. It’s noon at this point.

Herculaneum… wow… step-child to Pompeii in life as in death. Both were destroyed by Vesuvius, but where the average person has heard of Pompeii, a rich persons town (by comparision), Herculaneum was a lesser place and is little known today. The modern day town, Ercolano, isn’t per se somewhere I’d want to be after dark, but the site. Wonderful. The engineering even in this town, the decorated walls that have survived 2000 years (Vesuvius erupted in AD 79). Tile work, fountains, sewers, beautiful homes and stores. It was really amazing and a great precursor, I think, to tomorrow’s goal, Pompeii, an all day trip we’re told.

Got back into Sorrento in early afternoon and dropped off our packs before going to get Brandy some clothes. We’d hoped to find her bag delivered but no dice. The lady at the desk said someone fixed the heat. It’s warmer but still not to the extent either of us would consider warm. But I managed to wheedle an extra blanket at least. I don’t think we’ll end at the Ospidale (Hospital) down the street tonight.

Headed out for a quick shopping trip, found Brandy some clothes and then found a nice pizzeria for dinner. Brandy had something veggie and I had a spicey sausage. We wanted authentic Napoli pizza. From what I read while Naples didn’t invent the pizza, they popularized it. It was good, but man, pizza hut has no GREASE over these people. My pizza was floating in it. We got the left overs tho for a later meal. Oh, and we had desserts. Brandy’s was some sort of chocolate pie. We never identified everything in it, but it tasted somewhat like banana. Better than I would have thought. I had a lemon desert that’s supposed to be a local Sorrento dish. WOW! ! So good!! No leftovers!

So, that’s it from the city that has an ocean front view of a non-extinct volcano. With some of the luck we’ve had, keep good thoughts that old Vesuvius doesn’t decide to erupt agan while we’re in Pompeii tomorrow!!

One Comment

  1. What's a vacation without a little adventure? You'll dine on this story for years, you two. Enjoy yourselves and be safe.

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